Everyone has their own idea of what freedom looks like.
For Americans, July is typically full of reminders about our freedom as a nation. The freedoms we enjoy here, and the opportunities we’ve been blessed with are unparalleled around the world. We’re right to remember and to celebrate them, and to honor the sacrifices of those who fought for them.
Several weeks ago, on Independence Day, I dove even farther into what freedom means to me – not just as an American, but as a Christian.1 I believe that true and complete freedom can only be found through Jesus Christ. And when we’re living in His freedom, everything changes. The lives we can live when we’re not bound by the Enemy are unbelievable.
But what does it mean to live in freedom?
That’s where it can get complicated. Some people are eager to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and receive the freedom He promises, but then grow discouraged when hard things still happen, and they continue to struggle with temptations and heartbreak. Others are skeptical for those very reasons. Accepting Jesus doesn’t seem to make Christians’ lives any easier. They still sin and mourn and battle anger – so what’s the point? What changes?
On the outside, it may or may not look like anything changes. Just because someone is a Christian, doesn’t mean they’re granted a ‘Get Out of Difficulty Free’ card. In fact, that’s never the case. If anything, life often gets trickier in some ways. And in addition to seeking to follow God and His will for us, Christians aren’t exempt from pain, loss, illness, depression, family troubles, poverty… everything others struggle with.
What always changes is inside. Christians may battle with depression, but they know that with Jesus’ help, they can overcome it. They may struggle with rocky relationships, betrayal, and abandonment, but they don’t have to let it hinder them from reaching out to others in the future. They may live in poverty or homelessness, but they know that God will always provide what they truly need.
And usually, as a Christian lives out this freedom, and rests secure in their knowledge and trust in God, it does show on the outside. God works powerfully through the examples of Christians – especially in their darkest moments. That’s one reason freedom in Christ doesn’t mean freedom from difficulty.
Without the dark, the light doesn’t show. When Christians are joyful (not necessarily happy, but joyful), at peace, and committed to loving and serving others, no matter what they’re battling in their lives, it’s powerful. It’s a bright, shining example of the Savior and how He works in our hearts.
And with Him, we know we don’t have to allow the pain, the injustice, the hardships of this world to drag us down. We don’t have to let them chain us up and hold us captive. In every situation, we can look to Jesus, who understands. He’s always there to help us overcome.
It’s not easy. Often, it may feel impossible. But where it would be impossible on our own, nothing is impossible with God. If He’s promised something, we can count on it fully.
And while He never promises happiness, or material abundance, or perfect health in this life, He has promised victory in the end. He wins. No matter what happens in this life, we can eagerly await – knowing with absolute certainty that it’s coming – an eternity of joy, peace, love, and fellowship with our Lord.
No more pain. No more grief. No more need.
To me, nothing sounds more like freedom than that.
It’s just the getting there that’s tough. All too often I can get caught up in the swirling storms of this world and its hardships, and lose sight of the freedom I really have. It’s far too common that I allow myself to get sucked into discouragement and doubt.
That’s when I need to spend more time praying and studying Scriptures that remind me of the freedom I have through Christ. In addition, I’ve often found it helpful to hear what other Christians have to say on the subject. So today, I thought I’d share ten of my favorite quotes about true freedom, with the prayer that they help you as much as they help me.
1. “If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you are free.”
(Dwight L. Moody)
2. “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”
3. “God has defeated Satan through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through this overwhelming victory, God has also empowered you to overcome any temptation to sin and has provided sufficient resources for you to respond biblically to any problem of life. By relying on God’s power and being obedient to His Word, you can be an overcomer in any situation.”
(John C. Broger)
4. “To serve God, to love God, to enjoy God, is the sweetest freedom in the world.”
5. “I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.”
6. “We can see hope in the midst of hopelessness. We can see peace in the midst of chaos. We have a hope that the world does not have. We can see clearly that all things work together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
7. “There is an amazing and refreshing journey of freedom for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord. “
8. “The victorious Christian neither exalts nor downgrades himself. His interests have shifted from self to Christ. What he is or is not no longer concerns him. He believes that he has been crucified with Christ and he is not willing either to praise or deprecate such a man.”
9. “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”
10. “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Life isn’t easy – that’s just how it is in a fallen world. But I believe that we can overcome anything with Jesus. And no matter how difficult this life is, no matter how much we might hurt, we’re not bound to it forever. We have an eternity of true freedom waiting for us. Today, I pray that we’d be reminded of that freedom, and that we’d always seek to live lives that reflect that truth. May God be glorified through us!
Did any of these quotes speak to you today? Go ahead and let me know your favorites in the comments, as well as if there is a certain topic you’d like to see more quotes about. While you’re there, I’d love to hear something YOU’RE learning about living in freedom!
“And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
1. I talked about true freedom in my post here.
2. I shared more of my quote collection in many previous posts, which you can find here.
3. To receive your own printable pages of the above quotes (and the ones used in my other ‘Quotes’ posts), sign up for my email list! Simply fill in the form here, and I’ll send you PDF copies of the quote collections – as well as an inspirational short story. I look forward to hearing from you!