One of the most central components of Christianity is the belief that by identifying ourselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be born again. “Saved” we call it. And although we are saved in a moment, we do not instantly become Christ-like. (In fact, without a great deal of prayer, Bible study and help from other Christians, we never will in this life become Christ like – but that’s a post for a different day).
If we claim to be a Christian, then we claim to have been redeemed. Where once we were spiritually dead and belonged to this world, we are now alive with Christ, born again in spirit, claimed by God forevermore. This act of redemption is powerful, and in terms of our salvation, once is all that is needed.
But God’s redeeming work does not stop there.
God not only wants to redeem our souls so that we can one day join Him in Heaven, He also desires to redeem our lives while we are here on this earth. Based on my observations, I wonder how many of us really understand that God is actively involved in the process of redeeming his creation in the here and now.
Whatever mistakes you’ve made, whatever weaknesses and failures that you are currently experiencing, God can take those and redeem them for His glory. A mistake need not be the end. A failure need not be forever. And a tragedy need not have the final word. Only God has the final word, and there is nothing that He cannot do.
Satan, our adversary, likes nothing more than to see us stumble and fall. He does everything in his power to cause it, in fact. But God, who is infinitely stronger and greater, likes nothing more than to take Satan’s most cunning schemes and turn them on their head so that they ultimately benefit His kingdom and His children.
I am certainly not saying that we should aim to fail, nor am I saying that a tragedy is really not tragic. Heartache and pain come to us all and as long as we live in this fallen world, we will all experience the consequences of sin. What I am saying is that our God is so great and so amazing that He can take our darkest moment and our worst nightmare and bring blessings and goodness from it.
God is still in the business of redemption and he specializes in bringing dead things back to life. Darkness cannot stand before Him and death and Hell have no power over Him. There is no moment or circumstance that surprises Him and there is no time that He is not in control and not actively working for the ultimate good of those He loves and calls His own.
Remember well, brothers and sisters: when we choose to allow our circumstances to defeat us and we become dismayed and bleak because of the trials of this life, what we are really saying is that we do not believe that our God is big enough to redeem even this. May we never deny His redeeming power!