A Devotion from Billy Graham – Broken Hearts, Mended Spirits
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Before I can become wise, I must first realize that I am foolish. Before I can receive power, I must first confess that I am powerless. I must lament my sins before I can rejoice in a Savior. Mourning, in God’s sequence, always comes before exultation. Blessed are those who mourn their unworthiness, their helplessness, and their inadequacy.
Isaiah, the mighty prophet of God, knew by experience that one must bow the knee in mourning before one can lift the voice in jubilation. When his sin appeared ugly and venomous in the bright light of God’s holiness, he said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man on unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” Isaiah 6:5).
We cannot be satisfied with our goodness after beholding the holiness of God. But out mourning over our unworthiness and sinfulness should be of short duration, for God has said: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and I will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Isaiah had to experience the mourning of inadequacy before he could realize the joy of forgiveness. If I have no sense of sorrow for sin, how can I know the need of repentance?
In God’s economy, a person must go down into the valley of grief before he of she can scale the heights of spiritual glory. One must become tired and weary of living without Christ before he or she can seek and find His fellowship. One must come to the end of “self” before one can really begin to live.
From Unto the Hills by Billy Graham (1986, Word Publishing)