Freedom, defined in the truest sense of the word, cannot be dictated by the circumstances in which we exist. Some of the most imprisoned souls dwell in nice homes, drive expensive cars, and enjoy all the luxuries this world has to offer. Despite this, they live in an oppression that threatens to sap the energy out of them. What should bring pleasure and contentment instead increase their desire to hold onto everything tightly and to gain even more.
The Apostles Peter, Paul, and Silas exemplify how liberty in Christ appears to observers or searchers for peace and freedom. Soldiers seized Peter and placed him in prison with four squads of soldiers guarding him. When the angel came to release Peter, he found him asleep. Scheduled to see Herod soon, Peter peacefully rested among his captives (Acts 12:4-6). His sleep hadn’t been altered by the place he laid his head to rest. He knew freedom!
Paul and Silas were not only arrested but received many blows before being thrown in prison. Their feet bound in stocks didn’t prevent them from praying and singing hymns of praise to God while the guards slept and the other prisoners listened. When the earthquake shook the prison’s foundations, the jailer awoke and found the doors opened. He expected to find his prisoners had escaped, but instead he discovered Paul and Silas remained there ready to share the truth of salvation (Acts 16:22-26). They knew how to offer a sacrifice of praise despite their surroundings. Yes, they knew freedom!
Jesus reminds us in John 10:10 that He came to give us life abundantly. He came to pour freedom into our lives regardless of our difficulties and trials. May we learn from Paul, Silas, and Peter how to rest in peace and rejoice with praying and singing!