“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” – Proverbs 15:13
When we have joy in our heart it shows. We can see a person has joy by the look on their face, the sound of their voice, even in the way they walk. The joy of the Lord, unfettered by burdens, will show in a myriad of ways. And even in the midst of difficulties joy will show itself in some way, as a resiliency or faith in God’s goodness.
In the same way, brokenness will permeate a person’s whole being. It goes beyond a sad look, and reveals itself in a person’s voice, their walk and their conversation.
This proverb describes the person who has suffered a great hurt, or perhaps a series of hurts that have resulted in brokenness. They are crushed, wounded in spirit. It is not a light thing which passes, but an enduring sorrow which leaves them broken.
Yet, brokenness can lead to usefulness in God’s hands so long as we seek Him for help and healing. Sometimes brokenness is necessary for a believer’s life. The Psalmist in Psalm 119 speaks repeatedly of the benefits of afflictions in his life. Peter had to be broken before he could be used in any great way. Paul had to endure a state of brokenness to remain humble.
Spurgeon blessed the wave that caused him to crash upon the Rock, Jesus Christ.
But we should be careful to never be the cause of someone else feeling broken. Believers have a weighty responsibility to edify, to build up, to leave other Christians feeling stronger and better than when they found them. We need to strengthen and comfort one another.
Brokenness may come, but let us not be the cause, but the help.