So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.
St. Catherina of Siena
As a believer in Christ, I have observed that we are resilient, the majority of us anyhow. We become resilient in this walk called faith: we show up to church even when we see nothing working in our favor, we pray despite the pain, we serve despite the confusion and we keep loving and giving when we are forgotten and even betrayed. Although we’ve learned to be resilient, God wants us to be overcomers (aka to be free, indeed). Resilience means to recover, and to overcome means to defeat!
Many believers manage their appearance well: their words, behavior, and even emotions. Around people most have learned to manage. But on a personal level, since I dig down into people’s souls I’ve noticed that many are engulfed in discouragement. Serving God does not guarantee that life is going to be perfect. The word says, in this world you will have trouble (‘you will be squashed‘ in the Greek), but take heart I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD! Take heart, means train yourself to feel negative emotions and not give in to discouragement.
We have to learn to guard our hearts, but at the same time, be willing to live with open hearts accepting whatever life brings our way. The only way we can live in steadfast faith with hope and expectation is to live with an open heart. The Lord is willing to restore us from any setback, because He wants us to fulfill His purpose in our lives, but there’s one condition: we have to do our part. On one level it is the devil we are fighting, but we are also fighting against ourselves (our mind and heart). God gave us a To-Do list, and it is to confront ourselves daily and DEAL with our inner issues. When we have the courage to embrace and confess our humanity to ourselves and others, then God can set us free.
The Lord reminds us today: if I, the Son, set you free, then you will be free indeed! Depression was a friend of mine since I was a young girl, but God came into my life to destroy the works of the devil. As God does His part in destroying the power of the enemy, it was in my To-Do list to be renewed in the spirit of my mind (Ephesians 4:23). Depression is an assigned enemy attack which lures us in, when we allow discouragement into our lives. Discouragement is fertile soil for Satan, while disappointment is the door through which he enters into our garden. Life is full of disappointments: we will inevitably be disappointed by broken dreams, heartaches, and/or change of plans. But if we fester in that pool of mud then we will birth discouragement, which gradually increases the power of demons over our lives.
There is a connection between the peace of God and the power of the word of God, and I experienced it during an argument with my dad years ago. In the middle of the argument he said ‘maybe God will forgive you, but I will never forgive you’. To say the least I was heartbroken and stormed out of the house in tears. As I walked to the CCNY campus, with pain in my heart, the Holy Spirit said to me ‘all things work for good’. I immediately felt the peace of God fill my heart, and completed the scripture, ‘to those who love God and are called according to His purpose’. I could breathe again, it was in that moment I learned that God’s word is active despite of any negative emotions I may experience. Build up your faith using the word of God: the scriptures are powerful to the tearing down of strongholds.
El Shaddai, Jehovah Tsinedku, Lord of creation, God of Mercy we lean close to you for strength and wisdom. I ask you Lord, to send your rain and wash away the impurities found in our hearts- those things that cause us to be discouraged from one moment to the next. As your word says make rivers in the dry places, and set the crooked paths straight. All of your promises, in You are YES, and AMEN, so I ask you today to make us all free from whatever makes us bound. Look at us all, who are battling with sexual sins, vices, materialism, substance use, and demonic strongholds; bring liberation and then restoration into our lives Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.