Excerpts from the book
You stand with your broken rope in your hand, and all you can do is hurt. In the place of broken ropes you will either be drawn to God or you will walk farther and farther from Him. The broken ropes don’t cause either. Broken ropes reveal the true condition of your relationship to God.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden. As a result we must face a number of facts that make most people uncomfortable and that most people don’t like to consider.
First, because of the Fall, we live in a physical world where something is terribly wrong. Not only do people suffer as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience but the earth also suffers. Things are bent and wrong and the Bible says they won’t be put right until Jesus comes again. We have to live with the implications of a fallen world – natural disasters.
Second, sin is a part of a fallen world. Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” because of your sin nature, you aren’t perfectable. And your lack of perfectability will cause you all kinds of trouble. Not only does our own sin create a problem, but also the sin of others creates a problem with BRS (Broken Rope Syndrome). The world is made in such a way that you suffer for others’ sin.
Third, the reality of death.
1 Corinthians 15:56a — For sin is the sting that results in death,
The Bible teaches that God created the world that He might be glorified. Once you understand that, you have the key to living and dying.
God has created the world for His reasons and not for ours. If the world doesn’t make us happy, it’s good to remember that the world wasn’t created to make us happy. If things are not to our liking, it’s good to remember that things were not created to be to our liking.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 NKJV)
God loves you a lot. If God loves you it isn’t because He has to love you. If He’s going to help you with your broken ropes it isn’t because He has to help you with them.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
(1 John 3:1 NKJV)
First, because God loves you and values you, your broken rope has a purpose. God is fulfilling His purpose in you. You can’t get from here to there without hurt. The only way to make significant progress is to endure some significant suffering and pain.
Your tragedy and hurt is fulfilling a just, right and proper purpose. What is that purpose? Sometimes we are missing the one thing we would like to know–what is God accomplishing through our suffering? Sometimes we’re allowed to see the reason for our pain. But there are other times when we simply have to trust that God loves us and that He knows what He’s doing.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)
Remember that if God loves you, nothing is happening to you without a significant, important and loving purpose. God promises that, though it may hurt now, there will come an end, and you will not ultimately be destroyed.
J. Oswald Sanders wrote, ”God does not waste suffering, nor does He discipline out of caprice (a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one’s mind). If He plows, it is because He purposes a crop.”
Broken ropes allow the fire to purify us and allow us to know what Paul meant when he said we are crucified with Christ.
God is very practical and He doesn’t leave His people helpless.
Honest prayer (telling God the truth) can really help when your rope has broken. If you are angry and hurt, don’t tell God that you love Him. He knows you are lying. Don’t tell Him that you know He is doing whatever He is doing in your life for a good reason. He knows you don’t believe that for a moment. Tell Him the truth. He is maybe the only Person in the world who can absorb everything you hand out and understand why you do it and still love you.
Honest fellowship, being real with each other. When your rope breaks, you need Christian brothers and sisters who are earthy enough to hear your fear, hurt and sin without giving you some kind of spiritual party line. When God’s people are honest with one another, His Spirit is always present.
Honest Bible Study, reading beyond the “Spiritual.” The Bible not only portrays the lives of people who, like us, dealt with broken ropes but also shows us the best way to deal with broken ropes–that is, we can change the situation if possible, and if not, we accept it with grace and power.
Honest action, doing what needs doing. Scripture challenges us to run the race, to fight the fight, to wrestle with angelic powers. Our first reaction is often apathy and depression. We want to go away and do nothing. Sometimes, however, we should act.
Too much sympathy can debilitate a Christian. Sometimes the best remedy for a broken rope is to tie the knot and to keep on trucking.
Honest relinquishment, accepting what God give you. The Bible is not fatalistic. The principle is positive relinquishment. Whenever something comes into your life that you cannot change or avoid, accept it as coming from the hand of your loving Father. Do you have to like it? Of course not.
Honest victory, celebrating when you get things right. Not only was Paul honest when he messed up, but he was honest when he did things right. Failure, sin, tragedy and relinquishment are realities, but God still answers prayers. He still mends broken ropes.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV)
When things get better, don’t waste a bit of what you’re going through. Take what you learn from your broken rope and help those who are still in the thick of it. That may be the reason your rope broke in the first place.
You stand with your broken rope in your hand, and all you can do is hurt. You’d like to run away, to deny the reality you’ve known.
Make sure your relationship with God is strong so that, when the rope breaks, you will have built a foundation of faith. I call it being prayed up.
The story of Daniel is not given to us to illustrate how God delivers people from lions. The story shows how a man of God should face lions.
God’s call is for a daily walk with Him, which prepares you for the test when it comes.
Disney-World Christianity may work in a world where everything is clean and fun and right. But it simply won’t work in a world where there is disease, death and heartbreak. You’ve got to have a tough faith for a tough world.
Your rope can break and you may not have done anything wrong at all. Some broken ropes occur because that’s the way the world works.
One of the great problems with broken ropes is the inevitable discouragement which follows. One of the keys to dealing with discouragement is found in Hebrews 12:1-3.
Hopelessness is the twin sister of discouragement. No Christian need ever feel hopeless, because we have the choice of looking to Jesus rather than at our circumstances.
Sometimes broken ropes are so devastating, it’s hard to look at anything except the broken rope.
One of the marks of discouragement is the “feeling” that God has gone away—that you aren’t important and that you’ve been kidding yourself about your relationship with Him.
In your dealing with discouragement, knowing Bible doctrine is essential because it gives you eternal truths, facts that are constant in spite of what your feelings are at any particular moment.
Broken ropes and the accompanying discouragement remind us that this life isn’t the way it ought to be.
One of the most terrible things about broken ropes is the perplexity involved. Questions are inseparable from broken ropes.
God has given us minds that are hard to turn off when the rope breaks. Aside from the hurt and the anguish, we ask honest, intellectual questions.
Broken ropes create an emotional perplexity that corresponds directly to our emotional involvement in the situation.
The emotional perplexity we feel is sometimes as great or greater than the reality of the broken rope itself.
For the believer who doubts and questions there is always acceptance.
The only requirement Jesus ever made for His presence and help was our honest, verbalized need.
Too often we think God won’t love us if we bring our questions to Him, so we allow the questions about our broken ropes to drive us away from Him.
If you will take the time to look carefully when your rope breaks, you will see that the broken rope is not the only reality. There is light at both ends of the tunnel. If you remember the light, the times He has said yes to your prayers, the times you have known His presence, the ways He has helped others through you in the past, the hurts He has healed, and the times He has bound up your broken heart, you will find enough encouragement to keep on keeping on.
Wounded healers are the only kind God uses to do His work.
The place of broken ropes will not always exist.
God meets us in places we don’t expect. Because this is a fallen world, He meets us at the place where we all must live at one time or another, the place of broken ropes.
If you want to meet God, you almost always have to go to the place of broken ropes.
The best place (maybe the only place) to learn how to deal with someone else’s hurt is to be hurt yourself.
In the place of broken ropes you will either be drawn to God or you will walk farther and farther from Him. The broken ropes don’t cause either. Broken ropes reveal the true condition of your relationship to God.
At the place of broken ropes, you will find hope. It is a hesitant hope. Sometimes it is hard to find in the midst of the tears and the pain, but it is there.
We can’t cover up the reality of broken ropes. The Bible presents the unpleasant fact of broken ropes. But there is more—the hope of heaven and the light to come. You will always find the “more” at the place of broken ropes.