A Broken Heart, A Broken Spirit
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:17, NKJV). Think about these words of David, but in the context of worship. (After all, in ancient Israel, worship centered around the sacrifice.) Realize, too, that the word translated “contrite” comes from a Hebrew word that means “crushed.” What is the Lord saying to us here? How are we to understand this idea along with the idea that there should be joy in our worship? Why are these two contrasting concepts not necessarily contradictory?
As Christians, we take it as a given (or at least we should) that all of humanity is fallen, sinful, degraded. This degradation and sinfulness includes each one of us, individually. Think of the contrast between what you know you could be and what you are; the contrast between the kind of thoughts you think and the kind you know that you should think; the contrast between what you do and what you should do, between what you do not do and what you know that you should. As Christians, with the biblical standard of Jesus before us, the personal realization of our true nature can be especially devastating. This is where our broken spirit and crushed and broken hearts come from. If someone professing to be a Christian does not see this, they are truly blind; most likely they have not had a conversion experience or have lost it.
Yet, the joy comes from knowing that, despite our fallen state, God loved us so much that Christ came and died, offering Himself for us, and that His perfect life, His perfect holiness, His perfect character, becomes credited to us by faith. Again, the theme of the “everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6) appears. Our worship should center not just on our own sinfulness but on God’s amazing solution to it: the Cross. Of course, we need that broken and crushed heart, but we always need to frame that sad reality against the background of what God has done for us in Christ. In fact, the realization of how bad we are leads to joy, because we know that, despite our state, we can have eternal life anyway, and that because of Jesus, God will not count our transgressions against us. This is a truth that must always be at the center of all worship experiences, whether corporate or private.
Taken from the Sabbath School lesson quarterly, August 1, 2011
The remedy is Jesus. You can take your wounds, opened by the circumstances of life, to Him. Place your anxieties, sadness, and sorrows on Him. He will put healing ointment on the deepest wounds of your heart, ease your pain and make you happy.
Then the source of your spirit will be a spring of pure water and your words will be instruments of edification for lives destroyed by the storms along the way.
The human being was created originally to obey. His original nature at Creation was to be obedient. After the entrance of sin, humanity acquired a disobedient nature. However, deep down, the human being delights in doing the will of God; obeying produces joy.
His sinful nature leads him by the paths of disobedience, and brings him the weight of guilt, the tormenting burden of knowing he is rebellious, and the instinct of death that sin brings. There is no way a man or woman can be happy going against the will of God.