Creflo Dollar - How To Overcome Brokenness
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If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Psalms. The book of Psalms chapter 34 and verse 17. Psalms 34 and verse 17. I began to recognize something, and this is something that's so so very important. It's the fact that we are living in a broken world with a whole lot of broken systems. We are living around a whole lot of broken people, and there's just a lot of things that are going on that we need to understand. And so several weeks ago I began to minister to you on the subject of brokenness, and how we need to begin to overcome brokenness.
And I got some some things, I saw people were saying, Well, I'm not broken. Well, I gotta make sure you understand it, that no one makes it through life avoiding brokenness. And that just said to me that a lot of people just don't understand what brokenness is, and what brokenness is all about. You know, I've broken pencils in my life, I've broken Christmas ornaments, when we used to put the little ornament on the silver tree and drop it and it broke. You know, I've experienced broken promises, I broke my collarbone one time, I've had broken friendships, I've had broken dreams, I've had a broken heart, and I've felt fevers break after, you know, being on my body and after shivering. And since that, my will, I've seen that broken after a long internal struggle, I heard tensions and few silence break, I've heard soft and gentle or loud or angry voices break.
You see, there's a whole lot of ways to be broken. And from our souls to our fingertips, brokenness is woven throughout all of our human experiences. And so the meaning of brokenness in the Bible, it's deep and it's rich. It's varied, but closely related to all sides of things that are goin' on. And yet I don't want us to get to a place to today, where we are using brokenness as like a cliche. Some people use the word brokenness to kind of demonstrate their spiritual deepness. Other people use the word brokenness as an excuse or a crutch to be where they are or to stay where they are. I don't want us to do that.
I want us to find out the real meaning of brokenness, and to see God's commitment and God's plan for our life where brokenness is concerned, and is it gonna last always. Because, I guarantee you, people who are depending on systems, those systems are broke. People that are depending on certain areas of government to help you, they're broke. You're depending on other people. We're living in a broken world. We're surrounded by people that are broken. You know, during the time of shelter in place, abuse going on in relationships and with people because they're broken. There's an issue here and we need to deal with that issue.
And so as we begin, let's look at this Scripture. Psalms 34:17-18, because God is committed to walking with us where brokenness in our life is concerned, and I believe, and many may not believe with me today, but I believe that brokenness may be a bridge where you can see promotion, where you can finally get to the place where you need to be. Look what he says here in Psalms 34 verse 17, as we began to talk about today overcoming brokenness. He says, "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles". So you gotta understand, you know, even though you're a Christian, you're gonna have trouble. If somebody told you that, you know, now that you're saved you're not gonna have trouble, no, you're gonna have trouble. He says, "The Lord is near or nigh unto them that are of a broken heart".
So here's God's commitment. That, if you have brokenness in your life God says, I'm near you. But then he also says, "and he saveth such as be of a contrite spirit". So brokenness may come in your heart, but at the same time, a repentant or a contrite spirit could be the results of that. Verse 18, he says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all". So many, if you're righteous, many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God's promise is he will deliver you out of every affliction. He will deliver you out of everything that you've gone through. He will deliver you. And that's the good news today, that God has made a promise to deliver you out of your brokenness.
So I want to really deal with the first part of this message, the real Bible meaning of brokenness. Let's look at what it means. So, to be broken, it means having been fractured or damaged, no longer in one piece. No longer in working order. That's literally what it means. Fractured, damaged, no longer in one piece. Not feeling like you're in working order. Previously, I defined brokenness as the flawed condition of humanity that creates a tendency or propensity for people to hurt themselves and for people to hurt others. You know, one of the facts of being human that I've discovered is that we don't always get things right.
The Bible says in Romans 3:10, "For we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". But now notice brokenness in your life that maybe you've never dealt with before, maybe it's never been resolved before, may infiltrate your relationships. And like I said before, a lot of things you do, a lot of things about your character, you know, being mean, being selfish, being defensive, all those things may come because that brokenness has never been dealt with, and it has infiltrated your relationships. Now please understand this. You will not be able to see progress in your life above the level of your unresolved brokenness. You're not gonna see progress in your life above the level of your own brokenness.
So this is so very important and I believe that, over the next few weeks, we're gonna learn some things. And like I said before, no one makes it through life avoiding this area of brokenness. So let's begin this way. I want you to think about this statement. If God allows brokenness, if he allows brokenness in your life, he's going to use it. If he allows it, he's going to use it. He's going to bring good out of it, he's going to bring us through it. So if brokenness is there, he's gonna use it, he's gonna bring good out of it, and he's gonna bring you through it. God works through our brokenness, I believe, to make us whole. I believe that, ultimately, what God wants this for is to be whole. And he will work through brokenness to bring you to that place of wholeness.
I'm reminded of David in 2 Samuel chapter 12 verses 1-12. I won't read all of it, but David in 2 Samuel was confronted by the prophet. And in this situation, David began to experience what I call later on self-inflicted brokenness. He was responsible for, you know, committin' adultery and man, it was something. So Nathan the prophet showed up and told David about this story in a parable. And David responds like this in verse 5, "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore the lambs fourfold, because he had no pity'".
And then in verse 7, "And Nathan said to David, 'You're the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, then I gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah, and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto these such and such things. Wherefore thou has despised the commandments of the Lord to do evil in his sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, has taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon'".
Now as a result of this, in Psalms 51 verse 17, Psalms 51 verse 17, David was so, oh man, so broken. He was so broken because of his own sin that verse 17 says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise". He was so broken, but I want you to notice that that brokenness turned him, turned his heart, into repentance. He had a contrite spirit, and I began to ask God, What is a broken heart? What is a contrite spirit? Listen to me. Those who have a broken heart, and you're really broken before God, those who have a contrite spirit, are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them without resistance or without resentment. Now all of a sudden you're ready to just go God's way. We cease doing things our way and we learn to do things God's way instead when you've really experienced a broken heart.
Let me show you what the Bible says. Look at Psalms 34:18 in the NIV. Psalms 34:18 in the NIV. Well, Brother Dollar, are you saying that there's some good that can come out of brokenness? Well, the deal is, once he was broken, he fell in the will of God for his life. The deal is, is that somehow brokenness can allow you to land in the right place. I mean, God's desire for you to go down this road, to do this, to accomplish this, but you ignored him, you weren't paying attention to him. And now all of a sudden when brokenness shows up in your life, could it be that now you have landed in the arms of God?
Now you're ready to trust God. Now you're ready to do what you know you're supposed to do. You're no longer resisting. You're no longer in resentment. David was no longer gonna resist God. He was no longer gonna be in resentment. When he was broken, the next thing I see is David, he didn't sin after that, he was willing to do what God had called him to do. Look what he says in Psalms 34:18, he says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit". He's close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Let me show you a couple of Scriptures here. Isaiah 57 verse 15 in the New Living Translation. Isaiah 57:15 in the New Living Translation. I believe that something happens as a result of brokenness. I look at brokenness in my own life, and how I landed in the arms of God, and how I wanted to do what God wanted me to do, how I was wanting to hear God's plan for my life, how I was wanting to carry it out. Look at what he says here in verse 15, "The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this, 'I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble'".
He says, I'm there with those spirits who are contrite and humble. You see, I believe brokenness will cause you to have a repentant heart. I think brokenness in its way, and God using it, can use it to cause you to change your your mind and change your direction. And the whole time you've been doin' what you wanna do and now brokenness shows up and you're no longer really interested in doing it the way that you've been doing it. In fact, I looked at Saint John chapter 12, and verse 24. Never thought about this when he talked about how important it is for a seed to die.
But look at this, John chapter 12 verse 24, because I really believe we have to die to self-reliance. I really believe that God can use brokenness to deliver you from self-reliance and self-preservation and all the things that concern self. I mean, what do you do when you're broken and things around you are broken, and relationships are broken? And that's where the whole world is right now. They're still tryin' to trust everything else except God.
You know, I heard this lady the other day, says, Well, I did, I defeated COVID-19, and she was glorifyin' herself. I mean, I'm thinking, well, can't Jesus get a little of this glory? Do you actually think you did this all by yourself? Well, some people do. That's what humanism is all about, it's about what you can do through your own ability. And so I mean, what is it that you have to go through to finally get to a place where you recognize that it's God that good to me? That it's God that delivers me. That it's God that brings me out of these situations.
You know, I look at this Scripture, he says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit". And I just heard this in my spirit. That, you know, when brokenness occurs and when people allow the death of self-reliance to show up, they'll bring forth much fruit. And I believe, and this is why I don't believe that anybody will live on this planet without experiencing some type of brokenness in your life, because I believe that that things need to grow. I believe that there's fruit that you need to bear.
And so as I speak about these things, and I'm talkin' about this, now it becomes very important to really define it. Because if you're listening to me right now, if you're looking at what I'm saying through the wrong lens, or through the lens of your understanding that you got from school, or your understanding you got from the psychologists, or your understanding that you got from your friends concerning brokenness, then you're not gonna see what I'm seeing right now. So I want to spend the rest of my time dealing with the Bible meaning. I want to give you five definitions of brokenness from the Word of God that is the lens that we need to see this through, definitions from God's Word, the lens that we need to see this through.
So the first definition. I call this first one self-inflicted brokenness. Self-inflicted brokenness. Well, what does that mean? This kind of brokenness is inward. This kind of brokenness, this is a contrite spirit over our own sinfulness. A contrite spirit, a repentant heart over our own sinfulness, which leads to, I believe, it'll lead to humility, it'll lead to surrender, it will lead to Godly repentance. I'm talking about self-inflicted brokenness. I'm talkin' about you're broken because of the sin in your life. You're broken because of of the things you know you do. You know, it's painful to look into an honest mirror and see who we are. That's painful. To look into an honest mirror and recognize who you are. To recognize, while you're looking in that honest mirror, what we've done as people who are capable of horrible things. Looking in that honest mirror. And yet we have to experience this personal brokenness. Personal brokenness. Because we see who we really are.
When's the last time you looked in the mirror and you see that you are a liar? When's the last time you looked in that mirror and you see that you are a selfish person? That you see that you are a deceptive person? That you see that you have done things to hurt people and wound people? That you see that you're a deceived person looking into that honest mirror? Because I believe that when you do that, then that's gonna lead to humility, that's gonna lead to surrender, that's gonna lead to Godly repentance. I believe that when you finally see that and you see that personal brokenness, there's gonna also be an opportunity for restoration and for us to authentically enjoy our relationship with God again.
Self-inflicted brokenness. That's what David went through. Self-afflicted brokenness. Sitting around like he had done nothing. He should've been on the battlefield, but he's on the balcony lusting and had a spirit of adultery with another man's wife. And then he set it up, because he was king, to have her husband delivered. And then he's sleeping with his wife and just kinda carrying on, won't look at himself. And then the day came where the reflection came through a prophet, and he saw himself. He saw his sin, and it broke him. And yet he ended up, praise God, in the hands of God. And that brokenness led to restoration, that brokenness led to humility, that brokenness led to Godly repentance. David, a man after God's own heart.
And while we're there, self-inflicted brokenness, you remember Peter? In Matthew chapter 14:66-72, when Peter denied the Lord three times. He denied the Lord three times. And after declaring there's no way I'm going to deny you, Lord. And he had to take a look and he had to see the man in the mirror. And that brokenness led him to a repentant place, a place of humility, a place where God could really use him like never before. I'm believing God that today, maybe you will find an honest mirror so that you can look into that mirror and allow self-afflicted brokenness to bring you to a place of wholeness, self-afflicted brokenness to bring you a place where you can be restored in that right relationship with God. Amen.