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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

God Loves Me in My Brokenness

In review of Psalm 34:18 it says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Bottom Line:
The Lord will come near to those who are brokenhearted or discouraged. He will save those who have lost all hope and are humbly sorry for their sins.

What this means to me:
God has told me that he will come close when I am brokenhearted / discouraged and he will save me when I’m humbly sorry for my sins. This morning I am reminded of the story of Jacob and how he wrestled all night with a man, who was actually God. Genesis 32:27 says, “The man asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob,’ he answered” (NIV). This may seem like a strange request. God obviously knew Jacob’s name. What I’m learning is that whenever God asks me a question, it’s not for his benefit. He already knows the answer!

The reason he asks is that he wanted Jacob to admit what he was. In ancient times, names were chosen for their meaning, not for how nice they sounded. So you could be named after a profession like a baker or a carpenter or a smith. You could be named after a relative or you could be named for the situation you were in. Jabez was named “painful” because he came in a painful birth. But parents mostly named their kids based on their character. When people said their name, they were telling someone what kind of person they were.

Jacob’s name means “deceiver.” And, he lived up to his name! His entire life he lied to get out of many situations and one conflict after another because he was a deceiver. He was a manipulator. When God asked Jacob what his name was, he wanted him to own up to who he was.

Here’s the cool thing about it. When Jacob says, “I am Manipulator,” God was not shocked. He didn’t say, “You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m fighting with a manipulator? How did I miss that? I didn’t see that one coming.” God already knew everything bad about Jacob, just like he already knows everything bad about me; even the stuff I don’t know about myself.

The Bible says in Malachi 1:2, “I have loved Jacob.” I like that verse because it gives me hope. If God loved Jacob who was so unlovable, who was such a manipulator, who was such a scoundrel, who was such a crook, who was such a liar; then God can love someone like me as well.

In order to obtain lasting change, I need to eliminate any excuses, rationalizing or blaming circumstances or others for my problems (my brokenness.) I need to be honest with God and with myself and admit in humility, “I am the problem.”

How does God respond to my brokenness? The Bible says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Today I need to consider what God wants me to admit and be honest with myself about. (I need to admit who I am.) God has promised to be close to me if I will just humbly reach out and admit my need for him.