There are so many people today that are prisoners of their past. Perhaps it is due to a traumatic event, abuse or neglect, but the common factors with all of these circumstances are fear and anger. They go hand in hand. I have seen first hand how fear can have a detrimental grip on someone’s life, where they literally become a slave to it. Fear is a distressing emotion that can cripple a person. Anger is simply the fuel that keeps fear alive and doesn’t allow the person to move forward in their life and it affects everyone involved.
When Jesus revealed Himself to the world, He walked into a synagogue in His home town and read from the book of Isaiah. The passage that He read is very significant. Until that moment, people had not heard from a Prophet of God for 400 years. The Devil, who had fearlessly tried to stop the Messiah from being born, still did not know the whereabouts of Jesus. He had heard of His birth when the angels proclaimed it to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-20 and so he placed an evil idea into Herod’s head (to kill every 2 year old and younger in that area) in Matthew 2:16-18. God was already working ahead of the Devil and had given Joseph a dream to escape to Egypt, before Herod’s soldiers would get to Jesus (Matthew 2:13).
When the Devil had failed, once again, he did not know where Jesus was or if he had been killed along with all of those precious children. It was at this moment, that Jesus declared Himself alive and well. He began His ministry, the reason why He was born into the world, in the first place. The passage He read from was a prophecy about the coming Messiah, in Isaiah 61:1-2. The interesting thing is that Jesus did not read the entire prophecy. He stopped in the middle of verse 2. We read this in Luke 4:18-19. The second part of verse 2 from Isaiah is a yet future prophecy, but Jesus did not read it because only verse 1.5 had been fulfilled by Him, the rest was yet to come. He stopped reading at mid-point, rolled up the scroll and left people wondering, “why did he stop reading?” Then, in Luke 4:21, Jesus says, “and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”…
Jesus read this passage in Isaiah, ““The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…”
If you are a Christian today and you are suffering from the memories of your past that haunts you, THIS verse is for you! Jesus came to release the oppressed and to declare liberty to you! Liberty from torment, fear, anxiety, shame, depression, suicidal thoughts and anything else that is holding you in a personal prison. The same goes for anyone reading this that is not a Christian. You may not even believe in God, but please know that He is very real and He did not create you to leave you in this torment. All people are made in God’s image and hold so much value! Can you change your past? No, what has happened, happened. Can you move forward by yourself? No, you can try, but I assure you that anger, bitterness and fear will come back around, taunting you, tormenting you.
We can only move forward with Jesus and in His strength. Psychology will tell us that all we have to do is “face our fear” and it will go away. I would like to combat that argument with the fact that yes, this can work for surrounding events and situations, but memories are a different story. We can’t erase memories that were traumatic. Isn’t it funny how the brain works? There are beautiful memories that we tend to forget with the years, despite how precious they were, but when we see a picture or hear a song or smell a fragrance, it comes back. Trauma is different, it is so powerful that a person can visualize everything, as if they are re-living that moment, right then and there. It is not forgotten.
Not everyone has a good past, good parents, a good childhood experience. But if you are a child of the living God, you must let go of those memories. Letting go does not mean forgetting because that is impossible. Only Jesus can turn them into healed pain. Yes, you will still have that memory, but healing allows you to break free from that personal prison. People that are not Christians have relied on therapy, prescribed medications, Yoga, drinking, sex, drugs, etc. But how is that working? Not very well because it is recurring, it is simply a temporary fix until a lapse comes. It’s like giving a person a bandaid when they have a disease that needs an anecdote.
Jesus can heal you from that pain. Whether you are a Christian or not, Jesus can heal you and help you to move forward from that prison, but you must believe He can. You must allow Him to do it. A gift is not a gift, unless the person on the other end actually receives it. No one is unworthy, the Devil will try to convince Christian or non-Christian that one is not worthy of healing and forgiveness, but this is a lie. Jesus has already paid for everyone’s sin. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Just like your mind and heart believe the torment that is very real to you, one must believe that Jesus is just as real and can heal. You must believe in your heart and your mind. Don’t be a prisoner any longer, ask Jesus to remove this torment from your mind and pray hard. It will be a battle of the mind, a battle of the spiritual realm because the Devil wants all that are prisoners in their minds to remain there, but don’t lose hope, have faith. Place your faith in Jesus.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” I Peter 2:24.
Jesus took in pain to release healing, He took on suffering to give peace, He bore trauma to give joy. As a Christian, trauma, pain, torment and suffering have no place in your life. The only one that wants you stuck in your past is the devil. If we look at scripture, Jesus always declares Himself in the present tense and discusses the future. This is significant because it not only speaks of His eternal state of being, but it also makes the statement that we should live in the present and trust our future to Him. God placed our eyes in the front of our head so that we could focus on what is ahead. God also placed our feet so that we focus on walking forward, not backwards. When we are continually replaying events and re-living past events, it does a person no good. It changes nothing. It causes pain to continue in a cycle of suffering that only damages, but God is there to pull us out.
“The Lord is my solid rock,
my fortress, my rescuer.
My God is my rock—
I take refuge in him!—
he’s my shield,
my salvation’s strength,
my place of safety.”
Meditate on these Bible verses that focus on freedom:
Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
John 8:36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the fruit you reap leads to holiness, and the outcome is eternal life.”
In I John 4:18 it reads, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” Remember, fear, anger and torment go hand in hand. Allow God almighty to deliver you today from all three and His love will be perfected in you.