holiness can rule. Our lives, which seem good to us, are melted in the light of the true goodness in Christ. What seems clean and pristine is discovered stained and ruined when brought before the Lamb of God. Jesus said it this way:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17).
These words described a church that thought highly of their spirituality, yet, they were just the opposite. His stern rebuke warned the Laodiceans; he wanted them broken so they could serve.
God broke all of the great men and women in the Bible.
God broke Abraham when he required him to leave his home for an undisclosed home far away (Genesis 12:1). He again shattered Abraham when he told him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22:2). Can anyone imagine the agony of the three-day journey into the mountains of Moriah? Surely Abraham was tempted to turn around and go home. But he did not.
God broke Moses when the future leader was forced to flee the comforts of Pharaoh’s palace for a job tending sheep in Midian (Exodus 2:11-32). Moses would reach his breaking point again and again as he was tasked to lead the obstinate Hebrews out of bondage.
God allowed Job to be shattered by the whims of Satan. This godly man was wealthy and blessed but lost everything including his health (Job 1:13-19; 2:7-10). Through his struggles, he stood firm and today is an example for all who trust in God.
God shows no favoritism to women. He broke Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Hannah through the barrenness of their wombs. Living in a time much different from today, these women were thought cursed and were frequently the butt of jokes (Genesis 30:23; 1 Samuel 6, 7). Ruth faced the loss of her husband, her father-in-law, and her brother-in-law in a land with little support for the three widows. All of these women came to know God better through their suffering.
Jesus broke Paul as he traveled to Damascus. The apostle-to-be was a man of passion and dedication to the Law of Moses. Jesus had other plans for him. He blinded him (Acts 9:1-9) and sent a teacher who instructed him concerning Jesus. Paul soon found himself without friends and the target of murder. The Jews hated him, and the Christians feared him.
None of these, and there are many more, could effectively serve the Lord until God broke them. Today we must be broken too. We must separate from our former sinful ways. We face the chastening of God which, through unpleasant, brings growth (Hebrews 12:5-11); Revelation 3:19). Paul came to realize that the earthly struggles he faced were working a tremendous improvement in his life (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Let us accept the hand of God who breaks and chastens his people. Our struggles make for glory in the world to come. Our troubles are not pleasant but they do bring improvement and lead to glory.