Those who have a broken heart
What comes to your mind when you think of heartbreaking things? Do you think of physical things such as sickness or disease? When individuals become sick and the doctor says, “There’s nothing else I can do,” it literally crushes the heart of those individuals. Maybe you think of the loss of a loved one. Death has tremendous shattering power. It can be so devastating that sometimes just the mere thought of an individual no longer physically being a part of your life can be heart breaking. Perhaps a broken home comes to mind. Divorce is so destructive. Many who have experienced divorce have said that they felt as if their life had been completely shattered. Then again, you could be thinking about sin. Imagine a beautiful crystal dish that slips from your hands, hits the hard floor, shatters and splinters into numerous pieces. Sin has the ability to leave our lives shattered, feeling as if we may never put things back the way they were. Regardless of what may come to your mind, the truth of the matter is there are many things in life that have the power to leave individuals broken hearted, crushed, or shattered. What should we do when we find ourselves in this situation? Consider the following verse. “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psa. 34:18)
To begin with, we must recognize the reality of this problem. The word “broken” means “to be broken into pieces, to reduce to splinters, to shatter or to be crushed.” The word “contrite” means “to beat out thin.” The Psalmist uses these words to remind his readers that there will be times in life when we feel like a glass that has been shattered, or a piece of metal that has been heated and beaten out thin. Too often in life, people live their lives with the fairy tale mentality. Consequently, when they experience heartbreaking situations, they are unprepared. We must realize that there will be things in life that will leave us heartbroken and beat out thin.
Second, realize that God is near. When bad things happen, we often think that God’s presence is no longer in our lives. Such is not the teaching of the Bible. The Psalmist said that God is “near!” The word “near” means “to be close by or to be by the side of.” God is always present. He has promised to be with us always and to never leave or forsake us (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). Even when our lives are shattered by sin, He is there in the shadows patiently waiting to help us put things back together.
Third, realize that God will save me. The word “save” means “to deliver or to give victory to.” This word, as used in this passage, appears to have a two fold meaning. To begin with, God promises to deliver us physically. The apostle Paul said, “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2 Tim. 4:18) Paul was confident that God would always be there to deliver him from every evil work in life. Likewise, Christians today can have that same confidence. Whatever breaks our hearts, God will be there to ultimately give us victory. Second, God promises to deliver us spiritually. The phrase “broken heart” not only refers to an action that brings heartache, but also to the attitude that one is to have when one’s life is crushed by sin. In another Psalm David said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise. (Psa. 51:17) In a close examination of this text, it will be discovered that David is explaining to his audience what God expects of those who sin against Him; a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Jesus said in His sermon on the mount. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Mat. 5:4) The word “mourn” in this passage refers to the act of grieving. Jesus is talking about individuals who look at their lives, realize that they are guilty of sin and they mourn. According to the Psalmist, when one responds in this way God is there to deliver him.
The question is not “will we experience heartache” but rather it is “when.” So, the next time you experience something that breaks your heart, take comfort in the fact that we serve a God who is near by and ready to help.