“Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
“And he said unto them all, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.’” – Luke 9:23
“Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29

Have you ever been broken? I have. I was arrested and my wife left me and took our children. I lost my job, our beautiful house on the water, our cars, my freedom, my good name, my self-respect, and to top it off, I lost both of my parents in a boating accident. My every measure of success was gone. It was removed because I failed in life and hurt everyone I loved. I was shattered and believed that I was broken beyond repair.

Ironically, it was at my lowest point that I found life. The whole time I was journeying lower into the devil's pit, God was simply waiting for me to hit rock bottom so He could lift me up. Jesus calls the shattered, the broken, the poor, and the outcasts. You do not have to look too hard in the Bible to confirm this fact. God called the weak and hurting to be His prophets, and like His Father, Jesus called the weak and lowly to be His followers as well – fishermen, tax collectors, and sinners.

Contrast this pattern with the standards of the world where we are measured by our spirit and accomplishments. This is illustrated beautifully at our high school football games in Texas, if not in other states as well. On one side of the field, the fans holler, “we've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how about you?” In a competition of “spirit”, each side tries to outshout the other. The victor is the side who is loudest and the most determined in making themselves known. We are the best!

That is our society. We labor daily to shout out to the world, “Look at me. I have success! Look at my house, my car, my perfect family, my great job!” We end up possessing everything that this world says will make us happy, but we are still miserable. We run faster, harder, and hope that nobody can see our fear and misery. Our shouts of “we've got spirit...” are a facade to hide our brokenness.

Jesus is waiting for us when we hit rock bottom, are shattered, and has His hand imploring us to come to Him. He freely offers us the happiness, peace, and joy that we try so hard to obtain. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit....” and “let him deny himself, pick up his cross daily, and follow me.” Jesus does not need us to be strong and self-sufficient. He simply asks that we trust Him to be our strength and to guide our steps.

God has a plan for each of us. This plan will impact this world in unimaginable ways and will leave us joyful and fulfilled. But, greatest of all, God will give us everything required to fulfill His plan. We do not need to prove our “spirit”, we simply need to walk in His Holy Spirit. God must often allow us to be broken in spirit, so we can fully come to know that nothing good dwells in our flesh. We also must die to ourselves before we can claim God's deliverance in our life (1 John 2:15). We are, “more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). We may be broken, but we are remade by the Maker. We conquer by His love as we share with others who are broken. This world needs the truth that we do not need to have it all together, for His love will meet us right where we are where we are.

Whether you have not met Jesus or have been following Him for years, if you are hurting or broken, you are right where He needs you to be. Surrender to Him and your life will never be the same.