Have you ever been in prison? Have you ever felt trapped, stuck, chained to mistakes or insecurities? Have you ever just wished that you could wipe the slate clean, start over fresh, and be a new person?
I have. I was trapped in my prison for years, and what a joyous day it was when I was set free! I don’t ever want to go back there. Of course, there are moments when I slip. You may have witnessed the tears of frustration.
Prisons come in different forms. Condemnation from rejections, guilt, or shame is a prison. Addictions, unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, rebellion, control issues, manipulation and perfectionism are other prisons.
We all have experiences and choices we regret, failures we’d rather forget, sins we want forgiven. Sin is sin to God so whatever is weighing us down doesn’t have a degree of bad though we tend to rate it by levels. It is all bad to him, but with Jesus, our sins can all be forgiven; so the good news is that we can be set free from prison. We can get our slates wiped clean and get a fresh start as a new person.
David Crowder has a new song, “All My Hope,” which addresses being set free and forgiven. The refrain includes “All my hope is in Jesus,” and that, my friend, is true. That is where all my hope is.
I’m human so every day I mess up. I lose my temper. I think an unkind thought. I say an unkind word or paragraph. I neglect someone or something I shouldn’t have. I can be very unloving and selfish and very unlovely which is very sad because Jesus is so good and pure and kind and loving. We’re supposed to live as He did. Of course, we’re never going to reach perfection, and He knows this, so we don’t have to keep beating ourselves up over it.
He totally gets it. We don’t have to be perfect. We can mess up. He already knows we’re weak. That’s exactly why He asks us to lean on Him because He is strong! Leaning on Jesus is not a sign of weakness as some may proclaim. Resting in Jesus, leaning on Him is the wisest thing we could ever do. What we cannot do, He can. He knows our heart. He knows our intentions and motives. No one is stronger or wiser or more loving than He is.
If you are getting a little prideful, thinking it is all about you and you are the one calling the shots, you will soon know otherwise, one way or another, if you are listening and in tune with Him. Did you say no when you should have said yes or said yes when you should have said no? Don’t beat yourself up. Just say you’re sorry, if you really are, and ask for help.
That’s what God wants—for us to want Him, need Him, praise Him, glorify Him with how we live and for whom we live. A life of freedom and joy really depends on Him so that is why all my hope is in Jesus. Freedom starts in our heart. I really do need His help every minute of the day. With Him, I feel safe, secure, loved. I know He can take care of me in every situation. When I am afraid, only He can bring peace beyond all understanding. There is a reason we call God Father. It is because He is the best Daddy.
Where do you place your hope? Have you been set free from a prison?