Finding peace in Redemption
I thought that at this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Redeemer, it might be a good time to write a little about a spiritual truth that has been close to my heart the last several years; redemption.
We know Jesus is our Redeemer, the Savior of our souls, but there are great depths to the redemption that we have in Him every day of our lives. This is why we can find comfort, hope, faith and peace in pain and trial.
To buy or pay off
To buy back
To discharge or fulfill
To make up for; make amends for
To obtain be release or restoration of
It was striking me today how we put our faith in Christ for the redemption of our eternal souls, and yet it is still hard to trust Him in our daily difficulties and the problems we face in life.
With God redemption is unique in that He knows all and has always known all. Before the foundation of the world He had our plan of redemption in place. While we were in darkness, while we were lost without any foresight on our own, He redeemed.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,”. Ephesians 1:4-5
Isn’t it somewhat the same when we find ourselves in bad situations in life? We have no foresight as to what to do, or whether the trial will end, or what the purpose of our suffering is, or how to better our situation.
But our greatest comfort can be found if we understand that everything is now under the covering of His redemption.
“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
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”. James 1:2-4
One of the hardest things in our walk is to be joyful in trials. I used to think that this verse was about just putting on a good attitude because God is good. But it is so much more than that. Firstly we can consider it all joy because we know that God is working to purify and refine our inner man, and He is much more concerned with who we are becoming in Him than earthly wealth or comfort. But also (and this is where we have to get out of our own headspace) He is working on and in everyone around you as well, and may be using you to do it.
“who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ”.. 2 Corinthians 1:4-5
How much more are you touched by the testimony of someone who has gone through, or is in the midst of suffering who holds steadfast to their faith, than that of someone who seems to float with ease through life? God uses people mightily who He has called to go through trials.
Back to the promise of redemption; I am going back to the promise we have that ALL things work together for the good of those who are in Christ. This is huge! And it doesn’t mean menial gains and comforts. It means that everything that you do…before and after knowing Him, every mess up, every disaster, every hardship, pain, trial, mistake, crisis and suffering has the absolute promise of being redeemed for a greater glory. Wow.
This promise has great comfort for those that have been suffering long-term with illness and trials, myself included.
Up until about a year and a half ago I had been holding onto a lot of grief and loss; loss of my youth, loss of all the things in life I have not done and not had the opportunity to do, loss of so many years of my life that felt wasted by illness and apathy. Even though God had taught me so much, refined me and built me over the years, I was still grieving. Until He showed me that every day I spent looking backwards and mourning was another day I gave over to it.
Also by focusing on loss I was not giving God my full surrender and recognizing His plan for redemption in my life over everything that I felt was a “waste”. Because there is no waste in the kingdom of God.
The things we have been through and experienced are unique to us, and no one can have our ministry and our story. Redeeming what we have been through is not a possibility or a probability, it is an absolute promise and is ours to own with dogged tenacity.
It may be hard if you are still in the midst of suffering and can see no end. But it is comforting that even if you are lying in bed and in pain and don’t know when it will end, you do know that God without question has something in it for you and for others.
This is true:
What we have in Christ is a promise in every problem.
A blessing in every difficulty.
Hope in every trial.
These aren’t maybes, they are absolutes.
Sometimes we just need a little paradigm shift and as one of my favorite teachers Graham Cooke says “if we aren’t seeing things the right way we need a lens change”.
Nothing is ever wasted, ever.