God Breaks Us To Make Us


Nobody likes to be broken. Everyone needs to be broken! God uses brokenness.

Matthew 21:44 (NKJV)
44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

The stone here is Jesus! Whoever falls on Him in saving faith is broken, but those who reject Christ will have Him fall on them with obliterating judgment. Conversion involves the brokenness of repentance. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Mt. 5:3-4). These verses are descriptive of the humble brokenness of conversion. In saving faith we are humbled down before Jesus as sovereign Lord and Savior. But that is just the beginning in the school of brokenness. Listen to the seasoned saints and you will hear this recurring theme: "God breaks us to make us." In the process of breaking us God is making us to be more like Jesus. It's painful but ultimately good. It's hard but necessary.

Joseph was 17 years old when his older brothers left him for dead and then sold him into slavery. Many years later his brothers recalled the horror of that experience saying to one another, "we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us" (Gen. 42:21). It was the WORST of times and yet God used it ultimately for good. Many years later Joseph would say to his brothers, "you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20). Blessed are those who can see the sovereign hand of God in the hardest of times and realize that there is a BIG PICTURE good in all that is happening. For those who love God "all things work together for good" in the BIG scheme of things (cf. Rom. 8:28).

Moses as a young man showed great potential. Acts 7:22 says, "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds." He was impressive! But then he had to run for his life and spent 40 years on the backside of the desert watching sheep. That was humbling! When all you hear day in and day out for 40 years is "baaahh" that tends to "brokenness". After 40 years when the LORD finally called Moses all he could say was: "O my Lord, I am not eloquent,...I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Ex. 4:10). Earlier in life Moses "supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand" (Acts 7:25). But now in a state of humbled brokenness Moses had no such aspirations. Now he was usable! God breaks us to make us! Numbers 12:3 interjects, "(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)".

David was a good looking young man with tremendous potential. God called him from the pasture to the palace. But in between the pasture and the palace was the school of brokenness in the wilderness. Between the glorious day of his anointing to be king and the time he actually became king David spent about 10 years running for his life from king Saul. It was the worst of times and it was the best of times. During this time David wrote most of the Psalms that we love and which minister to our hearts in our hardest times. David learned to TRUST God in a very deep way during this time. God breaks us to make us.

Job did not understand the WHY of what was happening to him, but he did realize that God was at work. In Job 23:10 he said, "But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." God breaks us to make us!

Paul in the NT learned a lot about suffering and God's purpose in it. He said that God "comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble" (2 Cor. 1:4). God uses it! In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul said, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels" (4:7). The treasure in us as believers is the very LIFE of Christ. But in order for it to shine out we need to be broken! Paul then went on to talk about being "hard pressed", "perplexed", "persecuted" and "struck down", "always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." (4:8-11) It's in our brokenness that the POWER of Christ's life is put on display.

Paul at first begged for the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, but then Jesus revealed to him: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9). That completely changed Paul's perspective. He then said, "Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (v. 9b - 10) What a powerful truth: "When I am weak, then I am strong." When we have no power, then God's power is put on display. God breaks us to make us!

James says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (Ja. 1:2-3). It's not that we enjoy trails just for hard times sake. No, rather we KNOW that God is at work through these trials. He is producing endurance. He is making us stronger through them. God breaks us to make us. And so James exhorts us: "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (v. 4) Realize God is at work and instead of getting an attitude let it accomplish God's intended result. Hebrews 12:11 says, no chastening for the present is joyful, but painful, "nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." God breaks us to make us!

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." - A.W. Tozer

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.