Broken-Hearted and Crushed

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed spirit.”

The following is an excerpt from John Calvin’s commentary on Psalm 34:

“Jehovah is [near] to those who are broken of heart, he will save those who are bruised of spirit.  David here exemplifies and extends still more the preceding doctrine that God is the deliverer of His people, even when they are brought very low, and when they are as it were, half-dead.  It is a severe trial when the grace of God is delayed, and all experience of it so far withdrawn, as that our spirits begin to fail; nay more, to say that God is [near] to the faithful, even when their hearts faint and fail them, and they are ready to die, is altogether incredible to human sense and reason.

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“But by this means His power shines forth more clearly, when he raises us up again from the grave.  Moreover, it is [necessary] that the faithful should thus be utterly cast down and afflicted, that they may breathe again in God alone.  From this we learn also, that nothing is more opposed to true patience than the loftiness of heart of which the stoics boast; for we are not accounted truly humble until true affliction of heart has abased us before God, so that, having prostrated ourselves in the dust before him, he may raise us up.  It is a doctrine full of the sweetest consolation, that God departs not from us, even when we are overwhelmed by a succession of miseries, and, as it were, almost deprived of life.”

There are times when we feel like God has withdrawn His gracious hand from us.  And yet we know that God has promised to draw near to the broken-hearted and to save those whose spirits are crushed.  He shall heal our hearts from every affliction, and rescue our souls whenever we are falling apart.  Sin and sorrow have no power to defy the living God when He decides to deliver His children.  Our afflictions, no matter how large or small, serve the purpose of pointing us toward the Cross.  For it was there that our Savior bled and died for us.  It was there that He gave Himself so that we might know the Father’s love.  It was there that He was broken in order that we might experience forgiveness.  He was crushed for our iniquity so that we could find mercy and salvation.  Therefore, let us cling ever closer to the Cross as we remember the love and grace that God has promised us.  His Spirit will draw near to us, and He will deliver us from brokenness.

May we not miss the opportunity to know and love Christ more keenly as a result of the momentary afflictions we endure… for they are but a taste of the Savior’s suffering and a demonstration of the Father’s faithfulness to His promises!!

Blessings in Christ, Gabriel

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