God does not discard broken people. He cherishes and values all people, even in their brokenness. With infinite love and patience, God seeks to heal, restore and transform broken lives. He can take our pain, failures, and shame and somehow turn them into something beautiful if we let Him.
Does God care about broken people?
Absolutely. God cares deeply about broken people and longs to bind up their wounds. His heart breaks over the pain and suffering in this world. The Bible says God is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). He is a loving Father who welcomes the prodigal son with open arms (Luke 15:11-32).
Jesus spent much of his time on earth among the marginalized and rejected – prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, the demon-possessed, widows, and orphans. He was criticized for keeping company with “sinners” (Luke 15:2). But Jesus looked past people’s sin and saw into their hearts. He valued them when no one else would.
The Lord cares deeply for the lowly, the wounded, and the needy. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God reaches out to bind up their wounds with His love and grace.
Why does God allow people to become broken?
There are several reasons why God may allow someone to become broken:
- To draw them to Himself. Hardships often prompt people to cry out to God. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67).
- To refine their faith. Difficulties test and purify our faith like fire refines gold. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith may result in praise, glory and honor” (1 Peter 1:7).
- To equip them to comfort others. Those who have suffered are better able to empathize with and support others in their pain. “Praise be to…the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- To display God’s power. God receives glory by transforming broken lives through His grace. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
While God does not cause all suffering, He allows it at times to accomplish His good purposes. He promises to walk closely with us through the darkest valleys.
How does God heal and restore the broken?
God uses many ways to bring healing and restoration to broken people who call out to Him, including:
- Prayer. Pouring out our hearts to God and crying out for help opens channels for God’s power and comfort (Psalm 62:8).
- His Word. The Bible is filled with promises and truths that bring hope, guidance and healing balm to wounding hearts (Psalm 107:20).
- The Holy Spirit. The Spirit comforts, renews, sanctifies and reminds us of God’s constant presence and love (John 14:26).
- Community. Supportive Christian community provides encouragement, prayer, guidance, and belonging (Galatians 6:2).
- Deliverance. God sets people free from destructive habits, addictions, demons, and other forms of spiritual oppression (Mark 5:1-20).
- Transformation. As we yield to God’s work in our lives, He conforms us to the image of Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
The Lord tenderly binds up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). He brings beauty from ashes, comforts all who mourn, and bestows on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:2-3). What seems ruined and devastated is made new and alive again by the Lord’s renewing power.
What are some biblical examples of broken people God restored?
Here are some examples from Scripture of broken people transformed by God’s healing power:
Once a humble shepherd, David became blinded by power as king and committed grievous sins of adultery, murder, and deception (2 Samuel 11). When confronted with his sins, David was broken and repentant before God (Psalm 51). Though he faced heavy consequences, God mercifully restored him. David remained close to God’s heart and went on to finish his reign in faithfulness.
Bold Peter swore allegiance to Christ but panicked and denied knowing Jesus three times when Jesus was arrested (Luke 22:54-62). Peter was devastated by his failures. But following Christ’s resurrection and ascension, Peter went on to become a pillar of the early church. Tradition holds that he later was crucified upside down, deeming himself unworthy of dying like his Savior.
The Prodigal Son
This rebellious young man squandered his inheritance on wild living (Luke 15:11-32). Reduced to eating with pigs and yearning to eat their food, he regretted his foolishness. Returning home penitent, his father welcomed him with open arms. Though the son had ruined his life, his patient father restored him fully with love, forgiveness, and celebration.
The Woman at the Well
This Samaritan woman came to the well at midday alone, likely because her shameful life as a serial divorcée made her an outcast (John 4:1-42). Amazingly, Jesus offered her living water of eternal life if she would turn from her old ways and worship Him in spirit and in truth. She became one of his very first evangelists.
A wealthy but short tax collector, Zacchaeus was so despised that he had to climb a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). Yet Jesus called him down and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home, embracing him despite others’ scorn. In turn, Zacchaeus repented and made amends for cheating people.
In each case, Christ’s love, grace and truth effected powerful transformation in broken lives.
What are some modern examples of God restoring broken people?
Here are a few recent examples of broken lives wonderfully redeemed by God:
- Nick Vujicic was born with no arms or legs, leaving him disabled and hopeless. After finding Christ, Nick has become an inspiring speaker, author, and founder of the nonprofit Life Without Limbs.
- St. Paul was a religious terrorist who imprisoned and killed Christians before dramatically converting to faith in Christ (Acts 9). He became one of the most influential missionaries and writers of the New Testament.
- John Newton was a cruel slave trader before converting to Christianity. He repented and became an Anglican clergyman, writing the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace.”
- George Foreman won an Olympic gold medal as a boxer before becoming addicted, depressed and destitute after his career ended. Through faith in Christ, Foreman recovered, became an ordained minister, and launched a multimillion-dollar line of cooking grills.
- Nelson Mandela endured 27 years of unjust imprisonment before becoming president of South Africa and leading reconciliation between whites and blacks.
These examples demonstrate that God can powerfully restore anyone who comes humbly to Him, regardless of their brokenness.
How should Christians respond to broken people?
We are all broken in different ways. When encountering those crushed in spirit, Christians can respond like Jesus by:
- Showing compassion through practical care by providing meals, rides to appointments, financial assistance, etc.
- Listening without judgment and offering emotional support during difficult seasons.
- Praying consistently for their healing, freedom, faith and restoration.
- Gently speaking biblical truths that encourage and give hope.
- Walking alongside them through the process towards wholeness.
- Celebrating each step of progress while extending grace in setbacks.
- Introducing them to a supportive Christian community.
- Lovingly holding them accountable to positive growth.
The most life-changing thing we can do is to introduce broken people to Jesus – the Wonderful Counselor whose salvation and restoration completely transform from the inside out.
God cherishes His children even in their brokenness. With infinite patience and love, He seeks to bind up wounds, impart worth, renew faith and bring redemption. By His Spirit, grace and truth, Christ can take what is shattered and make it whole, set the captive free, and turn weeping into rejoicing. Just as the master craftsman could see the potential in broken fragments of stained glass to make something strikingly beautiful, so the Lord takes ruined lives and fashions them into something amazing.
Rather than rejecting the broken, may we love them as Jesus did. As His hands and feet on earth, may we walk compassionately with the hurting, applying the balm of God’s comfort. And may we have faith in the reparing power of the One who gives beauty for ashes, turning lives devastated by sin into showcases of His grace.