Stronger Week I : Jesus Can Redeem What's Gone Wrong

Wipeout

Have you ever seen the show Wipeout?

It’s a show where brave people compete for the chance to win $50,000 by getting mildly injured in embarrassing ways on national television.

Check it out a few of these.



The wipeouts look like they hurt — like, really hurt. But I have to be honest. I’ve had even more painful moments (and I’m not talking about physical injuries). There have been times when I’ve experienced some really painful failure, and hurt, and loss, and pain. Maybe you know what that’s like. 


 The Problem of Pain

Failure and loss is unavoidable. If you haven’t already experienced this, there will be a day when you’ll encounter hard times and unfortunate circumstances. I don’t say that to scare you or to be a downer. I say it because, when it happens, I want to help you be prepared. 

Sometimes the pain we experience happens because of something we do, or something we fail to do. Maybe you . . .  

  • Fail a grade.

  • Don’t make the team.

  • Lose a friend because of something you said or did.

  • Get your phone taken away because you were a jerk to your parent.

  • Or maybe it’s something worse.


Sometimes the pain we experience happens because of something that’s not our fault. Maybe . . . 


  • Someone you love dies.

  • You get sick or injured.

  • Your parents get a divorce.

  • You have to move away from all of your friends.

  • Something traumatic happens.


Whether it’s because of us, or because of someone else, or because of no reason at all,  sometimes life goes wrong. 

Has life ever gone wrong for you?

For the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about what to do when life starts to hurt, and about the joy we can find even in the midst of pain. We’ll talk about how God can use the hardest moments of our lives to make us stronger, to make our faith stronger, and to show us that God is stronger than anything life throws at us. 

But before we talk about what God has to say about life going wrong, let’s talk about what life looks like when it goes right. 

In the very beginning, God created everything, and everything God created was good.


Genesis 1:31 (CSB)

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.


In the beginning, life was good. There was no conflict. There was no suffering. There was no death. Life was exactly how God intended it to be. It was right. 

But everything changed when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and sin entered the world. For the first time, there was conflict, death, and suffering. Things had gone wrong. 


Genesis 3:17-18 (CSB)

17And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.

18It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

 

  • Sin created consequences that we can’t escape. We carry the effects of sin in our own heart, and the world we live in carries its effects as well. Because of sin . . .

  • We make choices we’re not proud of.

  • It’s difficult to do what’s good.

  • It’s easy to do what’s destructive.

  • Our relationships with others are complicated.

  • Our relationship with God is strained.

  • The world we live in is broken.

  • As long as we live on this earth, in these bodies, there will be failure, and pain, and loss.

Although failure, pain, and loss are unavoidable because of sin, that’s not the end of the story. 

Check out this summation of the Gospel

Colossians 1:13-20 (CSB)

13He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.

14In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

16For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through him and for him.

17He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.

18He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.

19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

20and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.



Sin has caused so much hurt and pain, but Jesus redeems what’s gone wrong.

That means He . . .


  • Turns wrongs into rights.

  • Exchanges evil for good.

  • Takes back control.

  • Breathes life into what was dead.

  • Makes old things new.

  • When we experience pain because of our own sin and mistakes, Jesus says, “I can redeem you. You’re never too far gone to be rescued.”


Colossians 1:13-14 (CSB)

13He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.

14In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In our sin, we’ve done wrong — and the wrong we do causes hurt and pain, both for us and others. But Jesus came to rescue and redeem us from our own wrongs. And that’s not all. 

Colossians 1:15-20

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him.17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,20 and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 

Jesus came to redeem you and me, but He also came to redeem everything. Every wrong, every pain, every situation — He can redeem it all. 

When we experience pain because we live in a broken world full of suffering and loss, Jesus says, “Someday I’ll redeem everything. I’ll restore the whole world and right every wrong.” 

When we experience pain for any reason at all, Jesus says, “I can redeem what’s gone wrong. In my hands, any pain you’ve suffered can take on new life.” 

Because Jesus is a Redeemer, both now and forever, our hurt can always become hope. We can trust that Jesus will redeem the whole world someday, and that He can redeem any situation right now. Whatever it is,  Jesus can redeem what’s gone wrong. 

 

That might sound good, but what does it mean exactly? When we’re in the middle of our pain and hurt, how can Jesus help? 

First, let’s talk about  you because (like we just read), Jesus came to redeem you from darkness and death. If you’ve never decided to follow Jesus and let Him begin to transform you from the inside out, today is a great day to begin that journey. 

So much of our pain and hurt is caused by our own sin. If we want real transformation, we need Jesus to redeem us before we ask Him to redeem our situations. 

Just like Jesus can redeem us, Jesus can redeem our painful situations. He can turn our greatest losses into our greatest victories. But that transformation doesn’t just happen. 


That transformation usually requires our participation.  


In my experience, there are three ways people tend to respond to the pain and hurt they experience. Let’s imagine this hot water represents failure, loss, or whatever difficulty weighs on you. Think about which of these items you are, and which one you hope to be. 


CARROT:  A carrot starts out tough, strong, and vibrant. But when hot water hits them, what happens? They turn soft. After a while, they get mushy. They start to lose some of their color. Eventually, they fall apart. Does this sound like you? When life gets painful, do you start to fall apart? Do you let difficulty make you weak, anxious, insecure, or uncertain about the future? 

EGG:  Or are you more like an egg? When they meet hot water, they harden. With enough time, they become tough and inflexible (and they kind of smell). Does this sound like you? When life gets painful, does your heart get hard and bitter? Do you let difficulty make you angry, selfish, suspicious, or unforgiving? 

COFFEE:  But what if you were able to face difficulty in a different way? What if Jesus could help you endure hot water more like these coffee beans? When coffee meets hot water, the water releases the very best parts of the coffee beans. In hot water, the flavor, aroma, and richness of the coffee beans deepen and grow stronger with time. Does this sound like the kind of person you want to be? When life gets painful, what would it look like for your faith and character to grow stronger, deeper, and richer? How do you think Jesus could redeem your difficulty in a way that helps you become a better version of yourself? 


No matter what kind of “hot water” you find yourself in, Jesus can redeem what’s gone wrong — but you need to invite Him into the process. 

Will you let your pain make you fall apart? Will you let it make you hard and bitter? Or will you let Jesus redeem your situation? Will you let Him make your faith and character stronger through difficulty? 



JESUS CAN REDEEM WHAT'S GONE WRONG 

It’s easy to let pain and hurt control you, but when you choose to trust that Jesus can redeem what’s gone wrong, it changes everything. 

  • Instead of lashing out at others, you could let your pain bring you closer to the people who love you.

  • Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you could be thankful for your opportunity to grow through this difficulty.

  • Instead of focusing on worst-case scenarios, you could focus on what God is doing in and through you.

  • Instead of getting angry at God, you could trust that Jesus can redeem your hurt.

  • I don’t know what is causing you hurt or pain right now. I don’t know how you’ve failed, or how life has failed you. But I know Jesus sees what has gone wrong, and He desperately wants to show you what His power to redeem really looks like.

  • If you need Jesus to redeem you because you know your sin is the biggest cause of your own hurt and pain, He can do that. He can redeem you.

  • If you need Jesus to redeem your circumstances because life is really hard right now, He can do that too. He can redeem any difficulty for good.



I know life can be difficult and painful sometimes, but I hope you’ll remember that none of it is beyond God’s ability to redeem. No matter what you’re going through, remember, Jesus can redeem what’s gone wrong.