Why does God allow us to be broken?

We must be willing to die to our affections, dreams, desires, ambitions, and goals, and then be totally willing for the Lord Jesus Christ to have his way in our lives. Only then can we truly know life to the fullest and find our purpose in life realized completely. We must die to self in order to become more of ourselves and eternally ourselves.

We must break ourselves of our intense love of self if we are ever to allow God’s love to envelop and fill us.

What does it mean for us to “bear fruit” through the process of brokenness?

The inner fruit we are to bear is not fruit that we grow. It is fruit produced in us, as we remain faithful to the Lord Jesus, or as Jesus said, as we abide in the vine. The closer we walk with the Lord, moment by moment relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through our lives, the more we develop this fruit. We can’t acquire it in any other way than to walk closely with the Lord, obeying his guidance and direction on a daily basis.

The fruit is, therefore, his fruit. Paul expresses this clearly in Galatians 5:22-23 when he says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Brokenness is the pruning process that God uses in order to produce inner fruit — his very likeness.

How is brokenness related to spiritual maturity and preparation for ministry?

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We can’t get to spiritual maturity without suffering and pain, and we can’t engage in supernatural ministry without being willing to endure even more suffering and pain. The joy set before us, however, is the joy of knowing that God is with us, that God is working in us and through us, and that God is pleased with us. And friend, there’s no greater joy than that.

What does it mean to be made whole?

When God breaks us, he does so with the purpose of putting us back together again-better than before, and ultimately, so that we might be whole.

Paul prayed a wonderful prayer for the Thessalonians in which he spoke of wholeness: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

We can always trust God’s purpose for our lives to be wholeness and multiplication, not fragmentation or diminishment.

Copyright © 2005 by Zondervan Church Source, used with permission.

Dr. Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Atlanta. He also preaches to a worldwide audience via TV, radio, print, and the Web through his In Touch Ministries . He is the author of numerous books, including The Savior’s Touch, as well as A Touch of His Love and other books in his popular A Touch of His…Devotional series.