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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 04/12/17

Be Glad—You Who Are Redeemed

willis-meme-easter2017

STORY: He Has Made Me Glad

Finding hidden treasures is fun for kids and grown-ups alike. One thing I anticipate about Easter is the Easter egg hunt. As a kid, we always dyed real eggs to help out the Easter Bunny. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a plastic Easter egg. We were on a big hunt going on at the sky lift in Clarksville, MO. Hollow plastic eggs were filled with little candies or trinkets.

Some even had money or tokens for big prizes. I quickly got over my disappointment they weren’t real eggs when I discovered those hidden treasures. Besides, there was a fake chicken, clucking and laying fake eggs, so it all sort of made sense. (Not sure where the Easter Bunny went!)

We all like finding treasures. When I was young, I redeemed glass soda bottles for coins. Instead of seeing bottles littering my neighborhood as garbage, I saw them as valuable. It was a great day, the day I carried my stash to the store to trade it for “free money.”

God doesn’t see us as trash, and He doesn’t see what has happened to us as nothing—it has value. He redeems us, and what we’re going through, for something good.

The best trade of all continues to boggle my mind, after all these years. Jesus lived a perfect life and earned God’s blessing. We live anything but a perfect life, yet Christ loved us enough to be our Redeemer. He swapped places with us. We get the blessing He earned, and He willingly took on the curse we deserved. The Miracle of Easter’s resurrection makes me glad. I am Rescued, Ransomed, Redeemed, and Restored. That’s a bunch of “R” words all wrapped up in one blessing!

STUDY: When God Works, My Heart is Made Glad

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. (Psalm 16:9 NLT)

  • How does true rest benefit you?
  • Think of a time when you needed safety. When you felt safe, what did that do for your heart?
  • What is the outflow of a glad heart?

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7 NLT)

  • According to this psalmist why can we be glad?
  • What trouble are you going through right now? God sees your suffering. How does that make you feel?
  • Anguish means: torment, agony, distress, suffering, grief, affliction, anxiety. How are you anguished right now? What does it mean to you, to know God cares about it?
  • How does having such a personal God impact you?

Then I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be glad because he rescues me. (Psalm 35:9 NLT)

  • In context, David is talking about how horrible his enemies were and how glad he’d be if the Lord dealt with those attempting to hurt him. Put yourself in David’s shoes. If the Lord took care of those attacking you, how would you feel?
  • Name a time in which the Lord rescued you. Thinking about it even now, how does it make you glad?
  • What is something from which you need rescued right now?

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” (Psalm 40:16 NLT)

  • A similar verse is found in Psalm 70:4. We hear the term “seeker” often these days. What constitutes searching for God?
  • Notice the term “in you” at the end of the first sentence. Why is that qualifier important to #1) those searching for God, and #2) those filled with joy and gladness?
  • When you think of what your salvation means—what you were saved from and saved to, what does it make you want to shout over and over again?

Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. (Isaiah 35:10 NLT and Isaiah 51:11)

  • The word ransomed means: paid, redeemed, rescued, exchanged, released, delivered, restored. How has the Lord been your ransom?
  • A sign of a ransomed soul is singing and joy.
  • I like the phrase, “crowned with everlasting joy.” What does it mean to you?
  • Do you have sorrow or are you mourning? How can being ransomed by God help you trade that for joy and gladness? Does being glad nullify your sadness?

Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. (Psalm 90:15 NLT)

  • Have you ever thought about what I call “God math”? Here’s one of the principles: proportion. Have you prayed for God to add up all the misery in your life and all the evilness that has happened to you, and give you gladness and goodness of equal proportion? How much gladness and goodness would that add up to?
  • God is a God of replacement. He takes what you bring to the table, and because of what Christ paid on the cross, turns it into something good. What has God replaced in your life?

STEPS: I Will Refuel and Rejoice!

  1. Recount your previous trials. Ask God to show you how He has rescued you from heartache. Then praise Him for the blessing of restoration.
  2. Write a ransom letter. Imagine sin or Satan writing it, asking God for ransom money because you’ve been kidnapped. It will be a short letter. But then write the response from God, using Scripture to back up how you’ve already been redeemed.
  3. Find a song to represent your joy. As you select “your song,” consider how God has rescued you and be sure it expresses the joy of your new life. Let the lyrics refuel you and relaunch you to live life fully.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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