Faithlife Sermons

Prayer: Brokenness

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A little bit about myself
Moved to America at age 14 (spoke no English)
My wife Sarah and I have been married for 17 years. 6 kids.
Associate pastor at MEFC for 10 years
Fun fact: I have done Crossfit training with pastor DS.
Let me tell you how I ended up working out with pastor David.
I was in a very bad spot in my life last year because of anxiety:
Feeling of unexplainable dread
Chest tightness and pain
Sweaty palm hands
Loss of appetite
Nothing seemed to bring pleasure or joy
Light headache and light dizziness
Fatigue but can’t nap
Pastor David invited me over to his garage to workout since exercise helps...
You could say that anxiety forced me to do something I wouldn’t do on my own.
Today I also want to share something a hidden blessing that came with anxiety: my prayer life has deepened.
My weakness and brokenness has deepened my awareness of my need for Jesus.
Brokenness can take you to a place where you can draw closer to Jesus.
Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness and brokenness.
Paul describes weaknesses with four words:
Insults. Mistreatment by others with words or actions.
Hardships. Experiences that squeeze you to uncomfortable limits.
Persecution. Affliction at the hands of hostile enemies.
Calamities. Loss and devastating circumstances.
Weakness: A sense of feeling helpless or useless because of out of control painful circumstances.
Depression and anxiety
Loss (health, miscarriage, job, death)
Undiagnosed sickness
Incurable sickness
Betrayal (gossip)
Weakness: A sense of feeling helpless or useless because of out of control painful circumstances.
When you find yourself in a place of broken and weakness you feel stuck and useless because you can’t fix it.
Now check this out, Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness and brokenness.
From a human perspective this doesn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense to the Apostle Paul. He received a “thorn in the flesh.” Whatever the thorn was, it was very painful and crippling. So prayed and pleaded 3x. I don’t think he only prayed 3x. One commentator writes, “The three times may signify “earnest and repeated prayer,” time and time again.” (Garland, 2 Corinthians, NAC)
He only saw two options to his weakness and brokenness:
The Lord removes the thorn in the flesh so that Paul could move on with life and ministry.
The Lord doesn’t remove the thorn in the flesh and Paul’s life and ministry is crippled and ineffective.
Remember what I said about brokenness and weakness? Weakness: A sense of feeling helpless or useless because of out of control painful circumstances.
The Lord Jesus responds to Paul’s prayer in an unexpected way in v.9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
What a wonderful life-changing truth: my weakness and brokenness is not the end of God’s plan in my life but part of his plan for my life. Paul declares in v.9, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness and brokenness.
How did Paul arrive to a place where he experience God’s power in the middle of brokenness and weakness?
Here’s how he processed it? It depends who you listen to.
There are two voices speaking to you:
One voice is the voice of the enemy: He speaks discouragement (v.7 “A messenger of Satan)
The other voice is the voice of Jesus: He speaks straight and power! (v.9, “My grace is sufficient for you.”)
In the middle of your weakness and brokenness you must make a decision: will you embrace discouragement or will you embrace strength and power? It all depends on whose voice you listen to.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
The enemy speaks lies
You are a failure
God has abandoned you
You are worthless
No body loves you
On other hand God says,
My grace is sufficient. The enemy says, “you are not enough.” God says, “I am more than enough.”
One of the blessings of brokenness and weakness is that God empties us of ourselves so that he can fill us up with himself.
Instead of complaining how empty handed I am, I’m going to lift my empty hands to heaven to receive his grace and strength.
I would like to finish by inviting you to pray the most dangerous prayer I know: “Lord, break me.”
As Charles Spurgeon once said in a sermon, “God does not need your strength: he has more than enough power of his own. He asks your weakness: he has none of that himself, and he is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in his own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to him, and receive his strength?” (MTP, 37:331).
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