The Freedom Jesus Brings
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.
Because grace is the person Who was nailed to the cross for our redemption, grace imparts hope to those who are hopeless and help to those who are helpless. When you are worn out, torn down, crushed, depleted, and on the brink of giving up, grace is the hand that pulls you out of the miry pit of defeat. Grace is the supply that floods every crevice of need.
Dean from Maryland wrote to me to share how his life was transformed by this truth. In a twelve-page letter, he described his lifelong battle with feelings of rejection, abandonment, inadequacy, fear, and thoughts of suicide that led to drinking and drug addictions. In the clutches of meth (methamphetamine) for nine years, he spiraled out of control while heading in and out of prison.
Dean’s turnaround happened only when he began to hear about God’s grace. He said, “Dear Pastor Prince, it brings me so much excitement to share with you the radical change in my life in the last year.
"I have been watching your television program for some time now, and have read Destined To Reign, Unmerited Favor, and The Power of Right Believing. It’s a thousand pages of one message—grace. I don’t know how I ever missed it all these years. Your teaching on grace and truth has been so revolutionary to me and I want to thank you personally.”
Simply put, the revolution in his life began with a revelation of God’s glorious grace. Dean said:
I began seeing in the Scriptures the simplicity of the gospel of Christ and the revelation of God’s grace began to transform me from the inside out. I repented by changing my thinking and that began to change what I had been believing. My emotions and behavior began to change effortlessly.
I didn’t have to try to feel right, or act right; I just did, and still do. And while I still have my moments, they are getting fewer and further apart.
I realized that all I had to do was to focus on Jesus’ finished work on the cross and keep my eyes and ears open to His gospel, the good news of grace. I was seeing things I’d never seen before in the Word and understanding what grace means and how this truth sets one free. I began to realize that grace is undeserved favor and there was nothing I could ever do to earn or re-earn this unmerited favor in my life, regardless of my sins or efforts to make things right. I began to realize that I am highly favored and accepted in the beloved family of my Lord.
As a young boy, I believed in Jesus as my Savior. I knew many of the stories in the Bible. I went to church. But I lived a life with a slave and orphan mentality for over thirty years because I could not simply understand or believe the whole truth of God’s grace—this grace, which is the power of God unto salvation, this grace, which is the light that shines into the darkness.
I could accept that I was His child forever and would go to heaven, but because of my repeated failures, I believed that I would never have love, favor, and acceptance in this life. I believed that I had to suffer for my mistakes. Finally, I believed that I had to carry my failures all the way to heaven, resulting in much pain and damage that almost crushed me to death.
As I write this, I have been freed of alcohol and drug abuse for over two years and freed of dependence on medication for well over a year. Most of my life, I hated going to bed because I would toss and turn in torment thinking about all my failures and weaknesses. I hated waking up because I knew it would start all over again.
In the last year, all that has changed. I go to bed without thoughts of my past. I can’t wait to wake up each morning to expect more of His grace. The guilt, shame, bone-crushing weight of condemnation, and ever-looming depression because of fear, failure, and punishment have all disappeared like the darkness in the light of the rising sun.
My friend, I want to encourage you to believe that you too can experience the freedom that Jesus brings. Dean experienced victory over defeat in his life and so can you. Whatever is keeping you down, be it frequent bouts of depression, self-doubt, fear, or a destructive habit, there is a person Who has the power to turn everything around for your good and break every bondage. His name is Jesus.
This devotional is taken from the book Glorious Grace—100 Daily Readings from Grace Revolution.
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