January 16, 2018

Not Ruined, But Redeemed

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 16, 2018

By Shana Schutte

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:20

I recently had a conversation with a woman who shared about her disappointments and specifically shared about her biggest heartbreak. While speaking about her troubles, she said, “That experience ruined my life.” Her comment saddened me.

I went home, crawled into bed, and her words rolled around in my heart and mind all night long. Sometime between wake and sleep, an answer came to my mind for her. “No, your life is not ruined. It’s redeemed.” I remembered that redemption is the absolute best way to choose to see all of life’s challenges lest we be overcome with utter despair.

The next day, inspired by my conversation with this woman, I wrote a letter to my eight-month old grandson in a book of letters that I am creating for him which he will receive when he is a young man.

“During life, you’ll experience lots of firsts. Some of them, you’ll choose. Some of them you won’t. Some will be thrust on you. Some will be delightful, some won’t.

You’ll experience firsts your entire life: the first time you laugh, walk, and sing a song. The first time you catch a ball, eat macaroni and cheese, and skip.

As you get older, your “firsts” will get a little more complicated. Like the first time a friend hurts you, or the first time a young woman you like doesn’t reciprocate your affections. (Oh, I would love it if this never happened to you!) My prayer is that your days would be filled with many joy-filled and delightful firsts.

But as much as your parents, or Grandpa and I would love to protect you from difficult firsts, we can’t. And, these firsts are important to shape you into the person God desires that you become.

But here’s a secret: Difficult firsts can turn out for your good. They can strengthen you. Or they can become a crippling thing that you never get past.

One way to guarantee that not only your difficult firsts, but all challenging or heartbreaking experiences in life, don’t rob your joy or cause you to become bitter and steal the life of your heart is to “reframe” them.

What I mean is, you choose to look at them through the lens of God’s redemption. You deliberately decide to see them as God sees them. Difficult? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. Challenging? Yes. Able to be redeemed and used for a greater good? Absolutely. This is the promise of Romans 8:28 ,“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

As you choose to see your struggles and life challenges in God’s redemptive light, then you may even begin to see them as a gift, experiences that have caused you to become more discerning, prayerful, compassionate, courageous, or kind. Only you have the power to decide how your struggles will shape you.

They can make you bitter, or they can make you better. Always choose better. You will be glad and those who know you will be glad too. There’s no telling the number of people you will be able to inspire by choosing this inner greatness. It’s the stuff that heroes are made of.

I love you.

Grandma”

So, what’s your greatest life challenge? How have you been choosing to see it? Are you viewing it through the lens of God’s redemption?

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8)

 

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you are working all things for my good and your glory. Help me to always see my life challenges from your perspective. Amen.

Application

Think about your greatest life challenge. Next, “reframe” it by thinking about it the way God thinks about it. What have you learned, not in spite of what happened, but because of it? How can you cooperate with God so it’s used for a greater good?

Related Reading

1 Peter 5:10; James 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:9

Post/Tweet today

In Christ, you have the power to decide how your struggles will shape you for better or for worse. #WisdomHunters #Redeemed

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