Summary: 1. God meets us in our brokenness. 2. God continues to heal us in our brokenness. 3. God will deliver us from our brokenness.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion —
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor”
What this scripture is saying to us today is that God cares about where you are hurting. Jesus quoted this passage from the prophet Isaiah to describe his mission. He came to bind up the brokenhearted. He is here to release captives from emotional prisons. He is here to let people know that the favor of God rests on them. He came to comfort those who are mourning a loss and experiencing grief — whether you are mourning the loss of a person, your health, a marriage, lost finances or any number of things. He has come to restore you to a place of wholeness and place a crown of beauty on you. The places where our lives are in ashes, he has come to bring the healing oil of gladness. Where there is mourning, he has come to place on us a garment of praise. Where there is despair and hopelessness, he has come to make us as strong as an oak tree which he has planted. And his ultimate purpose is that we might be displayed as trophies of his grace and goodness. He has a plan in mind to bring about our restoration, healing and wholeness. This is the desire and heart of God for us.
What this means is that there is hope for those of us who have areas of brokenness in our lives — which is all of us, if we are honest. It means that God cares about those wounds and wants to heal us. It means that his Holy Spirit has the power to make us whole. And we all have inner wounds that were brought about by the battle of life that we have been in. All of us have been wounded in some place and to some extent. It is part of living in a fallen world where good and evil exist coterminously. It is not possible to grow up in a fallen world without accumulating some wounds, and we need to understand that God cares about our woundedness.
What are we to think about this and how are we to respond? Three factors come into play that bring us hope and offer us healing. The first is: God meets us in our brokenness. Ofttimes people distance themselves when someone is having serious problems, but God draws near. He wants to meet us at the place of our woundedness. Woundedness is not weakness. God sees our need and responds to it without condemnation. The Bible says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). God is concerned without condemning. And he offers to heal our brokenness if we allow him to go there; if we invite him into the place where we were wounded.
Most of the time we try to keep those wounded places within us private and hidden. They become a burdensome secret — a place that no one is allowed to see. Healing comes when we let Christ take us by the hand and walk with us back in time to revisit the frightening and hurtful event that has wounded us. Perhaps in your life there are several. The choice is to keep it all locked up like a giant tomb inside of us, or we allow Christ to unlock the door to the tomb, open it and stand by us as we see the ugliness of what is inside that tomb. Together we look at what we have been trying to hide and not look at for so long. He walks into the tomb and empties it.
It does not have to be something as horrible as sexual abuse, although there are some here who have experienced that in their lives. It can be the loss of a parent or abandonment and neglect. It can be a harsh word by someone you respected. It can be some way that you were physically harmed or psychologically shamed. God does not look at us and say, “Just get over it!” He deeply cares about us and wants to bring restoration to our heart and mind.