The God of the broken-hearted

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
(J. R. Miller, "The Beatitude for the Unsuccessful" 1892)

"The Lord is near the broken-hearted." Psalm 34:18

The God of the Bible, is the God of the broken-hearted. The world cares little for the broken hearts. Indeed, people oftentimes break hearts by their cruelty, their falseness, their injustice, their coldness--and then move on as heedlessly as if they had trodden only on a worm! But God cares. Broken-heartedness attracts Him. The plaint of grief on earth--draws Him down from heaven.

Physicians in their rounds, do not stop at the homes of the well--but of the sick. So it is with God in His movements through this world. It is not to the whole and the well--but to the wounded and stricken, that He comes with sweetest tenderness! Jesus said of His mission: "He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted." Isaiah 61:1

We look upon trouble as misfortune. We say that the life is being destroyed, which is passing through adversity. But the truth which we find in the Bible, does not so represent suffering. God is a repairer and restorer of the hurt and ruined life. He takes the bruised reed--and by His gentle skill makes it whole again, until it grows into fairest beauty. The love, pity, and grace of God, minister sweet blessing of comfort and healing--to restore the broken and wounded hearts of His people.

Much of the most beautiful life in this world, comes out of sorrow. As "fair flowers bloom upon rough stalks," so many of the fairest flowers of human life, grow upon the rough stalks of suffering. We see that those who in heaven wear the whitest robes, and sing the loudest songs of victory--are those who have come out of great tribulation. Heaven's highest places are filling, not from earth's homes of glad festivity and tearless joy--but from its chambers of pain; its valleys of struggle where the battle is hard; and its scenes of sorrow, where pale cheeks are wet with tears, and where hearts are broken. The God of the Bible--is the God of the bowed down--whom He lifts up into His strength.

God is the God of those who fail. Not that He loves those who stumble and fall, better than those who walk erect without stumbling; but He helps them more. The weak believers get more of His grace--than those who are strong believers. There is a special divine promise, which says, "My divine power is made perfect in weakness." When we are conscious of our own insufficiency, then we are ready to receive of the divine sufficiency. Thus our very weakness is an element of strength. Our weakness is an empty cup--which God fills with His own strength.

You may think that your weakness unfits you for noble, strong, beautiful living--or for sweet, gentle, helpful serving. You wish you could get clear of it. It seems to burden you--an ugly spiritual deformity. But really it is something which--if you give it to Christ--He can transform into a blessing, a source of His power. The friend by your side, whom you envy because he seems so much stronger than you are--does not get so much of Christ's strength as you do. You are weaker than him--but your weakness draws to you divine power, and makes you strong.

"He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
By Octavius Winslow...

"I wound and I heal."--Deut. 32:39
It is no little comfort to the afflicted child of God to be thus divinely assured that both the wounding and the healing flow from one Hand--that Hand a Father's. The sword that wounds--"bathed in heaven"--bears upon its point the balm that heals. Meditate awhile, my soul, upon this wondrous truth; and should you, like the stricken deer, endure your wound in solitude, the assurance that He who smites is He who heals, may rouse you from your lonely sorrow, and draw you closer to the heart of Him "by whose stripes we are healed."
"I wound." What majesty in these words! How worthy of Him who is the sovereign disposer of sickness and health, of life and death, from whose belt hang the keys of the grave and of Hades. To His Hand, O my soul, trace the wound which now fills you with sore pain and grief. What is the sword? Is it the visitation of bereavement--the decay of health--the loss of wealth--the fickleness of friends--the unkindness of other believers--or the taunt and cruel slanders and reproaches of the world? Rise above the sword that has pierced you, and see only the Hand that holds and controls it. "I wound." It is a loving Father's voice. O Lord, I lose more than half my sorrow when I hear Your voice, "It is I," and when faith responds--"He Himself has done it."
And whose Hand inflicts the spiritual wound? Who convinces of sin--gives the broken heart--imparts the humble, contrite spirit--and brings the soul to His feet with the prayer, "God be merciful to me the sinner." Still the language is--"I wound." Then, Lord, let the "sword of the Spirit" pierce me through and through, might it but penetrate the deep-seated evil of my heart, revealing to me more of my sinfulness, thus preparing me for the touch of that Hand that heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds.
"And I heal." Blessed Lord! who can heal the wounded spirit--who can bind up the broken heart but Yourself? My wound is too fresh, my sore too tender, my sorrow too deep, for any hand but Yours to touch. Lord, Your wounds are my healing--Your blood my balm--Your soul-sorrow my heart's joy. Keep me from a false healing. Let Your blood be the only balsam of my wounded conscience; let Your love be the only solace of my troubled spirit. Precious Jesus! smite and bruise me as You will, may but the hand that bears in its palm the scar of the nail pour the wine and the oil of Your love into my bleeding, sorrowing heart. "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed."
But, perhaps, your wound is self-inflicted, and the consciousness of this keeps you back from Christ. Your own hand has pierced you! You have sadly departed from God, have willfully sinned against conviction, against your own conscience; against so much divine love experienced, so much covenant mercy received, so many rich blessings given, so many sins pardoned and backslidings healed, and wanderings restored. Be it so. Still the language of God is--"And I said after she had done all these things, Turn unto Me." "I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely--for my anger is turned away from him." Bring, then, these wounds to Jesus which your own or another's hand has inflicted; and with the balm that flows from His own pierced heart, He will heal you. "O Israel, you have destroyed yourself, but in Me is your help found." Oh, remember that there can be no wound too deep or too desperate for Christ's healing, loving touch.
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