Have you ever experienced suffering that seems like it will never end? A time when you longed for deliverance but the end just didn’t seem to be in sight. Webster’s tells us that suffering implies, “conscious endurance of pain or distress.” The word endurance indicates the suffering will likely not be over quickly, but will rather require stamina – “the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort”. Scripture frequently uses the literal example of prison to communicate a state of suffering, yet “prison” can come in many shapes and forms.

Some of you may be experiencing an internal prison; daily living with the agony of longing for emotional deliverance, crying out to the Lord for freedom, but waking up in the same cage day after day.

Others live in bodily captivity due to a chronic illness or injury. Your mind works and longs for healing, but your body is trapped with a disability that it can’t control. This prison is often terminal and may never result in physical freedom here on this earth. The only option is to courageously endure.

How about a circumstantial prison? Every day you go to a difficult job with a difficult boss in a difficult setting. Then repeat. You don’t feel heard or valued and the end is simply not in sight. Or maybe the search for the job is what seems endless and every apparent open door slams in your face.

Then there are relational prisons; living daily in relationships that you know are unhealthy but seem impossible to change. You may know what needs to be said, but the fear of being unsafe or misunderstood prevents you from speaking the truth which you know could ultimately produce wholeness and health but just isn’t worth the risk.

The prisons we experience are endless. They are areas in our lives where we long for freedom but for one reason or another, we are trapped and unable to find deliverance.

Paul’s imprisonment was an actual Roman prison. He didn’t know when it would end, but he was confident that it would; whether by life or by death. In Philippians 1:19, Paul says, “For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” Paul is writing to the Church in Philippi asking for prayer because he believes in it! Furthermore, he is confident that God will provide through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. His conclusion? Deliverance.

What prison are you facing today? Who have you asked to pray for you? How is God providing within that prison? How is the Spirit of Jesus helping you to endure? Friend, may you have courage for the journey – your God’s purposes will prevail.

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

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