Perhaps never before has the world faced such a time of bondage and uncertain times.
Every day in the news there are emerging stories of human trafficking, refugees, terrorism and international conflicts. Hospitals and general practitioners are full of patients dealing with depression, fear, anxiety, and addictions which are rising at an alarming rate. Looking at some of the biggest issues facing our generation today:
- Mental Health - depression affects one in five people with about ten percent of children diagnosed with a mental health problem at any one time. One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men.
- Poverty – over three billion people, live on less than US$2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than US$10 a day. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty, some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
- Suicide – one million people across the globe die by suicide each year, which equates to one suicide every forty seconds. To put it into perspective more people choose to end their life each year than murder and war combined, with an estimated five percent of people attempt suicide at least once in their life.
- Abortion – according to the World Health Organisation, every year there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions, or 125,000 abortions per day. In the US, nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in ten of these are terminated, over 3,000 abortions per day.
- Climate Change – the past decade was the warmest ever on record with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point in history. In the last century alone, sea levels rose roughly seven inches after not having changed noticeably in the previous 2,000 years, with more violent and frequent droughts, storms, hurricanes and fires around the world.
It appears the world has never been more in bondage, lost, broken and hurting than at any other time in history. The 21st century offers many technological advances, achievements in travel and higher life expectancy. However, with this the world has found new waves of unprecedented violence, internet crime, excessive materialism, poverty, homelessness, wide availability of drugs, AIDS and more that other generations did not.
Is all this a coincidence with several connections? Judges 17:6 says, In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. When society turns away from God every aspect of society breaks down. Our world has completely lost its understanding of morality and run far from the standards of God. People are desperate for total freedom in mind, body and spirit but are looking for it today in all the wrong places.
Even as believers we can too easily live in fear, depression, addictions and bondage. Jesus mission statement was a life in abundance, but how have we at times wandered so far? Wrong thinking, unbelief and lack of repentance are several reasons. So, is there any hope in the world?
Christ Came To Set Us Free
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free…
Luke 4:18 NIV
The word freedom is used dozens of times throughout scripture in many contexts but predominately in the context for the human soul. The gospel’s theme is one of freedom and the release of bondage ever since the Fall of Adam. Ever since God has been in the process of restoring mankind to Himself through His Son. Jesus mission statement was to set freedom to the captives. Any person today who is captive to sin, darkness or any type of bondage, Jesus is still passionate about setting free.
People were never created to be in prison, slavery or in any kind of bondage. Even if it is our fault or the result of our decisions, to live in any type of bondage is the greatest of all evils. This is why Christ came to set us free. Nothing is impossible with God; even saving a broken and dying world. Jesus came to save and restore every person that comes to Him willingly and desires to become all God created them to be. He is fully committed to your journey no matter how difficult or complicated your life is.
A believer who is completely liberated is rare today. The Holy Spirit’s power in our life can put everything on the inside of us back together. Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. You can always approach an understanding person and Jesus understands everything you have been through. No matter how much of a failure you think you are, God still believes in you and desires to encounter you. He does not see who you are today; He sees who you can become.
It is my firm conviction that God doesn’t discriminate based on how deeply broken you are, what addictions you battle with your personal demons. The world will judge and reject but God never will. Jesus said clearly, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13). When we come to Christ and bring all of our baggage and mess, He entangles all of our knots and puts us back on the right track. He warmly invites all people to come into His presence with their darkest secrets, to become whole, free and liberated in body, soul and spirit.
God is a redeemer who liberates every area of our lives into the image of His Son Jesus Christ, our perfect example to follow and imitate. He has the power to use every event in our lives, the good and evil, and turn it all around for good. To become everything God created us to be, to do all that He has planned us to do. From start to finish your life is a work in progress which is predestined as a masterpiece. No sin is too deep, no addiction too powerful for the imputed grace of God and the Holy Spirit to set us free.
When we choose to walk in His ways we will get His results. Choose Christ today my friend, and He can set you free.