rebelling against low expectations

God’s Answer to Life’s Brokenness


If you were to describe the state of the world today in one word, what would it be?

Lost? Misguided? Deceived? Blind? Sick? Hurting?

All of these are applicable in one way or another. But how about broken?

The Origin of Our Brokenness

As fallen human beings we live under the curses of sin outlined in Genesis 3:14-19. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden, humanity has lived in brokenness. As a result of a broken rule and a broken relationship with God, we are broken people with broken lives. We form broken relationships and broken cultures. We reside in broken societies in a broken world.

We know this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. When He made humanity, God created man and woman as His precious image-bearers, made to reflect the likeness of a perfect God. And He gave us a position of prestige in “dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen. 1:26).

When He made humanity, God created man and woman as His precious image-bearers, made to reflect the likeness of a perfect God. Share on X

So now we live in this conflict—we were made to be perfect, reflecting the glory of God, exercising rule and dominion over this world, but we live in brokenness. The image of God in us is marred by our sin, and we can hardly exercise dominion over ourselves, much less over the rest of the earth. The Apostle Paul tells us that “the whole creation groans … together until now,” mourning the current state we’re in (Rom. 8:22).

Recognizing This Struggle

In the middle of a written discourse on why and how Jesus is greater than the angels, the writer of Hebrews recognizes this struggle humanity faces. He addresses this in chapter 2. For a little bit of context, let’s start with verse 5.

In Hebrews 2:5, the writer begins a new line of argument, saying: “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.” Then he goes on to quote Psalm 8 to prove his point (vv. 6-8a):

“But one testified in a certain place, saying:

‘What is man that You are mindful of him,

Or the son of man that You take care of him?

You have made him a little lower than the angels;

You have crowned him with glory and honor,

And set him over the works of Your hands.

You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put

under him.”

Here’s his line of thought: “God hasn’t given the world to come to the angels. He hasn’t even given this current world to angels. Psalm 8 says that even though mankind is lower in status to the angelic beings, God ‘crowned him with glory and honor’ and ‘put all things … under his feet.’” And as if to emphasize the Psalmist’s words, the writer adds in the rest of verse 8: “And when he says, ‘all things,’ he means ALL things. Nothing is excluded.”

Then, this letter’s author makes a statement that summarizes the conflict we feel between the perfection we were made for and the reality of the brokenness in which we live. “But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (v. 8).

We should be living as perfect, problem-less people. There should be no disease, natural disasters, or pain. We shouldn’t have to face mental health problems, terminal illnesses, emotional turmoil, crime, abuse, oppression, corruption, and—worst of all—death. We shouldn’t have to face any one of these expressions of our brokenness. But we do. And we have no control over it.

But our brokenness doesn’t have the last word.

The Solution God Provided

We don’t see the world in the state it should be in. We don’t see humanity in the perfect image-bearing, dominion-exercising role it should have. We don’t see all things as they were created to be.

“But we see Jesus”!

We see Jesus, the greatest Man, who humbly took on a human nature, allowing Himself to temporarily become “a little lower than the angels” so that He might endure the “suffering of death” and in turn, “be crowned with glory and honor” (v. 9).

Why? “That He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (v. 9).

We see Jesus fulfilling Psalm 8 by humbling Himself “to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). He does this to conquer humanity’s greatest enemy and most evident sign of our brokenness—death—by solving the reason brokenness and death exist in the first place—our sin.

By paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus crushed death and every other form of brokenness we experience. And when He rose again, He rose victorious with “all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:8). And now, He freely offers this life-giving, brokenness-reversing power to every single person who calls to Him in faith.

Whatever forms of brokenness you face in your life, from sin to guilt, to pain to suffering, Jesus stands ready to receive and restore you. Share on X

So whatever forms of brokenness you face in your life, from sin to guilt, to pain to suffering, Jesus stands ready to receive and restore you.  He has suffered in our place that we, by God’s grace, might be made whole.

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About the author

Brian de Britto

is a college student currently working towards his Biblical Studies degree. He is actively involved at his church as a children’s ministry teacher, a youth group student leader, an interpreter, and an occasional preacher. Brian’s favorite things to do are reading, writing, drinking coffee, and traveling with his family.


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  • I love how you broke this down into simple, tangible bits of information. I have written, and read, on this topic quite a lot and I very much appreciate when it is done so both concisely and compassionately. Lovely article! ☺️

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →