Restoring Broken People
Many of us identify with brokenness as a transient state we once or twice passed through but managed to recover from its debilitating effects. The scar tissue etched on our hearts is a permanent reminder of the painful past we survived. Unfortunately, life’s storms were less kind to others now trapped in a seemingly hopeless state of brokenness. For some of us brokenness becomes an emotional prison from which escape seems impossible. Withdrawn and unsociable we linger in the shadows of life hoping to get by unnoticed. We are out of answers and tired of asking why. We are beaten, bruised and broken victims of unfathomable troubles. It is not humanly possible for others to know the indescribable heaviness we secretly bear and no one appears to care. Although we are confused and broken, we manage day-by-day to disguise the inner pain by putting on a smile. We have grown accustomed to our miserable life, not knowing that God has come to rescue us from the empty mess we call our life.
When Jesus walked into his hometown synagogue in Nazareth He read these prophetic words from the book of Isaiah the prophet:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19 NKJV)
Jesus declared that He came to “heal the brokenhearted,” liberate captives, restore vision and free the oppressed. “Brokenhearted” (Gr. syntribō) means to break in small pieces, to shatter completely.
In the figurative sense, we can imagine a beautiful long-stem rose vase that is cast down on the concert and shatters in pieces. The vase and its beauty are lost and beyond repair. The beautiful rose lie in the midst of brokenness, its petals and stem bruised and broken. At best we might glue the pieces back together and place the bruised rose in the reconstructed vase—the sight of which would be sadly unattractive. However, in God’s hands, the vase is supernaturally restored as brand new and the rose to its pristine state. It becomes a new creation in God through His supernatural power of restoration. But we are not speaking about a broken vase, but broken people.
When we place our broken lives in God’s loving and merciful hands we are healed and made whole in every sense. “Healed” (Gr. iaomai) means to cure, make whole. We are miraculously restored, but not to our former state, but restored to a new and better life. We are born again into the spiritual dimension, accompanied by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual comprehension becomes clear as darkness is overpowered by the light and power of God’s presence. Spiritual blindness becomes spiritual illumination. We were blind, but now we see. The captive power of sin restraining us like a prisoner of war is destroyed and we are released from the habitual bondage of sin. The hopeless oppression is lifted from our minds and replaced with a new and living confidence that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We are alive in Christ! We are filled with His confidence! We are a new creation in Christ!
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 TLB)
I have always loved the words to this old 1971 song, Something Beautiful, by the Bill Gaither Trio, because they express what happened to so many people when they first turned to God and received a new life in Christ.
If there ever were dreams that were lofty and noble, They were my dreams at the start. And hope for life’s best were the hopes that I harbor down deep in my heart. But my dreams turned to ashes and my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss, so I wrapped it all in the rags of life, And laid it at the cross… [and here is what He did]
Something beautiful, something good. All my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But he made something beautiful of my life.
Just after the resurrection of Jesus, on the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter preached his first message about Jesus. At the close of his message about 3,000 listeners believed in their hearts that Jesus was truly the savior of the world and asked Peter, “what shall we do?”
When we come to the place in life that we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world, believing that fact is not enough. We must do as Peter instructed the crowd:
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38 NIV)
True “repentance” is an integral part of the forgiveness of sins followed by water baptism. In Acts 3:19, we see Peter encouraging his listeners:
Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out (Acts 3:19).
Scripture references calling for true repentance can easily be found: (Luke 5:32; 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20). Repentance is not a deep doctrinal issue, it is relatively simple to understand. Repentance is the very act and only act that causes the Holy Spirit to rebirth our spirit. No one can be born again until they repent, and there can be no salvation apart from repentance. The word “repent” (Gr. metanoeo) and (Gr. metanoia) “repentance” refer basically to a “change of mind.” It is a change of mind accompanied by regret and a true change of heart toward God. The combination of the Greek words “noieo” to know or comprehend, and “meta” after, “to know after the fact,” conveys that one has comprehended that his former behavior, life, ideas, philosophy, religious views and relationship with God is wrong. Through repentance one is saying, I have been living wrong, separate from the Lordship of Christ. I have not submitted my life wholly and completely to His will, but today I have come to a decision. Henceforth, there can be no other way of life for me, but to give myself in total, absolute, unconditional surrender to God and declare, “thy will be done in my life.” I hereby yield all my rights, privileges, desires, thoughts, wants, needs and all that I am to the Lordship of Christ. At this juncture, the Spirit of God touches the spirit of the repented person and their spirit is miraculously born again.
For an expanded explanation on true repentance please read Are You Really Born Again.
Isn’t it time to turn your life over to Jesus?
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