Making Redemption Personal

Gwen Smith Broken into Beautiful, Devotions, Forgiveness, Freedom, Grace, Grief, Healing, Knowing God by Name, Peace, Salvation, Trials, Trusting God, Worship 6 Comments

God can restore any life. It’s true. I say this with confidence because I’m a girl who’s experienced His restoration in deeply personal ways.

When I was in college, I loved Jesus, but I loved my own plans more than the ones laid out in His Word. I played Hokey Pokey with my believing and my behaving and it wrecked me big. To the extent that I wasn’t sure if God could, or would even want to, forgive me.

Ultimately, I learned this: no matter how broken life seems, Jesus restores and redeems. It’s who He is. It’s what He came for. From the garden to the grave, the Lord woos with a love that heals.

In the beginning, when rebellion collided with perfection and darkened the hearts of humanity, God set in motion a plan of redemption. His plan was Jesus – the one who gives beauty for ashes, comfort for mourning, and freedom to the shackled.

Scripture introduces us to a guy who experienced God’s redemption in deep ways. His name was Job. Job was a good man. I mean a really good man. No joke – the Bible says so! This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1b). He lived life the right way. He honored God, loved his family and was both faithful and patient. Good man.

You’d think that because Job was such a standup guy, he’d pretty much have a cake life, right? SO not right. Let me just say this: good-guy-Job went through some stuff. We are talking major big-league stuff.

He had it all and then lost it all: his children, his wealth and his health. Gone. In a blink.

Don’t just skim over that last sentence. This man lost his children. They died.

All ten of them… at the same time.

I can’t even fathom the thought of losing one of my children, let alone all of my children. Job knew broken on levels most of us will never come close to knowing.

He knew ashes. He knew mourning. He knew darkness. He knew weary.

On the front end of the pain He had faith. Big faith. He gave God the benefit of the doubt. He held on to his integrity, accepted his circumstances and blessed the name of the LORD in spite of the horror he endured. And he worshiped! Can you believe he worshiped?

Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing
(Job 1:20b-22).

Job went through loss after loss, test after test and friend-with-bad-advice after friend-with-bad-advice who spoke condemnation instead of comfort. All that and his wife wanted him to “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9b) Nice.

Job was in anguish (Job 6:2, 7:11). Understandable! He wanted to die because the pain was so unrelenting (Job 6:9-10). He called out to God and asked Him to reveal where he had gone wrong. Then he repented of the sins he knew he had committed.

He lamented, stomped his feet a bit, got a smidge sassy and frustrated with God, and he wondered if God cared. Then God answered his complaints, corrected his heart, and set the wheels in motion for one of the most amazing shows of redemption the world has ever seen.

God shined light into his darkness – spoke gladness to his mourning – and brought beauty to his ashes. He redeemed Job’s life from the dark pit of broken. After which Job humbly and whole-heartedly worshiped the Lord with a heightened reverence.

Following the healing, Job worshiped God as his Redeemer. He was the first in Scripture to ever call God his Redeemer. For I know that my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25).

God also calls Himself our Redeemer in Scripture. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob (Isaiah 60:16).

God is all about redemption. His love for humanity runs deeper than the deepest recesses of our depravity. The love of God runs farther than your past – higher than your disappointments – wider than your heart wounds and deeper than a cavernous pit of depression. And His plan of redemption is for every person – no matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what you’ve done.

Where are you with the redemptive grace of Jesus?

Are you ready to exchange your ashes for His beauty? What would that look like for you?

Let’s call out to Him as Redeemer and confess our messes to the Lord, choosing to receive His healing love that restores all the broken.

 

Dear Lord,
My Redeemer, I’m here. I’m still. Please reveal anything in my heart that needs restoring. (Pause to listen and reflect.) I confess these sins to You: ________________ and I ask that You remove them as far as the east is from the west. Thanks for restoring me with Your grace.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read and pray through Psalm 25.

Where do you find yourself when it comes to the redemption of Jesus?

Have a beautiful, grace-filled day, friend.
GWEN

 

PS. We dropped a new Graceologie Podcast episode yesterday with Lara Casey! Here’s some of what we talk about:
Women often feel like they have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life. Instead they feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and exhausted as they figure out how to do it all. Lara offers this advice: “We can’t do it all, and do it well. But, we can choose to cultivate what matters.”

If you find yourself needing a fresh reminder that the Creator of the wildly massive universe is also the God of personal redemption, restoration and even God of the impossible, then you’re gonna love this episode with Lara.

Also, I had a great conversation last week about angels, art and the beauty of worship with my friend Anne Neilson on the latest Graceologie Podcast episode. Give it a listen on my website or on you podcast app!

 

Comments 6

  1. Girlfriends in God is my daily bread, I am in a very hard season financially rising children alone to my house being locked to going without food but every day I don’t miss to read every article and I find hope to continue with this journey of faith.
    May the Lord sovereign bless you, keep and continue to inspire you to bless His people.

    1. Post
      Author

      Oh Florence, this current season sure is tough. Praying for you now, friend. Thanks for doing life with me.

      Blessings in Christ,
      GWEN

  2. Thank you for this awesome ministry, now more than ever I need Jesus and so does our country. I need to be a beacon of truth, compassion, and grace, not negativity and jealousy I am so sorry for taking everything for granted. I am crying out to you Lord, please hear my prayer.

  3. I love the prayer. When we pray for God to reveal anything in our heart that needs restoring instead of asking at the end of the prayer “Thanks for restoring me with Your grace” you can ask. What would you like to replace in my heart. I have found that when God replaces something that wasn’t supposed to be there. Such as pain or sin and I ask him to take it. I repent and ask for forgiveness. Maybe there was bitterness there. Ask him what do you want to replace it with? It makes his answer so much more intimate and personal. He wants to restore us and fill us with all that’s good from him. So next time instead of telling him what to restore you with. Ask him what do you want to replace in me. Maybe he’ll say. Peace or maybe he’ll say grace bit when you hear the answer from your saviour. You’ll never forget it 🙂

  4. I am overcome with peace having read this blog and fully comprehended the significance and implications and therefore embracing and receiving God’s redemption. I have been really really struggling and striving and labouring and trying to control my life. It has been a really heavy burden, but this morning ai am resting in my redeemed state and trusting Hod as David prayed in Psalm 25. That is whole heartedly my prayer.

    Thank you GIG. Blessings.

  5. If I live to be one hundred I will never forget what being hungry feels like! And I love Job
    ” oh but my words were written, engraved with an iron pen in stone” loosely quoted but, little did Job know, that his words were written, his testimony lives on! These words were my key, when ever I had doubts, problems, and there were many, I remembered, that “my Redeemer lives” And just like Job, God has blessed me, by providing and giving! it wasn’t easy, not by a long chalk, but trusting in His love and blessings, will work, it may take time, but it’s so worth the hanging in there! God loves and wants the best for us, no matter what world does to us!

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