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Tell the Story

Some Days are Tough!

Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story.” I think one of life’s greatest moments is when you realize that everyone’s story is a story of redemption. By redemption, I mean that my life was heading in a direction that was not workable until God got a hold of it and turned it into something else far better. The Psalmist presents four categories of stories that need to be told:
“Some wandered in desert wastelands . . . They were hungry and thirsty” (v. 4-5) These are the disadvantaged among us. They find themselves with limited opportunity, limited training, and limited hopes. It is easy for them to get discouraged and bitter toward life. Among the poor and disadvantaged, however, are those who find unexplainable hope. They discover the permanent love of God amidst their temporary suffering and reflect a supernatural hope that gives them energy, determination and a positive outlook. It is a miracle every time it happens and the stories need to be told.
“Some sat in darkness.” (v. 10) These are the ones living among us who have been abused and mistreated. If you are willing to see it, you will quickly realize that we are surrounded by people who have been sexually abused, physically beaten, and emotionally tormented by people who were supposed to love them. When this gets mixed with bitterness (which is understandable) the victim gets locked in a dark world of despair and self-destructive behavior. It would not surprise any of us if everyone who has been through these unimaginable experiences lived defeated lives but some rise up. They discover the love of God. They find the will to forgive. They experience the miracle of healing that the Holy Spirit can perform in the human heart and they gain confident compassion to help others who have had to walk the same dark road. It is a miracle every time it happens and the stories need to be told.
Some became fools through their rebellious ways (v. 17) This one explains itself. There are lots of people running around who have made a long series of bad decisions that have created a foolish lifestyle. They may be too proud to have any real friends. They may be addicted to a substance that rules their lives. They may be so short-sighted in their decisions they have ruined every relationship and every opportunity that ever presented itself. Left to themselves, these people will continue to deteriorate until they have nothing. But, some of them experience a breakthrough. At the bottom of life, they find the giver of life. They humbly admit their inadequacies, cling to their Savior, and rebuild until their former life is a dim memory. It is a miracle every time it happens and the stories need to be told.
Some went out on the sea in ships.” (v. 23) These are the people who set out in their careers with great hopes and dreams. They are hard working and focused. Along the way, however, their best efforts prove inadequate and things either come up short or come apart. It is described in this Psalm as “the waves of the sea became so furious,” so that the men “reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.” (v. 27) These moments often devastate people who have put their best efforts and their only resources into a pursuit they expected would succeed. When it fails, or falls short, they become discouraged, their families suffer the consequences and their confidence often gets shattered. The response is often either bitterness or the loss of will to venture out again. The challenges seem too big since the obstacles are out of their control. In the midst of all this, however, people rise up who find their real purpose as a result of the failures. Business people seek to make money so they can support ministries and give to those less fortunate. People locked in jobs they don’t like find the courage to venture out into more satisfying pursuits. Financial shortfalls and career failures ought to discourage us but for many it is the catalyst that helps them discover their God-given dream. It is a miracle every time it happens and the stories need to be told.
What is your story of redemption and who would benefit from hearing it?

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