God At Work Through IM

When the Son Sets You Free

When the Son Sets You Free

For the better part of two decades, Jake has been longing to be free — free from the “demons” and guilt that he has been carrying around with him since his last tour of duty. Whether Jake is suffering from clinical PTSD or not, I cannot say. What I can tell you, however, is that his attempts to find peace in a bottle proved unsuccessful.

Not only was his quest for peace unsuccessful, it also ended up costing him his family, his business and ultimately his physical freedom. At one point, Jake became so desperate, he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger — the gun misfired. The Lord had other plans for Jake.

I first met Jake in a Bible class at the county jail when his life was just beginning to spin out of control. For most of the decade that followed, his life continued its downward spiral, and his drinking eventually landed him in prison. We met again a few years back when he showed up at one of my Bible classes in prison. Since that time, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Holy Spirit set this troubled man free through the study of God’s Word.

When I returned each week for Bible study, Jake was typically the first to arrive. As we talked prior to class, he began to confide in me about his struggles: coping with his incarceration, losing contact with his daughter, almost losing sight in one eye and fearing he might eventually become blind. There were also repeated setbacks before the prison’s Program Review Committee (PRC determines when an inmate gets reduced to minimum security and moved to another facility).

As Jake poured out his heart, I sat and listened, offering words of comfort and encouragement (often from the very section of Scripture we would study that day), reassuring him of God’s love and compassion. As the months passed (and our time together in God’s Word continued), the peace, which God’s Spirit had been working all along in Jake’s heart, began to overflow into more and more aspects of his life.

One week when I visited the prison, Jake was the only one to show up for Bible class. We spent much of our time talking (quite candidly) about his spiritual journey, especially over the past several months with all the challenges he’s faced in prison. I cannot begin to tell you the joy that was mine as Jake began expressing his gratitude towards God for the peace and contentment that he has now found.

What an awesome God we have! Even while Jake's physical imprisonment continues, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, is guarding his heart and his mind in Christ Jesus” (Php. 4:7). It’s just as Jesus promised: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn. 8:36).

Partner with us in this ministry, and together, we will continue sharing God’s transcendent peace with the walled-in souls of our communities. Together, we will share the love of Jesus Christ so that the Son can set them free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.