Broken and Blessed
-Thank you for the opportunity
-“Broken and Blessed.”
-what has been happening to us recently.
-Manitou for 12 years and completed our ministry there at the end of July.
-questioning, doubts, all kinds of reflections and a whole load of puzzles
-opportunity to reflect theologically
-permit me to do some personal reflection as we look at the Biblical texts together.
-times in our life when we feel that our life or something in it is broken
-avoid pain when it comes to a visit to the dentist,
-yet they come.
-such reflection is very important.
-thoughts which tempt us
-“Why is this happening?”
-God exists or whether He cares about us.
-who is in control and we try to take control.
-faith is strong enough.
-“name it and claim it” theology.
-revel in sorrow and think that being spiritual means enduring suffering and expecting nothing
-need a good theology of suffering.
-sound thinking in this direction.
I. God Desires To Bless
- last few months, there were days when I began to wonder where God was.
-tempted to forget about what God wants and do what I want.
-What does the Bible tell us about the nature of God and his desires for us?
A. Seen In The Rainbow
-a covenant with him that he would never destroy the earth by a flood again.
-A covenant is a promise,
-not to destroy the world by a flood again tells us that it is God’s desire to bless and not to destroy.
-sign of the covenant for everyone to see
-reminder to God
-God is the only one who can create and sustain a rainbow and so God is the only one who can keep the promise.
-God’s promise stands inviolate.
-who God is.
-not his desire to destroy, but to build up.
-not his desire to leave people in brokeness, but to bless them.
-Since that time, … He is a covenant keeping God.
B. Demonstrated In The Coming Of Jesus
- the Bible, we find again and again that God is a covenant keeping God
-I Peter 3:18a , “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
-written to believers who were experiencing severe persecution.
-Christ died on the cross in the greatest act of covenant keeping and blessing the
-The flood was necessary …. washed the evil from the earth,
-God is both just in that he deals with evil and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus
-Romans 8:32 which says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
C. Our Response
-tempted to doubt the power of God or the love of God, I have often been
-helped as I have reflected on the Bible and such passages as these.
-your struggle is today.
-The stories of the rainbow and the coming of Jesus
-practical thing which we can - remember the God of promise
-stories in the Bible when God has acted
-in the past when I have seen God act.
-Psalm 22:1-5 speaks about this,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? 2O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
In these first two verses we hear the broken and struggling cry of the writer, but he goes on.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.”
-In our brokeness, let us remember the God who makes and keeps his promise to bless.
II. God Blesses Because Of His Mercy
-what reason do we have to hope in the promises of God?
-“ God should give this to me because I deserve it?”
-“God will never bless me because I don’t deserve it.”
A. The Psalmist Experiences Mercy
-acrostic poem according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
-Psalmist begins by expressing his trust in God.
-a time of struggle, - vs.2 - enemies
-Vs. 2 suggests that trust is mixed with anxiety.
-verse 3, David indicates his foundational belief about the nature of God.
-delivers those who trust in Him and puts to shame those who are treacherous.
-vs. 6,7, “Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”
- “according to your love remember me.”
B. Our Response
-we either glow with pride or wallow in self pity.
-God blesses because He loves us,
-small child in the large hands of its father.
-we live by trust in the mercy of God.
III. Being Broken Prepares Us For Blessing
-does not mean we will not experience brokeness.
-Times of struggle, questioning and loss are not indications that God has forgotten his promise
-not pretending to give a complete theology of suffering
-times of brokeness and struggle are necessary to draw us to God and to prepare us for new blessings
-Hebrews 5:8, “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered…” Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered.
-Why should we expect to be any different?
- Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness until God called him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.
-Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness before they experienced the blessing of God in the promised land.
-David spent time in the wilderness before he became king.
-Elijah and even in the New Testament, the
-apostle Paul spent time in the wilderness.
-What is the purpose of such wilderness experiences?
A. Wilderness For Learning Trust
- experienced temptations and was with the wild animals.
-a time of vulnerability.
-“Jesus confronts the horror, the loneliness and the danger with which the wilderness is fraught when he meets the wild beasts.”
-Jesus could not depend on anyone but God.
- the purpose of wilderness experiences. They bring us to a place where we can’t do it and we know that the only way we are going to make it is with the help of God.
-When we resigned last February, we were sure that we would quickly move into a ministry
- I cannot rely on anything that I have, but must rely on God alone.
B. Wilderness Before Blessing
- “the time had come.”
-preach the kingdom.
-God’s purpose for mankind, salvation history
-The time of struggle preceded blessing and was preparatory to it.
-We are looking forward to the blessing… I hope that I will remember the lessons I have learned.
-you are going through a time of difficulty,
-God is preparing you for some greater ministry or greater blessing.
-may not be the answer to your particular brokeness,
-valuable to use times of struggle as times of growth.
C. Comfort In The Wilderness
- Although he was tempted and was with the wild beasts, we also read that the angels ministered to him.
-How comforting! God does not abandon us in the midst of our times of trial.
-Elijah - I Kings 19:5-7.
-our struggle - look for the evidences of grace
-place to live that didn’t require a lease and permitted pets to the
-jobs we have had.
-opportunities to preach
-So whatever your struggle, I encourage you to look for the ways in which angels are ministering to you.
-What is happening in your life?
-midst of being broken?
-think about who God is, how he has acted in faithfulness in the past
-what is there to learn
-determine to trust God no matter what
-He loves you.
-Look for the times of grace which God brings into your life.
-rejoicing and feeling blessed?
-this is a gift of God who has given this blessing.
-Do not become confident in your own goodness and ability, but remember to trust in God
-season of lent, - the coming of Jesus, … above all is the evidence of God’s covenant keeping and mercy.