We may not be able to avoid imprisonment due to the coming snowstorm, but we can remain free from the bonds of emotional pain and anxiety we needlessly carry. God offers many methods to bring us His gifts of joy and peace: His Word, His Spirit, friendships, counseling, and prayer. If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
I recently began ministering to women in jail. Not an easy task, considering I’ve never been in prison and can’t quite relate to the angst that comes with loss of freedom. I don’t know what it feels like to be forced into isolation day and night, unable to enjoy nature’s beauty, or to lose my freedom of privacy and personal decision-making.
May we never take for granted the freedoms we have in America, due in large part to the sacrifices of our servicemen and women. In our freedom, we can talk to whomever we wish by email, telephone, or personally. We can freely go where we want, vote for whom we want, and worship where we want.
Prisoners do not share those freedoms. Law-breakers are jailed to protect society or themselves. Other people, however, are imprisoned because of their political or religious beliefs. For whatever reason, all prisoners deserve our compassion and our prayers.
Some of us may be imprisoned emotionally and spiritually because of our bad habits, or perhaps because we cling to negative emotions such as anger, hatred, and unforgiveness. Such “slavery” keeps us from the freedom of joy and peace. So do the unresolved issues and emotional hurts from our past, especially involving family members.
Whether we’re imprisoned behind steel bars or emotional walls, we don’t have to remain so. God’s Word offers us freedom through Jesus’ death and resurrection. “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free … Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:31-32, 36)
The apostle Paul, although imprisoned for defending his faith in Christ, remained steadfast—even joyful—throughout. Though God delivered him from prison, Paul never doubted that He’d been freed from sin. His assurance compelled him to draw others to that same freedom. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage,” he wrote in Galatians 5:1.
Paul’s compelling message is meant for us, too. Whether we enjoy the freedom to see and taste and smell nature’s beauty or whether we must sit in a jail cell for breaking the law or for our belief in Christ, we can remain free within our hearts.
Lord, thank You for Your life-giving, life-changing gift of salvation which frees us from our sins. Thank You for the gifts of joy and peace and hope. Cause us to remain in Your Word and presence so we never again have to experience spiritual imprisonment. In Jesus’ name, amen.