As I was reading the Word this morning, I got this mental picture running through my mind, of someone, maybe you or someone you know, who is going through a difficult time. I’m not sure the situation, but you’re baffled. You’ve been doing all the right stuff, but still you feel constrained. You’re praying, and God’s still speaking, but nothing is changing in your life. You’re worshipping and glorifying God, “giving thanks in all circumstances” as the Bible tells us, but still you feel weighed down, sometimes frustrated and alone. You’re doing what God has asked of you – go speak to that person… go deliver this… walk this way…, but still you’re wondering what’s going to happen next in your life. You feel shackled, chained, imprisoned.
You’d like to breathe, but the air around you is so thin, it’s hard to catch your breath. You’d like to be free, but it seems as if every time to get an opening, someone closes it right away. You want to help others, but any help you provide is not appreciated. You have Holy Spirit given solutions for others, but none for your own questions. The prison walls are creeping in on you and you’re stuck in the mud.
Whoever you are and whatever it is you’re facing, I believe I’ve got a word of hope for you today. As I was reading the book of Jeremiah, I felt this tension inside of me, this holy aggravation. The man, Jeremiah, was given instructions by God to warn the people of Judah they were going to be taken captive by the King of Babylonia, King Nebuchadnezzar. Year after year after year, Jeremiah faithfully did everything God asked of him and in that entire time, he was ignored, ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned, dropped down in a well and left to die, until it finally happened. Jerusalem was overrun, everybody was accosted, even the king of Judah who had to watch his son be killed before they poked his eyes out. The Bible tells us…
“Only the poorest people who owned no land were left behind in Judah…” Jeremiah 39:10 CEV
Even Jeremiah was lead away in chains. But on their way to Babylonia, where they would live a life of slavery, one of the Babylonian officials set Jeremiah free. This unbeliever told Jeremiah that God had different plans for him. And then he said this…
“Today I am taking the chains off your wrists and setting your free!” Jeremiah 40:4 CEV
That word has a twofold meaning. It was a word to Jeremiah and it is a word for you today. God has taking the chains off your wrist. You are not a slave any longer. You have been released. You now have permission go and do, for you are free!
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know who this message is for, but I know someone needed to hear those words. If it was you, praise God and receive what He’s telling you. If it’s for someone you know, please pass this on, so they too might be free!
Your Word will not return to You void and empty, but will accomplish what You sent it for. Let it be so with Your Word today. Set Your people free. In Jesus name I ask this… Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen