Imprisoned Yet Free
No confinement can deprive God’s people of His Presence. No locks nor bars can shut out his gracious visits. A prisoner behind bars can experience God just as others who are free. Afflictions can imprison. Old age with an inability to care for oneself any longer can imprison. Depression can imprison. Circumstances can imprison. BUT... Our God knows no walls.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:1-3
Jeremiah was in prison. The LORD revealed Himself, speaking to him, wanting to tell him many things, wonderful things.
Paul spent many years in prison, some in Caesarea, in Rome, and possibly other places.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are arrested: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. Acts 16:25-34 Look at the miracle God brought upon this man and his household through two prisoners, Paul and Silas.
Peter was also a prisoner: So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. Acts 12:5-7
And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. Acts 12:9
When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. Acts 12:11-12
But Peter continued knocking; and when they had openedthe door, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place. Acts 12:16-17
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied. Acts 12:24
The church prayed for Peter and were amazed when he appeared at the door. Through this miracle, the word of the LORD grew and multiplied.
Paul credited Jesus Christ for holding him up through all the suffering he endured … for the sake of the cross. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 3:11-13
Paul was a joyful Christian and expressed the love and peace of Christ everywhere he went, through his letters. During his imprisonment, Paul wrote four letters that are a part of our New Testament… Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Paul teaches us that no matter what our imprisonment, struggle, misfortune, illness, God reigns and will see us through it all…IT ALL! God wants us to stand tall in His Name through it all.
Oh, my dear Father, this is such a tall order. You call us to pray and to continue to pray fervently. You call us to be obedient to Your Word, to Your call, to You. You are with us in all that we go through. Oh, God, may I seek Your face without ceasing. I love You so and want to be under Your wings, protected and cared for in all that I must walk through. Father, please shelter me as I seek You. You are my Refuge. I pray in Your Son’s Holy and Powerful Name. Amen.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.