Psalm 38

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage!
Your arrows have struck deep,
    and your blows are crushing me. 
Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
    my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
    it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
    because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
    All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
    and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
    My groans come from an anguished heart.

Psalm 38:1-8 NLT

This Psalm reminded me of a song we used to sing when I was younger called Holiness. One section of the song was “Brokenness, Brokenness is what I long for, Brokenness is what I need, brokenness, brokenness, That’s what you want for me.” As I read Psalm 38, I couldn’t help but reflect on David’s brokenness. He is grieved over his sin to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.  As we grow in our relationship with God, the true state of our human condition in comparison with God’s holiness grieves us.

David ends Psalm 38 begging God to remember him and save him:
Do not abandon me, O Lord.
    Do not stand at a distance, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
    O Lord my savior.

True brokenness will create lasting transformation in us. It is not until we realize that our human effort can’t save us or make us good enough on our own, that we turn to the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus, to save us. There is freedom in knowing I cannot earn my relationship with God. While brokenness often leads us to salvation, it is also a part of the Christian walk as well. God is committed to bringing us to a place of wholeness and spiritual maturity. In this process to make us more like Christ, God must take away our dependence on anything other than Himself; this can be a long and sometimes difficult process. Take heart that God’s goal for your brokenness is spiritual victory. Be confident and have hope that Jesus can take your weakness and turn it into strength.

Action Steps:
  1. Are you facing a season of trials and brokenness? Ask the Lord to reveal to you what he is teaching you.
  2. Journal about the following: What is God stripping away from your life? What is God asking you to give up? What do you trust in more than the Lord? 
  3. Read Romans 8:28-29. It is through the lens of verse 29 that we see that the “for the good” mentioned in Romans 8:28 is making us more like Christ. That process involves brokenness. Journal about brokenness in your life, times you felt the weight of your sin, times God transformed you spiritually, and praise God for these steps in your journey. How has God used your brokenness to grow your compassion and understanding for others? 

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