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A New Framework for Understanding Grace

2016.01.14 Kristen Anderson blog

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
(Psalm 66:16)

 

It was a Sunday morning. My husband and I were driving back from church, reflecting on God’s grace in our lives. I asked him why he thought we had a strong marriage, despite all of the tough times the Lord has walked us through.

He said, “I think fact that we both went through Redemption Group has had a profound impact on the way that we interact with both God and each other.”

He was right.

We didn’t actually go through Redemption together. By the time I signed up, he went through it once as a participant and another time as an apprentice. He learned so much about himself and the Lord when he went through Redemption. He encouraged me to sign up each time it was mentioned on Sunday. Then one Sunday, a few different people came up to me and mentioned the upcoming sign-up date. I was reluctant. But I knew the Holy Spirit was using these people to show me that I should join.

I had experienced some grief and hurt, but I was adamant that I dealt with it already. But God was too good to leave me where I was.

Nothing about Redemption was easy for me. I rehashed old wounds, exposed my insecurities, and displayed the ugliness in my sinful heart in front of a handful of women. Before Redemption, I never honestly confronted the Lord with all of my grief and trials. I offered up platitudes about it being the Lord’s will, and I left it there. But Redemption forced me to be honest with both God and myself, to ask Him the hard questions, and wait for a response.

Through the process, the Holy Spirit revealed my sin pattern to me. When I was anxious, I distracted myself instead of coming to God in His Word and in prayer. I ran to worldly things for comfort instead of letting my weary soul rest in the true Comforter. Now, when I start to feel the anxiety that I’m losing control, I remember to turn to God and ask for peace and guidance and trust in His perfect way. With His strength, I can apply this to every aspect of my life, remembering to set my mind on the things above (Colossians 3:2).

With regard to our marriage, Redemption gave us a framework and the tools necessary to establish a regular routine of confession, repentance, and giving grace to each other. We are more honest about our sin, more quick to repent, and more willing to forgive each other because of our experience in Redemption. We both recognize we are sinners in need of God’s grace.

Friend, I don’t know where the Lord has you right now. Maybe you’re like Jacob, wresting with him in your present situation. Maybe you’re like the Israelites in Babylon, longing to hear God speak to you. Or maybe you want enough faith to walk out on the water like Peter. Regardless of where you are, I pray that the Lord uses my experience to encourage you to sign up. I challenge you to let the Holy Spirit use your story to glorify the work that Christ accomplished on the cross and the redemptive work He is doing in you.

Editor's Note: Redemption Group sign up is currently open. Sign up now to reserve a spot in the upcoming session beginning on January 29-30.