He saves the crushed in spirit

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

by Rosie Adle

In the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers listed inalienable rights, one of which was the pursuit of happiness. They couldn’t guarantee actual happiness, but they aimed to protect the right to pursue it. And do we ever!

You’ve probably heard someone say, “I deserve happiness.” That’s a common line of thinking. Sheryl would crow at us, “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.” As citizens of the United States of America, happiness has been our bread and butter since way back, yet the rates of depression and suicide show that we are sadly facing a shortage of this bread.

Founding fathers aside, let’s consider what our heavenly Father would have for us.

Christ taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This means everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, as Martin Luther explained. Does that include happiness? Hmmm …

We may pursue happiness within the reasonable curbs of the Law, but sometimes we are dished up a portion of bread that makes us unhappy. Scripture says there are times when we are given the bread of adversity and the water of affliction.

In times of unhappiness, we might grab at a happiness that is not meant for us. This is coveting. We might justify our sin by saying God wants us to be happy. This is idolatry. Sin is our bread and butter.

What might we say, then, in the face of unhappiness?

First, we are loved. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Jesus loves me. He also loves you.

Second, we are humble. The Lord is with us, not because we deserve happiness, but because He is merciful and gracious to us, poor, miserable sinners. 

Third, we are grateful. We thank God for the gifts of pastors, deaconesses, counselors, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, friends, and others to help us when our unhappiness is unbearably deep and wide. Mental wellness is needed for the support of the body, and the Lord provides it through “good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”

Fourth, we are hopeful. We pray for happiness, crying out in the same breath, “deliver us from evil.” We long for the place that the Lord is preparing for us, where the feast will be one of lasting joy. The former things — the adversarial bread and afflicted water of this unhappy world — will have passed away. Those things are here for a time, but not for eternity. Come, Lord Jesus …

Deaconess Rosie Adle is an online instructor for the distance deaconess program of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. She is co-author of LadyLike: Living Biblically.

The Lutheran Witness — Providing Missouri Synod laypeople with stories and information that
complement congregational life, foster personal growth in faith, and help interpret the
contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.

3 Responses to He saves the crushed in spirit

  1. Jen August 16, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Thank you!

  2. Sallie Sauer August 16, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    Yeah, God!!! and thank you Rosie. (I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I used to attend Cross for a number of years and your folks loved me unconditionally….

  3. Twyla August 17, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Jesus our joy and Redeemer. If only the whole world could believe.

LCMS News & Information