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Conversations Devotions

Guided Through the Tempest

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.”

Psalm 107:23-32

What sort of storms has God guided you through? Maybe you have:

  • ridden the roller coaster of life with an addict
  • experienced prolonged frustration
  • been in the throes of panic
  • felt dizzied by constant change
  • been at the mercy of someone who couldn’t make up their mind
  • got a glimpse of eternity and didn’t like where you were headed
  • felt unable catch a break
  • had a mental breakdown
  • considered or attempted suicide

From what kind of tempest have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Please consider sharing how God has set you free from what once held you. There is no encouragement for someone in a dark place that is quite like the hope offered by someone who was once there but has been successfully redeemed! We’ve all been saved from something and most of us from many things. Let’s celebrate the wins between us; God has been so faithful!

This is the last post in the “Tell Your Story” series! If you’d like to revisit the others, here are the links:
Tell Your Story
Provision in the Wastelands
Broken Chains
Delivered from Afflictions

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Delivered from Afflictions

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.  Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”

Psalm 107:17-22

Has God delivered you from distress? Maybe you have:

  • had an eating disorder
  • suffered a serious illness
  • struggled with mental health challenges
  • experienced symptoms that were never diagnosed
  • felt starved for love or acceptance
  • experienced trauma
  • suffered through paralyzing fear
  • dealt with debilitating grief
  • been unable to forgive yourself for something

From what kinds of afflictions have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

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Devotions Reflections

Might Have Missed the Miracle

The very first Easter morning was unique to all that have come since in that it dawned in apparent defeat. Have you ever thought about that? The Resurrection had happened, but nobody knew it! The family and followers of Jesus awoke in grief, unaware of the glorious victory and power that had changed everything. They might have missed the miracle, if not for the faithfulness of Mary, Mary and Salome.

These three women, who had followed and served Jesus daily, woke up in despair. He was gone. They had seen Him beaten, nailed to a cross, ridiculed and confirmed dead. Because of strict Sabbath rules, He’d been buried quickly. There hadn’t been time to properly embalm His body with the customary spices. But the Sabbath was over, and they would be able to do this one last thing for the One to whom they’d been devoted. So, they got up and prepared to do what they’d done every day – serve Jesus.

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”’

Mark 16:1-7

Remember, three days had passed since Jesus’ death. Earlier in Jesus’ ministry, a friend of His, named Lazarus, had died. Jesus planned to bring Him back to life and asked that his tomb be opened. The people hesitated at His request, and might have missed the miracle, because dead bodies decay quickly.

“‘Take away the stone,’ he said. ‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’”

John 11:39

This glimpse of unpleasant reality helps us to grasp the depth of what the women were about to do for Jesus. They got up early and headed out on their mission. They were not simply going to perform the ceremonial embalming of His body, they were going to see, feel, and smell death. They weren’t even sure how they were going to accomplish it, because the boulder that sealed the entrance to the tomb was much too big for them to move, but they were determined to try. And because of their faithful effort, they got to be the first to witness the everything-changing miracle of the Resurrection.

Photo by Jose Aragones on Pexels.com

I wonder, would I have been as devoted? I mean, He was already dead and laid to rest. Would it really matter now if there were spices on Him or not? I might have chosen to stay in bed, wallowing in my loss. I might have chosen to eat junk food, cry, and have a pity party. I might have questioned God’s goodness. And you know what? I might have missed the miracle!

My friend, you and I woke up today, a couple thousand years later, in full knowledge of the reality of the Resurrection. We live our lives in light of its glorious victory and power. And yet… is Jesus our focus, or do our agendas overshadow Him? Are we looking for ways to serve Jesus or opportunities to make names for ourselves? Let’s encourage each other to be as faithful everyday as Mary, Mary and Salome, so we might not miss the miracles!

“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.”

1 Corinthians 6:14
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Conversations Devotions

Broken Chains

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.  Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”

Psalm 107:10-16

What darkness has held you? From what has God freed you? Maybe you have:

  • suffered addiction
  • been unable to forgive
  • felt trapped by sadness
  • endured abuse
  • been paralyzed by fear
  • gone to prison
  • been stuck in a toxic relationship
  • lost your will to live
  • felt pulled under by hopelessness
  • fallen deep into debt
  • been enslaved by guilt or shame

From what kinds of chains have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Provision in the Wastelands

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.  Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Psalm 107:4-9

In what ways have you been unsettled and experienced God’s provision? Maybe you have:

  • gone through infertility
  • experienced isolation
  • been in between jobs
  • felt lonely or outcast
  • been homeless
  • gone hungry
  • had trouble finding a church
  • lacked direction in ministry
  • needed reliable transportation
  • felt far from the Lord

From what kinds of wastelands have you been redeemed?

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

Tell your story in the comments below!

Categories
Conversations Devotions

Tell Your Story

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –

Psalm 107:2a

Redeem: to free from what distresses or harms, such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom 
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 
c: to release from blame or debt: clear
d: to free from the consequences of sin

MerriamWebster.com

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

God is so gracious and compassionate, and He comforts us in our distress. He then allows us the blessing of being the comfort to someone else who is suffering. In this way, we get the gifts of both receiving and giving!

For the next several Fridays, I am going to give you, my Back Porch friends, the platform to share your stories.

I will provide prompts from God’s Word in weekly posts and ask you to tell your experiences of difficulty and delivery in the comments. Your testimony might provide the exact encouragement another reader needs to get through the troubles they have right now. I hope you will take the opportunity and tell your story!

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…”

Psalm 107:2

I’ll see you all back here on Friday!