Let the Redeemed Tell Their Story

Let the Redeemed Tell Their Story

“It was a bright, cold day in April, and clocks were striking 13.” [1]

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” [2]

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” [3]

Wonderful first lines, aren’t they? And for those of you who aren’t English Literature majors, they are the first sentences of 1984, Pride and Prejudice, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. And beginnings are powerful, aren’t they? They make us wonder: “Where are we?” They make us question: “What did Buendía do to face a fire squad?” And they make us read on: “What is going to happen next?”

There’s power in telling a story and telling it well. And I believe that there is no more powerful story than that of God’s movement in your life. For those of us who are Christians, we probably have a moment where that story begins. The places of dramatic transformation, where the gospel rescued us from addiction, sin, or shame. The Damascus Road experience. But equally powerful is the subtle story, the one of a young child who attended church for as long as they can remember. Faithfulness that grew slowly over time. But regardless of how yours unfolds, the story of the gospel at work in someone’s life is powerful and beautiful!

So, what’s your story?

Psalm 107 is the beginning of Book Five of the Psalms. And it starts with one of the famous opening lines of the Psalms—one that has remained on the lips of Jews and Christians for thousands of years:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Give thanks! Why? Because God is God, and he is good, and his never-ending, covenantal love endures forever. God doesn’t give up. That’s God’s promise: I will love you, and I will faithfully be with you, no matter what. When you fall away, I’ll be right there. When you fall short, I’ll be there to pick you up. When you are unfaithful, I will stay committed.

And then the psalmist states:

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

Let the “redeemed” of the Lord tell their story.

And it is a beautiful story. The psalm goes on to tell four different stories of faith. But they aren’t always easy stories—they are stories of faithfulness and failure. Israel doesn’t have it all together, but redemption means the Lord has rescued them. They are saved. They have been set free by the wonderful grace of God. When they are at their lowest point, when all hope seems lost … God shows up. They have a story to tell!

And the same is true for us. Regardless of how your story begins or what the middle looks like, we know that God’s love remains through it all. And God continues to bring his grace to bear on the stories of our lives.

So, what’s your story?

I recently prepared a guide to help my church think about this, and I want to share it with you as well. Think through the questions, ponder your responses, and feel free to start working on your story. Because we are redeemed, and we are called to share our stories.

Discovering Your Story

What terms or images would you use to describe God?

What role does God currently have in your life?

Who is Jesus to you?

What role does the Holy Spirit play in your life?

Think back over your life. What moments—spiritual or “secular”—stand out to you as important or life-changing?

  • Why does it stick out?

  • What changed?

  • How are you different?

  • What was the role of faith during that moment?

What are some profound experiences you have had with God? (See questions above to help).

Draw a timeline of some of these events, if it would be helpful.

Write a rough draft of your story below (in approximately 200 words).

[1] George Orwell, 1984.

[2] Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

[3] Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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