Yesterday, our church hosted a group called Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. Their core purpose is to help people break the grips of addiction through the basic understanding that they are a child of God and that He has a purpose for their lives. 50 strong, they filled the front of our congregation, spoke testimonies of God grace and deliverance and literally brought our church to tears.
Before their first song, one of the folks said in their testimony, “You don’t know where you are if you don’t know where you’ve been.” We all nodded in agreement. Then they sang a song named “Redeemed.” (Redeemed means to be retrieved or purchased back).
As their full voice choir sang the chorus, I couldn’t help but think, These people have been in places so dark that they truly know the power of redemption. They know the beauty of going from death to life and they understand the difference.
When you’ve been so lost and so broken for so long, redemption seems so out of reach. Freedom seems unattainable and hopelessness rules the day. But when God sends someone – a friend, a relative, a stranger – to speak words of truth or to get you help, the light of redemption is overwhelming, the love of God in Christ is breathtaking and the contentment of the Holy Spirit forces your face to cut a smile.
You have been redeemed. You have been set free. The chains of hopelessness, depression and death have been unlocked. God is real and He holds out His hand of peace to you and to me.
As I drove home, I realized that while my life has never been hopeless, God is still in the business of redeeming the lost parts of my life and setting me free.