Loving people with the heart of Christ in the heart of Wabash.

Philippians 2:3-5

A Word to the Crushed

Can you imagine becoming king when you were eight years old? What second grader do you know who accepts responsibility for their own actions, let alone is ready to accept responsibility for an entire kingdom?

Intrigued as I am by Josiah’s early years as king, the moment that captures my attention is when he is 26. He instructs men to repair the Temple, and as they do so, they find a copy of God’s Law—something that has apparently been overlooked for decades, if not centuries. As Josiah hears God’s Words, he is broken with the realization that he and his people have not been following God’s ways and he tears his clothes in despair.

Have you ever been there? Ever felt crushed the weight of sin? Ever been afraid you’d never be able to get out from under it, never able to let it go and move forward? Live in that place for a moment. Cry out with David, “I am exhausted and completely crushed” (Psalm 38:8). It weighs on you, doesn’t it? Proverbs 18:14 says, “The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?”

Yet listen to what God says: “I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts” (Isaiah 57:15).

Life giving words, aren’t they?

God did that for Josiah. Josiah was sorry and humbled himself before the Lord. He tore his clothing and wept before God in repentance. And God declares, “I have indeed heard you.” Then—and this is beautiful—Josiah renews the covenant with God, pledging to obey God with all of his heart and soul. He oversees complete reform in his kingdom, removing articles used to worship other gods, tearing down shrines, getting rid of mediums and idols. “Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since”
(2 Kings 23:25).

Please realize that God does not do this for everyone. Only those who are humble. Only those with repentant hearts. We must come before Him, grieved by our sin, ready to walk away from it and turn toward God (2 Corinthians 7:10).

But friends, if we do that, God graciously meets us in that place of brokenness and sorrow. He restores our crushed spirits and revives our courage.

Those moments we can’t breathe because we’re crying so hard? He calms our hearts and breathes His precious life-breath into us. Those moments we can’t imagine getting out of bed and facing everyone? He gives us new courage—His courage—to get up, look people in the eye, try again, make changes, and start over. Just like Josiah did.

Is that you? Are you crushed? Afraid? I invite you to come with a humble and repentant heart before our compassionate God. He is ready to restore your spirit and revive your courage. The only question is, will you let Him do so?

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