Freedom from Discouragement
The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. (Psalm 146:7b-9 RSV)
Sometimes when we are discouraged, it’s hard for us to see the Lord in the midst of the situation. Doesn’t He care? Is He who He claims to be? In those dark moments we may lose sight of what we already know and believe about God. Instead of living in the freedom the Lord has given us, we are imprisoned by fear or doubt. It may be for a short time, or for much longer, like it was for me after my mother’s death when I questioned God’s purpose, and depression was my chain.
John the Baptist got discouraged. He was in prison and would soon lose his life. (Matthew 11 and Luke 7) The prophet questioned God, even though he had baptized Jesus and had heard God say “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” He sent two of his followers to Jesus. They said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who was to come, or shall we look for another?’”
In that hour Jesus had healed the blind, and cured many diseases and evil spirits. He answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”(Luke 7:22, 23 RSV)
Jesus did not chastise John the Baptist. Jesus compassionately reassured John that He was indeed the one God’s Word foretold. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. (Psalm 146:7) John the Baptistknew he had been sent as a messenger before the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. I’m sure he remembered that the prophet Isaiah also foretold thatGod would come, bringing healing for the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute. (Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:4-6).
When we are imprisoned by depression, despair, and doubt, it is the Lord who brings us freedom.
When I was captive to depression after Mom’s death, it was the Lord who set me free. I was still attending church, but anger at God kept part of me from truly participating in worship. It was ‘more important’ to me that I get Mom’s house emptied and sold and her estate dealt with than it was to apply the Bible studies I participated in or to take care of my own health. I sang worship songs, but often the words did not penetrate my heart. Still, the Lord kept reaching for me. When I realized I couldn’t do everything on my own, He reassured me that He had been with me through the whole ordeal and would continue to be with me. He reminded me that Mom was no longer suffering and that she was in heaven with Him. While I could have told you those things all along, God’s truth took hold and released me. The truth went from my head to my heart. Jesus lifted me up. He gave me a new spiritual sight that looks with trust to Jesus.
Are you bowed down? Are you imprisoned in your soul, or even physically? Do you struggle with continuing on day after day? Maybe you are a widow or widower, or a single parent, trying to keep yourself and even a family afloat. Perhaps a loved one is out of control. Health issues may bind you or a family member.
Jesus knows all about it. He cares. He loves you.
There is no need to look for another; the Lord Jesus sets the prisoners free. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD upholds the widow and the fatherless.
Let’s seek Jesus. He frees us, encourages us, heals us, and loves us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being the Lord, for being the one who came to set the captives free. Thank you for your encouragement and for your care for every detail in my life. Amen.
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Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals can be found in the Devotional archive.