When we go through trials, it’s easy for us to carry the weight of guilt and humiliation with us. However, there is no shame on our chains when we use them to glorify God.
While being a Christian comes with unspeakable joy and peace beyond what is normal, our faith does not make us immune to life’s troubles. We will still face problems and challenges that will test our resolve and cause us pain.
Take, for example, the Apostle Paul. Throughout his ministry, Paul endured many trials and was imprisoned on multiple occasions. However, he found no shame in his chains, literal and otherwise. In fact, he rejoiced in them.
Celebrating the Chains
In Philippians 1:12, 19, Paul wrote “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel… for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.” Paul saw his trials as an opportunity to advance the message of Jesus, in that despite his chains, he experienced the ultimate freedom that comes with being a Christ follower.
Now, that is not to say that when we face trials we won’t be sad, angry, or experience feelings of hopelessness for a time. However, when we remember that our trials are a golden opportunity to show how God’s presence, power, and peace operates in our lives for better or worse, we find that there is no shame in our chains. In fact, there is strength to be found in the things that attempt to weaken us.
Prayer vs. Prison
Note that Paul stated that it was through “your (the church’s) prayers and the spirit of Jesus Christ” that he would ultimately be delivered. Prayer is the key that unlocks and unloads the supernatural in our lives. It is the first tool in our arsenal that helps us endure life’s problems.
Secondly (and yet of equal if not greater importance) is the spirit of Jesus Christ, which is also known as the Holy Spirit. The Spirit can only be invited into our situation through prayer. Once it shows up, God is able to move through even the worst of trials and break the heaviest of chains for our deliverance.
Passing the Keys
So, as Christ followers, let us remember that there is no shame in our chains. Rather, we rejoice at the chance to show that Jesus is willing, able, and enthusiastic about setting us free.
What chain are you praying for God to break today?