2 Corinthians 4:7-10(HCSB)7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
In this world, broken things are despised and thrown out. Anything we no longer need, we throw away. Damaged goods are rejected, and that includes people. In marriage, when relationships break down, the tendency is to walk away and find someone new rather than work at reconciliation. The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits and broken relationships. We have to remember that it is God who is sovereign over it all, the good and the seemingly bad. We do not know why God allows certain seemingly bad things to happen to us, but it is for His glory. He is the Potter and we are the clay, He shapes us and molds us into what he wants. Sometimes we try to move His hands to shape ourselves into what we want.
Isaiah 64:6-9(HCSB)All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. 7 No one calls on Your name, striving to take hold of You. For You have hidden Your face from us and made us melt because of our iniquity. 8 Yet Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands. 9 Lord, do not be terribly angry or remember our iniquity forever. Please look—all of us are Your people!
Romans 9:18-24(HCSB)18 So then, He shows mercy to those He wants to, and He hardens those He wants to harden. 19 You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20 But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? 22 And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? 23 And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory— 24 on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Jeremiah 18:1-12(HCSB)This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. 4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.
5 The word of the Lord came to me: 6 “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. 8 However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. 9 At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. 11 So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”
Although God allows human beings freedom to make moral choices, He demonstrates often that He is still sovereign and in control of His universe. He does whatever He wills with His creation.
Psalm 135:6(HCSB)Yahweh does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.
Psalm 155:3(HCSB)Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.
Daniel 4:35 (HCSB)All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does what He wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can hold back His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”
Isaiah 46:9–11(HCSB)Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me.10 I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.11 I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country.Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.
We need frequent reminders that God is over all and can do as He pleases whether we understand His actions or not. Romans 9:20–21(HCSB)20 But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? He owes us nothing yet chooses to extend to us the utmost patience, kindness, and compassion.Jeremiah 9:24(HCSB)But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me—that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.This is the Lord’s declaration.
Psalm 36:10(HCSB)Spread Your faithful love over those who know You, and Your righteousness over the upright in heart.
Psalm 103:4(HCSB)He redeems your life from the Pit;He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
The potter working with the clay reminds us that God is at work in us “for His good pleasure” Philippians 2:13(HCSB)13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.
Isaiah 45:9(HCSB)“Woe to the one who argues with his Maker—one clay pot among many. Does clay say to the one forming it,‘What are you making?’Or does your work say,‘He has no hands’?
God has created each of us the way He wants us.
Psalm 139:13–16(HCSB)For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
It is our responsibility to take what He has given us and use it for His glory and pleasure. In doing so, we find our ultimate fulfillment. Rather than live with disappointment and dissatisfaction with what God has or has not given us, we can choose to thank Him in everything. Just as the clay finds its highest purpose when it remains pliable in the hands of the potter, so our lives fulfill their highest purpose when we let our Potter have His way with us.
Psalm 34:18(ESV)“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely. King David was once a broken man, and he prayed, Psalm 51:10, 17(ESV)“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”. There are some things in our lives that need to be broken: pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits, for example. When we feel our brokenness, God compensates: Isaiah 57:15(ESV)“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit”.
God Uses Broken People To Share the beautiful message of hope to a broken world Throughout scripture we see God using imperfect broken people for the sake of his mission. He didn’t call the popular, rich or successful to further his ministry, but rather, the poor, broken and faithful. I can only imagine how confused the Pharisees and religious leaders must have been while looking at the team of people the proclaimed Savior had gathered together.
From an outside perspective, we can see that It didn’t matter where people were from, what they had done, or who they use to be; Jesus used all people for the good of His will. Here are some examples of people that were used for the greatness of HIS glory.
Abraham -Was old.
Elijah – Was suicidal.
Joseph – Was abused.
Job – Went bankrupt.
Moses – Had a speech problem.
Gideon – Was afraid.
Samson – Was a womanizer.
Rahab – Was a prostitute.
Samaritan Woman – Divorced.
Noah – Was a Drunk.
Jeremiah – Was young.
Jacob – Was a cheater.
David – Was a murderer.
Jonah – Ran from God.
Naomi – Was a widow.
Peter – Denied Christ three times
Martha – Worried about everything.
Zacchaeus – Was small and money hungry.
The Disciples – Fell asleep while praying.
Paul – A Pharisee who persecuted Christians before becoming one.
To us, broken things are despised as worthless, but God can take what has been broken and remake it into something better, something that He can use for His glory. Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed. On the night before He died, Jesus broke the bread and said, “This is my body, which is broken for you.” He went all the way to the cross to die so that we can live. His death has made it possible for broken, sinful humanity to be reconciled to God and be healed. Without the broken body of Jesus, we could not be made whole. Isaiah 53:5(ESV)“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”.
Jesus viewed all things in the light of eternity, and so should we: Hebrews 12:2-3(ESV)“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart”.
God draws us, He calls to us. He longs for us to come to Him so He can heal us. Often, we are unable to hear His call because we’re so busy with other things – our lives, our families, our work, our own problems and unhappiness. Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our need. And our deepest need is to be reconciled to God. Only then can we be made whole.
The solution can never come from our own efforts or striving, but comes only from Him. Only when we recognize our need for God are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus them on God and Jesus Christ. Only when we stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about what Jesus did for us can we begin to heal. Only when we admit our need and ask God into our life, can God begin to make us whole. Only when we confess that we are broken can God make us into what He wants us to be. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place.
During the final week of Jesus’ life, He was eating a meal, and “a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head” Mark 14:3(HCSB)3 While He was in Bethany at the house of Simon who had a serious skin disease, as He was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of pure and expensive fragrant oil of nard. She broke the jar and poured it on His head. The woman’s action of breaking the alabaster jar was symbolic of a couple of things: Jesus would soon be “broken” on the cross, and all who follow Him must be willing to be “broken” as well. But the result of such costly brokenness is beautiful, indeed.
Surrender to God and allow Him to make you whole, to give your life meaning, purpose and joy. Trust Him. Romans 8:28(ESV) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”.