Welcome to our first week of Broken & Redeemed! I am so glad you are joining us and look forward to spending the next six weeks with you as we learn to remove our labels of brokenness and instead begin to wear a new label… that of Redeemed!
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My heart has always gone out to Naomi (or should I say “Niomi”?! Sometimes I truly don’t know where my Indiana/Ohio/Texas accent is going to take me when I shoot my videos!!! Sorry folks, I digress…).
How heartbreaking it must have been for her to return to Bethlehem without her husband and two sons. She had left home full of anticipation with each of them by her side. Step by step they walked together toward a new and more hopeful future. A new life was waiting for them just around the corner… or, so they thought.
Now years later Naomi returns home with neither her husband nor her sons by her side. A woman who had left home whole was now returning broken and ashamed.
And she wondered if she had heard God wrong.
Why had He allowed so much pain to enter her life? Why so much loss? Did He really have to allow her husband and both of her sons to die? What had she done to deserve this punishment… this affliction?
“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” – Ruth 1:20-21
Though we may not have experienced the loss of our husbands and children, I think all of us can relate to the questions and emotions of feeling as though God has left us. We wrestle at night in our beds when no one else is awake, staring at the ceiling and wondering what we have done to upset God so much that He would leave us and take His blessings with Him. We feel lonely, abandoned, and bitter in the heartbreak that surrounds us… almost unable to breathe. And last thing we want to do is go home in this condition. And yet, going home to people who love us – for many of us – is always the best option when we are broken.
Because the truth is… we live in a broken world that is stained with loss, pain, and heartbreak.
We are not alone.
In our pain, our ears and hearts begin to listen to whispers of doubts:
“You are broken.”
“You are not loved.”
“You are abandoned.”
“You are not good enough.”
“You are a mistake.”
“You are not _______.”
Like Naomi, we allow our emotions to dictate truth to us instead of God’s Word. We allow our emotions and our hurt to cloud our eyesight and we fail to see how God is providing for our needs in the midst of our pain.
Naomi felt alone. She felt broken, empty, and afflicted.
God, in His mercy, had given her Ruth.
She had a companion to join her as she traveled back down the road she had taken previously with her husband and sons. She did not travel back home alone and empty like she felt. Ruth was with her, as was God.
And in the midst of her heartache, God was using her in a powerful way. For it is because of Naomi that Ruth learns about God, trusts God, makes Naomi’s God her own… and eventually becomes the great-grandmother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God used Naomi’s brokenness.
Friends, I want to encourage you with this today: no matter what you are going through, no matter the pain, the heartache, or betrayal… God is at work.
I pray you are encouraged by Naomi’s story today and are reminded that God can always bring good out of any pain. He is always working in our lives, and He will redeem our broken pieces for His glory.
Our identity does not come from our brokenness, but from who God says we are.
I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
I am a child of God. (Galatians 3:26)
I am chosen. (1 Peter 2:9)
I am redeemed. (Gal. 3:13)
I am justified. (Romans 5:1)
I am an overcomer. (Rev. 12:11)
I am forgiven. (Eph. 1:7)
I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude. (Colossians 2:7)
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works. (Eph 2:10)
God is always with me. He will not leave me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
God is my Comforter. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
I have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
Love God Greatly!
Week 1 Video:
(Can’t see the video? Click here.)
Week 1 Challenge: Print off and place this printable somewhere in your house so you can look and memorize God’s truth when you hear the whisper of labels being put upon you.
Week 1 Reading Plan:
Week 1 Memory Verse:
TODAY begins Week 1 of our Broken & Redeemed study! Grab your favorite beverage, crack open your Bible, and together let’s rejoice with the broken and redeemed of God.
We also have a corresponding kid’s Broken & Redeemed journal geared for children in elementary grades. You can grab a copy on Amazon at this location.