Every day during Advent 2020, we are sharing a short encouragement based around a promise in the Bible that God makes to His people. By faith, we can take hold of them to reflect on and present back to God in prayer; lifting our eyes to the hope of this season and drawing us close to the One who draws near to us.
Psalm 146:7 — He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners.
With a word, God can break walls of stone and bars of iron. The pages of scripture are full of stories of freedom coming to the captive; from individuals like Joseph, Jeremiah and Peter to whole nations like Israel, enslaved in Egypt…all pointing to a greater freedom for all of mankind that would be won on the cross. Jesus declared that He had come “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4:18), and He did — freedom from physical and mental suffering, freedom from fear and loneliness, freedom from sin and shame, and even freedom from death itself. It’s a freedom we desperately need.
Each of us are held captive by things in our lives which are outside of God’s best for us. Some things, like pleasure or power, we might choose, but soon find ourselves unable to escape. Others, like anxiety or pain, come uninvited and bind us tightly no matter how hard we struggle. But our God is a God of freedom. This advent, we remember that He stepped into a world of slavery and oppression — born as a baby in a backwater corner of an empire that viewed Him as less than human — taking on our chains so that He could break them forever. He died the death usually reserved for slaves so He could bring a freedom for anyone and everyone who will receive it, and He sends us out to proclaim that freedom to our world, that “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21)
What is holding you captive today? It will give Jesus as much joy to free you as it will give you to be freed! Sometimes this will come right away, and sometimes we will have to wait, but He is with us in both. He has borne our bondage and broken it forever by His blood. In Christ, sin cannot enslave us, fear cannot control us, and darkness cannot overcome us.
Lift your eyes to Him again, and trust Him for freedom now and in the future.