Friday, 10 June 2016

The Lord Sets Prisoners Free

I have Psalm 146 written out in full and stuck on my bedroom wall at my parents' home.

This is for two reasons.

Firstly, I have it there because verse three has been my cling-to verse through years of singleness; do not put your hope in princes, in mortal men, in whom there is no salvation.

I absolutely love it, because it draws this incredible contrast between men, who I am so prone to setting my hopes in (one at a time!)- who cannot save, who die, who do not last, whose plans ultimately come to nothing, and the LORD- who made and sustains literally everything, who remains faithful forever, who upholds the cause of the oppressed, who feeds the hungry, who sets prisoners free and gives sight to the blind, who lifts up those who are bowed down, who loves and watches and sustains and whose plans triumph- even over the way of the wicked. Blessed is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God! Indeed!

I have it back at my family home because it's often when I go back that my single status hits hardest. It's been a joyful reminder to me as I've gone home over the years needing to calm a hopeful heart, or comfort a disappointed heart, or bind up a broken heart, that it is the LORD, rather than any man, that is my help and hope. If one day I end up getting married, this will be no less true!

Secondly, I have it there to remind me about the bigger picture.

Take a step back, and my life narrative is not ultimately about my love life. The narrative of my story is that I was once enslaved- to sin, to fear, to death, and the LORD set me free. I was on death-row, but the King of Heaven suffered and died in my place and I was acquitted, liberated,, justified and welcomed warmly as his child! Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be til I die! And ever since, the LORD continues to set me free, from sin, from fear, from death. Ever since, God's Spirit has testified to my heart: you are no longer a slave, in Christ, you are a son, an heir: you are free indeed.

Take a further step back, and the narrative of the world is not about me! It is about the LORD of heaven! It is about a God who sets captives free! So, blessed are the widows, the oppressed, the refugees, the slaves in the most horrific circumstances, the prisoners of war, the addicts, blessed is every fast-bound spirit whose dungeon heart is yet to be flamed with the light of the gospel- blessed are any of these whose hope is in the LORD. For He is infinitely powerful, always at work, and he sets prisoners free.

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