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Blessings of Brokenness

Nancy McGuirk - Bible Commentator

"Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything."(James 1: 2, 3)

The typical view of the christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered "in" adversity which is something quite different. This is why James says to consider it pure joy "when", you go through trials, not "if".

But how can there be joy? When a child of God goes through trials, the truth is he has nothing to fear. Jesus says "In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." This joy is therefore translated as a deep-seated confidence in the One in whom all things are possible.

We as Christians worry and are often broken during trials because we feel alone and think that we should not be experiencing any difficulties at all. We are after all good people...people of God! But God does not give us overcoming life, he gives us life that (through Him), we overcome.

In fact it is the love of God that has often allowed the very difficulty we face...for He knows the opportunity that is ours. There is a blessing in the midst of our brokenness. He knows that to be like his Son, we must suffer and be broken in this world. For to be like Him does not come naturally to any of us. To be like His Son is to totally trust God under all circumstances of life. Only with a deeper dependency on our heavenly father do we even begin to understand what it means to trust Him.

Sometimes God strips us of anything that has undeserved importance in our life. For often times we don’t realize that God is all we need until He is all we have. And it's usually the desperate circumstances we encounter that cause us to cling tighter to our Father and look into His face as we hold His hand through that moment. Hopefully after enough desperate moments, we begin to depend less on ourselves and more on the One who is always dependable.

The trials of life are what build our very character and mature us. They bring on the blessings of change and the experience of the new self that we want so desperately to become. The new self is not self sufficient, he is God-sufficient. If there are no trials, there will be no dependency, and if there is no dependency, there is no need for Him. And the less we need Him, the less we will grow into the beautiful person He has designed us to be. This is why He wants us to "present ourselves as a living sacrifice" ...holding back nothing to keep us from trusting Him.

God cannot give us joy and liberty unless we are willing to accept the trials of life...and once we face them, we will immediately receive His grace to overcome. Remember His "grace is sufficient" and through it, He will begin to water our mustard seed of faith and help it to grow until it has slowly moved out all other loyalties in our life. ....until we learn to look to Him for nourishment, and to Him alone.

If you completely give of yourself physically you become exhausted, but if you give of yourself spiritually, you will get more of God’s power, and more faith in an all loving, ever-present God.

Jesus said "give up yourself and you will find your real self". Our temptation is to face the trials of life in our own strength. But a trusting child of God can "consider it pure joy" even when seemingly completely broken by adversities because victory is absurdly impossible to everyone.... except God.

Nancy McGuirk - Bible commentator, small group facilitator, and intercessor - is the founder and director of the Women's Community Bible Study International. Nancy ministers to thousands of people each week in person and through a video and audio tape ministry. The focus of her work is evangelism, discipleship and intercessory prayer.

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