“Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”Philippians 1:14
The California coastline is rarely visible on the other side of the 26-mile channel between it and Catalina Island. I was fortunate enough on the 4th of July—the United States’ Independence Day—to be blessed with a perfectly clear view that night. I watched from our tranquil cove as every harbor along the coastline exploded in fireworks, joining in the nation’s celebration of our freedom and the bravery of those who have defended it.
Freedom comes at a cost. Many Christians around the world still meet in fear and worship quietly so as to not draw the attention of authoritarian governments. These are the same conditions under which Christ birthed the church. Paul never shunned his imprisonment, but embraced it and bore all the more fruit through it.
Will you join with me in prayer for our imprisoned brothers and sisters, especially as we celebrate our own freedom? Do not simply pray for their release, but pray fervently for their encouragement and that their ministry would multiply in their God-given circumstances.
Thank you, Father, for freedom and for those who sacrificed for it. Thank you, Jesus, for freedom from sin and earning for us eternal life. Amen