David often wrote about brokenness in his psalms. He spoke of God’s nearness to those who are broken: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (34:18).
What incredible promises our Lord has given to those who are broken in spirit. He pledges to dwell with all who have been broken and revive their hearts.
There is a physical brokenness that is the result of human despair. I’m talking about bereavement, emotional pain, anguish that comes from physical afflictions. Yet the brokenness spoken of here is something other than human despair. It speaks of spiritual brokenness.
The truest picture of spiritual brokenness is found in Luke 19. In this passage Jesus is riding on a colt into Jerusalem:
“Now as he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day [times], the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41-42).
What was the source of Jesus’ agony? We are told that Christ “came to his own and they received him not” (see John 1:11). Jesus was crying, “If only you had accepted the things I said to you! It would have brought you my peace, my blessings, my hope and my purpose for your lives.”
Here is the difference between us, who have found refuge in Christ, and the multitudes who are lost: they have rejected their rescue. But every believer knows there is One we can turn to. We have a source to go to for strength and comfort, because we believe Jesus is who he claimed to be.