Romans 8:28 (NASB), “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 shows that God can take a bad thing and see that good things comes from it. No matter what issues and challenges you are dealing with, or have gone through, the Lord can help you make lemonade from the lemons you have been given. But, we should consider the warnings, or failure to listen to His voice as He tries to get our attention before our world has crashed down on top of us, or, His comforting voice as we experience persecution, offense, or other hurts in our lives. He can make good out of anything; He also has an alarm system at His disposal if He has failed to get your attention early on – that of the crow of the rooster.
Proverbs 30:29-31 (NASB), “There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk: The lion which is mighty among beasts, And does not retreat before any, The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.”
Proverbs 30:31 shows us that the rooster is one of three creatures considered complimentary to the king, from the lowest to the greatest. Each of the “kingly” creatures are marked by confidence, they express it in their demeanor and their swagger as they walk in a room, and as they oversee their dominions. A rooster is proud and a rooster is cocky; but the Lord can use this. It is the roosters crow each morning that signals the rise of the sun; it also gets our attention and can wake us up if we are asleep.
Matt 26:74-75 “…Immediately a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
Peters arrogance and self-sufficiency was exposed at the moment the rooster crowed. He didn’t hear it from a human voice, but as soon as he heard that rooster crow he remembered his denials, and he was broken, and then he wept.
Psalm 34:18 (NASB), “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
There is something about brokenness that is attractive to the Lord. It’s weird to us “naturally” because it is opposite to us, we don’t like broken. We want everything to work and to be fixed, we are drawn to the proud, to those that are self-assured and confident, to those that have their act together. Why not God? Why does He oppose the proud and give grace to the humble? The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit.
James 4:6 (NASB), “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Jesus blesses the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and those who are persecuted. Paul says that his power is made great in weakness, not in his strength. He declares that he will boast gladly in his weakness so that God’s power will rest on him.
Matthew 5:3-6 (NASB), “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB), “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
What the heck is going on here? The simple answer is that the Lord is drawn to the broken because He loves us, and make no mistake, we are all broken. Every one of us are broken, though we may not recognize it, not yet anyway. We might be in a position in our life where everything is like Peter, we are pretty sure that we have our stuff together and since God grades on a scale, we are doing all right. That’s what we want to think, that God grades on a scale and that all we have to do is stay one step ahead of others.
Remember the story of two guys hiking in the woods and a bear comes upon them? One guy takes off his hiking boots and puts on his running shoes. The other guys calls him a fool and tells him that he can’t outrun the bear. The guy responds that he doesn’t have to outrun the bear, he just has to outrun him. But that is not how God gets us into heaven; He doesn’t grade on a scale.
So, there we are, we are sitting pretty, confident that we have our stuff together and that everything is going to be ok. In the military there was a saying, “My tents up,”; meanwhile, other soldiers are still building their own tents. Most of the time we are not actually cocky or walking around with a spiritual swagger, but, our arrogance does show up in the symptom of selfishness. We love God but we aren’t thinking about God. We’re just doing our thing and going our way; life is all about us. That is, until like Peter, we hear the Lord’s alarm system for ourselves, the crow of the rooster.
Peter was focused on himself, his abilities, his understanding, his self-discipline, and his religion; this even after Jesus had been personally teaching him for three years about pure humility and trying to make him understand that his relationship should be centered on Jesus. Peter didn’t get it, until that rooster crowed. And then, all of a sudden, he recognized what Jesus had been trying to tell him all along. He learned it that fast, just like that. Peter had a real life, one on one with Jesus Himself, yet he still missed it. None of us are immune to the human condition of pride and arrogance.
When Peter wept, he repented to the Lord; and when he returned to the other disciples, he encouraged them. Because Peter was now broken, God was going to use him; this is when the Spirit of God began to move in Peter. It would be a few weeks before Peter’s ministry began, but when it did, this is when Peter began his stellar servant leadership of the church. He’s humble now, no longer arrogant.
Psalm 147:3 (NASB), “He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds.”
James 4:10 (NASB), “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
The key is that before Peter could experience breakthrough in his life, something had to break in him first. God uses broken people, people like you and me, to heal people that are broken, just like you and me.
That same rooster that crowed for Peter, crowed in the early morning of the third day after Jesus died on the cross. The rooster is letting us know that He is alive and that His tomb is empty. And here we are, 2000 years later, fruit of Jesus resurrection.
God has a wonderful plan for all of us but something in us has to break first. God has a breakthrough waiting for each of us, in our spiritual life, in our relationship with Him, and more. But, like Peter, something has to break inside of us first.
We have something inside of us that God wants to let out, to pour out on others, an anointing with God’s unlimited potential for us; but we must break first or what’s inside of us cannot come out.
Unless we are broken, there’s no release for that breakthrough He has planned for us; our flesh, our pride, must first be broken. This is what Peter finally figured out after he heard the rooster crow. He realized that he had failed; however, he didn’t use his brokenness for an opportunity to quit, he used it to persevere.
How many of us can say that? Some of us will consider it the end, it’s over! We will put a few lessons learned into our backpacks – or rucksacks for my fellow brothers in arms – and close that chapter in our life. But Peter went back and he strengthened his brothers. Because he repented, God was able to use that brokenness in his life to make a difference in the church. He was a different man, a different leader, and a different friend. Because he let God use that brokenness in his life, He allowed God to minister through him. I, for one, do not want to ignore the crow of the Rooster.
Sometimes our arrogance is shown in our indifference, or our self-absorption. We come to church because we want something from God or we pray when it is convenient for us. But there’s a voice inside of you, trying to prevent you from destroying your life. We don’t always listen to that voice and we keep heading for disaster until we finally reach that place of brokenness and then, if we are listening, we hear the crow of the rooster.
We should be encouraging others before they hear the rooster, before their world crashes around them. We should want to hear the voice of the Lord today and open our hearts to Him.
Some people are broken by life, some are broken by circumstances, and some are broken financially. Whereas there are others that were broken by people that should have protected them or been with them in times of trouble.
But, no matter what, the Lord is close to the broken hearted and He saves those that are crushed in spirit. God is drawn to the broken, to every situation. He is drawn to those that need to be saved and rescued. Jesus Himself tells us to come to Him and He will give rest to our souls.
Matthew 11:28 (NASB), “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Not only will He heal you, but He will help you use that brokenness in your life. Don’t use your brokenness as an excuse to quit. Don’t give up on God, or church, or people. Don’t quit but humble yourself before the Lord. You’ll be surprised at what He can do.
Some are hearing the rooster crow, the cry of the Spirit, telling them to alter course or to change, but they are defying Him, saying to themselves “I got this, don’t tell me what do.” Don’t wait to go through what Peter went through. Peter had opportunities to learn well before the rooster crowed, but he was too hardheaded. Open your heart and listen for His call to make changes. Don’t wait until the world crashes around you or until you lose everything. Don’t wait for that rooster to crow.
People need to be rescued. They will not ask for help when they need it most because they are frightened by what they believe is a sign of personal weakness. They don’t see that something has to be broken before the good stuff can come out of them.