Author of Book: Charles Stanley
Date Read: August 13, 2023

Book Report

How can we be broken and blessed at the same time? A question I have constantly asked myself. It seems contradictory to say I’m both. We are constantly bombarded with hardships. Health issues, struggling to pay the bills, failed marriages, or just life in general. How do we remain strong in our faith? The author offers his insight on these questions along with beautiful pictures of nature that he has taken. “Affliction acts as spiritual fertilizer on a believers faith,” the author says, “and it can enrich our hearts and spirit.” Broken and blessed. These two words don’t seem to go together. It is possible to be both? God is changing what we desire far more than giving us what we desire. ” Not my will, but yours be done” Luke 22:42. To receive God’s very best, we must be willing to submit our whole life to him. Growth is a process, that includes setbacks, failures, hard lessons, and brokenness. When we face hard times we often ask “Where is God?” We try to assign blame by saying, “the devil caused it, or God caused it.” The likelihood is that the devil caused and God allowed it. God’s love for us causes Him to discipline us when needed. God’s purpose in this is to lead us to confront, remove, or change habits, attitudes, and beliefs that keep us from growing unto the likeness of Christ. God’s way of discipling us is a means of refinement. Think of a father that lets his child experience something in order to learn from it. If we believe Romans 8:28 to be true, we must believe it to be true for all circumstances in our lives. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Jesus said “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24. The author describes how we go through the many trials so that we may be shaped into a born again spirit. Why would God require something to die in order for it to be made alive? We only have bread because the grain has been crushed into flour. We only have salvation because Jesus allowed Himself to be crushed by the weight of sin. We have productive and useful lives because God has crushed our self-will. We must die as Christ died on the cross in order to live. So our prayer must be like the same one Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39. As long as we insist on writing our own story, He cannot write His living will onto our hearts. As long as we govern ourselves, He cannot be our sovereign King and Lord. We will constantly face struggles in this fallen world. Jesus promised His followers, “In this world you will have trouble,” John 16:33. We are so focused on wanting to maintain control of our own life that we lose sight of what God wants for us. Think of Job, Moses, Samson, Joseph, and David. All these men were “Broken”. This movement along the path from where we are to where God wants us to be, which is total surrender to Him, is called spiritual growth. Spiritual growth has three aspects: Change, growth, and brokenness. Holding on to old ways, old ideas, old feelings, or old concepts about God, the Holy Spirit, or the Christian life prevent you from changing. Situations cause growth. We must be willing to give everything to God. We must be wiling to be broken, to change, to grow. God targets the areas of our character that need to be broken. Attitudes, habits, relationships, desires and anything that goes against what God wants for us are subject to being broken. It is written “you can not serve two masters” I understand that I am in need of being broken to be built back up. God allows us to follow the paths of sin that we have chosen. We are brought to the place where we are forced to say “okay God, I’ll do it your way.” Sometimes God will use our enemies to persecute us or pressure us until we give Him our full attention. The most important thing to remember is that we are Broken not destroyed. I am guilty of running away from God. Thinking foolishly that I could resist His claim on my life. I am very strong willed and have trouble yielding. Our rebellion brings God’s immediate response. The storm rages in our lives. The author goes on to say that God has three calls on our lives. First is the call to salvation and repentance: to accept faith that Jesus Christ’s shed blood was the atoning death that brings about the forgiveness of our sins. Second is the call to sanctification or separation. God calls us to live totally committed to Him so that sin no longer reigns in our lives. Third, God issues a call to service. This call may be to serve Him in our home, in our profession, missions, volunteer work, or any number of other areas. We rebel against God by several roots. Fear, force of will, force of mind, pride, all these things keep us from letting God take control. Charles Stanley hit it home for me when he wrote: Brokenness brings us to the place where we say “all that matters is God and His presence in my life.” As Christians we are called to walk like Christ. The closer we draw near to God the fruits of the spirit are present in us. These are described by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 and reflect the character of Jesus Christ. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. So what is a blessing? A blessing is a gift from God. This is not necessarily a psychical thing, although it can be sometimes. These blessings are so much more than that. The author describes the Five great blessings from brokenness: Understanding God better, Increased compassion for others, Greater zest for life, Increased awareness of God’s presence, and Understanding ourselves better. God will not abandon us. He will not give up on us. There is but one condition on the blessings that he has for us. We must be willing to submit fully to Him. The author ends the book with a prayer and the final sentence is: Break us, dear Father, so that you might mold us into the image and likeness of your son, our savior, in whose name we pray AMEN.

1) Why I chose to read this book?
This book was given to me by a Christian brother that I met here in Lompoc. Dr. Charles Stanley has been apart of my life since childhood. Not only is he one of my Dad’s all time favorite pastors, he is now one of me and my wife’s as well. I have always asked the question: How can I be broken and blessed at the same time? God has a way of putting people in your life just when you need them.

2) What did I take from reading this book?
I understand that I must be broken so that I can be rebuilt. I will commit my life to Christ so that I can receive all the blessings meant for me. I have ran away for far to long. I’ve always wanted to be in control of my own life and my way has never worked out. I understand that the old me must “die” in order for the me that God has envisioned to live. I am fully dedicated to serving God and doing what’s right. I will make amends to my God, my family, and my country by serving others, taking care of my family, and being a successful contributing member of society.

3) How will this book contribute to my success upon release?
This book has helped open my eyes and given me a new motivation to devote my life to being the man that God has envisioned me to be. I will keep my focus on my family, my faith, and my personal and spiritual growth. I understand the importance of letting God take the reigns so that He can work through me. I am fully committed to taking care of my beautiful amazing wife Sheila and giving her the life she deserves. This book has helped open up my heart to help me focus on what I need to do to succeed.

Thank you for all that you do and God bless.
Jarrod Copeland