4 Reasons to Give Thanks for God’s Redeeming Work by Dena Johnson Martin
I’m not sure I fully understood redemption until now. I know God redeemed us, purchased us with His blood to wipe away our sins. I know redemption comes in the form of paying for one thing with something else, such as Jesus Christ purchasing my life with His sacrifice on the cross. This redemption is a gift beyond any we could ever comprehend.
But there’s another redemption in God’s plan for those of us who love Him. It’s the redemption of the pain in this world, the blessings that come to those of us who love Him to repay us for our trouble and our pain. It’s the fulfillment of His promise that all things work for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). It’s the redemption of our past hurts, our past pains.
And that’s the heart of our good God, the One who loves us and redeems the hurts and pains of this life.
Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Zechariah 9:12
I am certain I could walk through scripture and find many examples of how God blesses His children with good gifts after they’ve walked through unbelievable trials. He promises beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), new mercies each morning (Lamentations 3:22). We know weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).
So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. Job 42:12a
Promises of redemption. Promises of repayment for the pains we experience. Promises of renewed life, renewed joy when the trials of this life are over.
As we enter the Thanksgiving season this year, I find my heart overflowing, overwhelmed with gratitude for the good gifts of my Father. I have found the joy of redemption for many years of pain. I wake up each morning reminded of His grace, His mercies in my life.
And I am more than thankful for the gift of redemption.
Ten years ago, I found myself walking through the most painful season of my life, a season marred by adultery and divorce. I struggled to find God, to hold onto my faith, in those dark and painful days. I almost lost my faith, threw it all away as I doubted how a God who could allow such pain into my life could truly be good.
This journey has been one of twists and turns, ups and downs, like a never-ending roller coaster that throws me for the most unexpected loops. Yet through it all I’ve found the one constant has been the faithfulness of my Father, the One who has been by my side every step of the way, the One who has changed me along the journey and given me a new life. He’s the One who has brought joy in the morning.
And this year? This year He brought complete redemption, a kinsman-redeemer who has stepped in and become that final puzzle piece. He’s the man who has chosen to love a middle-aged woman and her kids, the one who has promised to love us all through better or worse. He’s the one who has chosen to take me by the hand and walk with me through the rest of this life, to seek the Father’s face with me as we strive to make Him the center of our family.
Can I be honest? This redemption looks nothing like what I had imagined. But, it’s such an amazing journey, one for which I will be eternally grateful. Here’s what I’ve learned about God’s redemption.
God’s redemption is unexpected. For years, I prayed and waited, waited and prayed. I was firmly convinced so many times that I was right on the edge of the Promised Land, that His redemption was just beyond the walls of Jericho. I watched as walls fell and I waited to possess the long-awaited promise.
And yet, it didn’t happen.
Last year, I quit. Through the course of yet another unexpected trial, I just knew circumstances were not appropriate for me to look toward a future, a relationship. And it was in that most inopportune time that God showed up, brought along an unexpected relationship that blossomed and grew.
At the most unexpected time, God showed up.
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