I was eating dinner with a friend the other night, and as we were talking about our stories, these words came out of my mouth:
“You went through what you went through so that God could REDEEM it.”
I couldn’t help but realize that those words were straight from Heaven to my own heart, and exactly what I personally needed to hear. You know, some things that happen in our lives are unexplainable. Some things are just plain hard and sometimes, it is next to impossible to try and figure out how on earth they could ever turn out to be good. It actually can seem pretty hopeless.
I want to encourage whoever is reading this though, if you are willing to believe it, that there is a God who truly loves you, more than you know. The whole premise of our faith in Him is that He loved us enough to give His life for us and save us from ourselves. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Who else can reconcile the things that happen in life, but a Christian who knows the love of a redeeming God? To know without a shadow of a doubt that, if He allowed it, even if it happened according to our own faulty enacting of the free will He gave us (bad decisions and wrong choices), if He redeemed our very lives, He can and will redeem anything if we surrender it to Him.
If you put yourself in situations that led to where you are, or if horrible things have happened to you, our God is a God of redemption. What kind of love is this? A love that loves and redeems just because – for no other reason than that He has chosen to make you the object of His powerful affection. Do not condemn yourself to a life of hopelessness and discouragement because of your past choices or experiences. If you do not, “neither (does Jesus) condemn you” and He simply asks you to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). He can redeem every single thing that you have ever done or been through, and not only does He have the power to, but He actually wants to.
Our God is omnipresent – everywhere, all at once, He is omnipotent – entirely powerful, and He is omniscient – He knows everything that there is to know. He existed before time began because He actually created it. He was alone, in community with Himself, with need of nothing and no one. But He chose…He chose to create. To think that God is sovereign over the entire universe and He could do anything He wanted to. He could choose to create a planet of people that were consigned to loving Him and doing whatever He says, even though everything He says brings life and peace. He could create an empire for no other reason than to serve Himself, even though serving Him is the very purpose and beauty and fulfillment of our lives. But NO. Our God, the God above all other so-called “gods”, chose to create creatures with the free will to actually make the choice to love Him themselves. Not only did He do that with such love and generous freedom, but He then chose to lay His own life down as a perfect, redeeming sacrifice for the ones He loves, when we didn’t even exist yet to know that we needed Him at all. This is not a fairy tale, but this is real life. This is real love.
You may not believe this is true, but I personally refuse to believe that my story and my personal pain means nothing. If the greatest pain – complete and utter separation from God, has been redeemed once and for all, then how can every other thing that happens in life not be?
“For your Maker is your Husband—the Lord of hosts is His name—and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth He is called” (Isaiah 54:5).
I’m in love with the Lord because He is strong enough to handle my pain. He does not shy away from it in cruelty or in powerlessness. When I am in need of His comfort, He speaks. When I am desperate, and I open myself to genuinely hear from Him, I do. Many people think that God is silent, but while there are seasons in which we hear His voice more clearly than others, we can always hear Him by reading His word and seeking Him genuinely. He will always ultimately honor our seeking Him in desperation.
Although I have yet to see what it is He is doing, and what He is going to do with my story, I have to believe that He is still on the throne. He is my God, and in Him, I lack no good thing – even before I believe that what He’s given me is good yet (Psalm 34:10). He is the Redeemer of all things. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is the very definition of goodness, and I will choose to put my full faith in Him.
If He saved us for the love of redemption, will He not also delight in redeeming our current situation? He will. And He will do more than we can ask or imagine because He is a creative God of Redemption and Love.