How God Uses Struggle To Refine Worth with Darren Tyler

Have you ever faced difficulties that seemed impossible? What motivated you to overcome the obstacles and emerge victoriously? Darren Tyler joins us in the studio today for this episode of The Solo Parent Society podcast to discuss how God uses adversity to develop worth. Darren Tyler founded Conduit Mission in 2007 while he was still an artist manager in the music industry. In 2010, he walked away from the music world and founded Conduit Church in a suburb of Nashville, TN called Franklin. The church has become the platform from which the global work of Conduit Mission is accomplished. Darren now spends his days working to bring awareness to and support for the people that the Lord has called him to help. It was a long journey from backstage at venues all over America to some of the poorest places on the planet. But it is a calling that brings much joy and purpose.
Experiencing Difficulties
As Darren began visiting places like Haiti, he discovered that many orphans come from single parent homes with a mother who is unable to care for them. The difficulties of the world represent the world we find in Genesis 3. Haitians often view their circumstances not as punishment but as part of life that God uses to strengthen them. They see struggle as part of God’s refining process for His people – people He loves enough to save, rescue, and redeem.
As single parents, we’ve all experienced some difficulty. Whether it’s a partner who abandons us or the unexpected death of a spouse, we’ve all been there. Some of us were taken aback by the enormity of becoming pregnant and having a child without a partner. Many of us struggled alone in each of our circumstances – regardless of what brought us to the solo parent table.
Sometimes the struggle seems to define us in unhealthy ways. Many of us feel lost and hopeless. Even though we know God will redeem all things, we are often left with a loss of identity. Maybe we put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to identity and a sense of worth. Whether it’s losing a career or no longer raising children at home, whatever it is when things turn upside down, life becomes disorienting for us because we forget who we are. We also forget what we have to offer, especially when we face divorce. Divorce and loss remind us that something isn’t right in this world, and when it happens, it’s just devastating.
A Fallen World
Difficult things happen because we live in the world found in Genesis 3, after the fall, after sin entered our human condition. As Christ-followers, we can know that God is redeeming and that Jesus will return, but our daily experience is that we are not living in Genesis 1, a perfect world, or Revelation 21, where all things are made new again. Rather, we are somewhere in between. We are living in a world where things go wrong. Sorrow is an unavoidable component of life in this environment. Difficult times come from the fallenness of the world but God, because of His love for us, uses these experiences to strengthen and refine us. What we see as an interruption, we can trust God to redeem. Why? Because of our great worth to Him.
As Christians, particularly in the West, somewhere along the way we attached behavior to blessing. We tied our behavior to things we see as evil in our lives, to our pain and suffering. Satan loves convincing us that when things are difficult, we are not being blessed. However, this isn’t a reflection of truth at all. Rather, it’s a nice trick he uses to dishearten us and confuse us about our value to God and His love for us. For many of us, Satan doesn’t have to do anything to persuade us to believe lies like that because we are already too busy doing it ourselves. We must challenge those beliefs and stay grounded in the truth of our worth.
What is Redemption?
God’s redemption shows us our value. When we hear the word redemption in the Bible, we don’t always think of it in a specific biblical context, but Paul’s language was that of purchasing a slave. In Romans 3, redemption is used to describe the purchase of a slave - not to bring them home but to set them free. This concept of redemption was nearly unheard of in ancient Greek culture but that’s the gospel.
Darren shares that there are more slaves alive now than there were in the entirety of the European slave trade. There are 4.5 million slaves in Asia alone. Darren first encountered modern day slavery in north Africa in his work with Conduit Mission, and then further throughout the world. Conduit Mission began to ask what God would do with this current problem. As they researched, they discovered that many people become enslaved due to debt. They began paying off the debt of slaves they encountered and have now freed over 150 families from slavery. By fulfilling the contract of their enslavement, they can now live free. They have been fully redeemed.
Conduit Mission has become a catalyst for these freed people to start communities who love and serve God, and each other, after their experience of redemption. People who were once slaves aren’t busy discussing doctrines and theology but rather are living out their freedom by loving one another and sharing the good news. Their changed lives are changing history and the church in these communities is becoming an explosive movement of God.
This is a powerful picture of the gospel. Christ redeemed our debt – paying it and setting us free from its consequences. After their debt is paid, people wake up the day after and no longer have to work to pay it off. And neither do we. Jesus didn’t just forgive our sins, he also justified and adopted us. Ephesians 1:7 tell us, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Not only are we free from the debt of sin but we are also free to come to God as His children, living in relationship to Him as Savior, Father, and Friend.
Sometimes, rather than living in redemption, we let our adversity discourage us so much we want to give up. When the rug is pulled out from under us, we lose hope. But God is present in our darkest circumstances. What the adversary intended to do to harm us, God uses for His purposes, and for His good. Romans 8:28 reminds us God uses all things to make us more like Christ. Because we are of great worth and purpose to Him, He redeems us, and He can redeem our circumstances too.
So, single parents, if you’re in the midst of it, remember this isn’t the end of your story. “Don’t put a period, where God puts a comma.” This life is a comma. It’s not the end. God is continually at work conforming us and our lives into the image of Christ and His will for us until we reach eternity. Until then, as His children of great worth, He is always at work redeeming things on our behalf and for our benefit. Even at times when we feel unwanted, like we aren’t valuable, or like nobody sees the difficult road we are walking, God will not abandon or leave us in the wilderness. He loves us and demonstrates our great worth in His eyes by redeeming us through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.
Our worth is inestimable in God’s kingdom. Even when we were still sinners and godless, He loved us so much that He chose to pursue us. If the God of the universe sees that kind of worth in us, we can ask ourselves, does it matter what others think? Will we rely on what God says about us? Will we believe His truth of our value and worth over the voices of the world and more than the lies of the enemy? We must. And we can. We can rest in the Truth that God loved us so much He gave His son on our behalf – to set us free, to no longer be in debt to sin, but to have relationship with Him and to bring good into our lives.
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