Many times this phrase is used in the context of honoring soldiers and military personnel whose lives are given for the safety and security of our country. But I think there is another truth behind these words, that does not often get addressed.
For freedom isn’t free – we can receive it freely; yes, because Jesus paid for it. But we each must make the choice to receive our freedom and live in it.
Freedom does not come to the individual without suffering.
Today we see people living all kinds of lifestyles in an effort to avoid pain, to avoid change and inconvenience. Most often the things we avoid are what cause a strong foundation, of character and integrity, to be built in our lives. There is a tolerance that pervades today’s society, which gives itself in an effort to avoid suffering and pain. True, it would be nice if we could live in a perfect world, but what would we gain without challenges to overcome. The trials and suffering are essential building blocks to a life of strong character & success. Many people I have talked to the last few weeks can easily identify times they struggled or felt pain or suffering. But the most shocking thing I heard from each of them included something like this: The person I am today is not the same as who I was before that episode, and I would not trade the experience because it taught me something I would not have know without walking through it.
There is a whirlwind that is coming, neither good nor bad – it’s just life coming at a fast pace. It is imperative to learn and begin to live with eyes fixed on Jesus. That single practice will determine the constructive or destructive effect of the whirlwind.
Journal excerpt | 31 May 2016
One curious thing about being honed and defined by fiery situations is they require that heat and pressure to produce something that nothing else in life can produce. The changes result in freedom, a freedom in which we are no longer hindered by broken aspects of our self. As a human being, God made us in His own image and formed us fearfully and wonderfully in our mother’s womb. We were born with a sin nature that tries to entangle us for a lifetime, yet by God’s grace we can be free because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Because He came and died in our place we can walk in the freedom He has provided us. This freedom allows us to come in His presence and by the power of His love we are transformed. The broken and hard things are broken off and the truth of who we are is solidified. God knows this transformation is important, because it restores Godly character and we become more like Him, and that will take a person farther then gifts, talents, or willpower can.
Jesus told us in John 16 “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…” The painless existence is not possible in this lifetime, but this warning of hard times was not the only thing Jesus said. After he said we would have struggles, Jesus said “take heart I have overcome the world”. He was explaining so we could be at peace, knowing whatever happens He has already battled and overcome all the world has to offer.
We must choose: to walk in freedom, to embrace liberty and grace.
1 John 5:4 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of your life and personal Savior, you can do it now by praying this prayer:
God, I know that I am a sinner and that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I choose to trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death on the cross and resurrection three days later paid for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal as Lord of my life and my Savior. Thank you Jesus, for saving me, forgiving me, and setting me free! Amen!
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