This past Sunday didn’t go the way I’d hoped. After years of not feeling like I belong with others at church, I finally have a group of friends that I can sit with during church. Of course, not everyone shows up each time, but we have an agreed-upon place to sit to find each other easily.
Having not just friends but Sisters in Christ, has been evidence of God’s love for me. For years, I’d been selfish and insisted on doing things my way. I threw away relationships and focused only on myself until there came a time when I didn’t have any friends.
Over the last few years, I’d come back to living under God’s obedience. He restored relationships I’d thrown away and redeemed my love for Him during that time. One Sunday in February provides proof of God’s redeeming power.
That Sunday morning, I was the first to arrive at church. I walked to our regular row so my friends could find me if they came. As I went to sit down, I noticed a couple about five seats down from me. “Plenty of room,” I thought, as rarely did more than one or two of my friends join me each Sunday, so I took a seat.
After the first song and we were asked to sit down. Five seats down from me, the woman got my attention and unkindly told me she wanted the rest of the row for her friends (who weren’t even there) and that I needed to move.
“You need to move. I want these seats for my friends.” She didn’t ask or smile. She just told me she wanted the seats and I needed to move.
There wasn’t anything holding those seats like a jacket or purse. I was seated near the front of the congregation. I was super embarrassed. I felt like the whole church could see someone telling me to move, then getting up and moving to the row behind me.
If you’ve struggled with belonging or hearing a voice in the back of your mind telling you that you don’t belong or no one wants to be your friend, then you know how I felt at that moment.
The voice in my head told me, “I don’t fit in. Nobody likes me.” Bottom line rejection stings. We hope the church will be a safe place, but it’s made up of messed-up people just like me.
As the congregation stood up to sing, I found myself mouthing the words and trying to calm my insecurities. I asked God to help me forgive her and concentrate on worshiping Him.
Shortly after that silent prayer, a friend found me and stood next to me as we sang. Then unexpectedly, two more friends I hadn’t seen in months came in late and squeezed by us to sit next to us in our row.
God’s Redemption In Our Lives
Suddenly I could see that God was redeeming my shame and showing me I belonged in his family. For years, I’ve messed up so big and questioned my place in God’s heart. So seeing Him restoring my place in His house brought me to tears.
While this is a small example of personally experiencing God’s redemption, I’ve experienced Him restoring relationships that I thought were beyond repair.
Each of our lives is full of His presence in redemption and restoration. Learning to recognize this in your life and the lives of those around you will strengthen your faith.
What is a redeemer?
A redeemer or redemption is to buy back, repurchase to rescue (often from sin) with a ransom.
What does it mean that God is a redeemer?
God is our Redeemer because He saves us from our sin and the consequences of it. When we trust God and turn to obedience, He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
This doesn’t mean that God will never discipline us – He loves us too much to leave us in our sin. However, it does mean that God will always forgive us when we repent and ask for His forgiveness. God is a loving and gracious redeemer, and we can always count on Him to forgive us and save us from sin.
The Bible Is A Story About Redemption
The Bible is a book about redemption because it is a book about hope. It is a book about God’s faithfulness to His people. It shows us that no matter how far we have strayed from Him, He never leaves us and waits for us to return to Him.
The Bible has an overarching narrative of God redeeming his creation through Jesus. This storyline is known as creation-fall-redemption-restoration.
The Bible is full of stories of hope and redemption because it is a book about a God who loves us and wants us to be with Him forever.
Then throughout the Bible, the redemption story is repeated over and over in smaller stories.
To fully understand this narrative and to learn how to recognize it throughout the Bible, I highly suggest the book “xx” by Jen Wilkin.
Stories of redemption in the Bible
The Bible is full of stories of redemption. In the Old Testament, we see the story of redemption played out in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the New Testament, we see redemption, most notably through the life of Christ. But also through the prodigal son and Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.
God’s Word is full of examples of lives radically changed by redemption.
Boaz was a redeemer
Boaz was a man from the tribe of Judah who lived during the time of the Judges. The story of Boaz is told in the Book of Ruth. Boaz was a well-off distant relative known for his kindness and generosity and often helped those in need.
Boaz was a redeemer, meaning he was responsible for rescuing people from difficult situations.
Boaz was a relative of Ruth’s husband, and when her husband died, Boaz agreed to marry her. This act saved Ruth from being alone and destitute and ensured that her family would continue to have a future. Boaz’s story is an inspiring example of how one person can make a difference in the lives of others.
Hosea was a redeemer
Hosea is one of the Bible’s most well-known stories of redemption. The book of Hosea tells the story of Hosea, a prophet God called to marry a prostitute named Gomer.
Hosea was obedient to God’s call, and despite Gomer’s unfaithfulness, he remained faithful to her. Time and again, Hosea loved his unfaithful wife.
Hosea’s story is a powerful example of God’s redemptive love for us. Just as Hosea loved and forgave Gomer, no matter how many times she sinned against him, just as God loves and forgives us. No matter how far we stray from Him, He is always ready to welcome us back with open arms. Because of this, Hosea is an excellent example of how God’s grace can redeem us.
Where in the Bible does it say God is a redeemer?
Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.' Exodus 6:6
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Job 19:25
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe Psalm 107:2
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. Psalm 130:8
This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? Hosea 13:14
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23
to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Galatians 4:5
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace Ephesians 1:7
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:14
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors 1 Peter 1:18
Ask God to redeem your family, your relationships, or your day. Redeeming is what He does. He is our Redeemer.