The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
The Lord has some really unusual ways to deal with people. He takes our worst traits and uses them to reach out to us in love. I distinctly remember something that happened to me just weeks before I was born again. Someone told me I was self centered and selfish in a conversation we were having. Even though I didn’t let on, the Lord used those words to deeply convict my heart. His Spirit confirmed to me that those words were true. Looking back now, I know the Holy Spirit was using that conversation to convict my heart of sin and prepare me for conversion. I finally realized I was a sinner in need of a Savior. It is the work of the Spirit to keep us broken and contrite. This happens has He continually convinces us of our need for His mercy. Here are some thoughts from Luther on today’s verse.
“We must learn that as Christians we have to live with death all around us, with regret and a trembling conscience—between the teeth of the devil and hell. In spite of all this, we must hang on to the message of God’s grace. Then in all circumstances, we can say, “Lord, you want only the best for me.” In this psalm, we read that God finds no sacrifice more pleasing than a broken heart. The tax collector exemplified this attitude when he said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). The tax collector offered the Lord the most desirable sacrifice, a broken heart that trusts in God’s mercy. This is a comforting way to think about God. God’s true nature is to love people who are troubled, have mercy on those who are broken-hearted, forgive those who have fallen, and refresh those who are exhausted. This psalm calls us to trust in God’s mercy and goodness alone. It encourages us to believe that God is on our side even when we feel abandoned and distressed.”
Maybe today you find yourself in one of the categories Luther listed. Are you troubled, His love is there for you. Maybe you have a broken heart, He heals our broken hearts. Maybe you have fallen and are overwhelmed with shame, His mercy is everlasting. Or possibly you are burned out and running on empty, there is refreshing strength that flows from His love. Mercy is falling, let’s humble ourselves and get under the downpour.