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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

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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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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!

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Conversations Devotions Reflections

Panic Points Part 2

I’ve been talking to God about panic; yours, mine, and ours. It seems that there are more triggers than there are people, and yet God knows every one. So why does He allow them? I believe He is showing me that our panic points us to where we’ve gotten off track and it can be a helpful tool to motivate us to realign.

In Panic Points Part 1, I described what a panic attack feels like to me. I have heard many people recount similar experiences. It struck me as I was praying it through, that Psalm 23 illustrates a picture that is about as opposite of panic as I can imagine.

Green Pastures and Quiet Waters: panic points
Photo by Harry Cooke on Pexels.com

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23

As I read this passage, which is very familiar to me, I’m overcome with an unfamiliar appreciation of what it would be like to reside in this place with Jesus. I realize that I do not stay there mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually. I wonder, “Why not?”.

The honest answer is that I fool myself into thinking I’m doing well. I read my Bible, I pray, I talk to other people about what I’m learning, I listen to Christian music… I think “I’m good”. But my reality is often that I’m not beside the quiet waters with Jesus. My soul isn’t adequately refreshed and I’m not on the right path for His name’s sake. And I don’t realize it until I get to the darkest valley, which is where my panic points out that I’ve wandered off track.

When I think about my panic attacks, they are usually timed around the following things in my life:

  • Lack of discipline (ate unwisely or haven’t eaten at all, didn’t get enough sleep, haven’t exercised, didn’t do my quiet time…)
  • Failure to control my thoughts (been unappreciative, having a pity party, blaming others for what ails me…)
  • Attempt to be something I’m not (trying to impress, be the hero, snag credit that rightly belongs to God or someone else…)

I sincerely want to do better, and in this light, panic looks useful. If it serves to point out my shortcomings, I can repent of them and improve. I can get back onto those right paths for His name’s sake. And from there, I can enter the darkest valley with no panic for He is with me; His rod and His staff, they comfort me.

Does this resonate with you at all? Are you tracking with me here? Can you identify selfish or sinful behaviors that often precede your panic attacks? Do you see how your panic points out where you have mis-stepped and need to get back on track? How can we motivate each other to spend more time beside still waters with Jesus? I’d love to hear from you!