Freedom: Isaiah 61:1-3

Teen Camp is a little over 48 hours away, as a youth happily informed me today. Darrell will be speaking on “Freedom in Christ,” and as I prepare to be a counselor, I keep coming back to these verses from Isaiah 61. To me, they show the depths of hopelessness a human being is capable of sinking into, contrasted with the amazing redemptive power of God to transform the hardest of hearts and heaviest of burdens into that which reflects His glory.

Joseph Parker, a theologian and pastor during the 1800’s, once told a young minister: “In every pew there is a broken heart. Speak often on suffering and you will never lack for a congregation.” For many of the teens who will be attending camp, there is brokenness. Fractured family relationships, friendships soured by hatred and anger, a lack of trust in anyone or anything. And there is a deep, deep brokenness because that which was taken from them at the Fall has not been restored. They are not free in Christ because they have not invited Him to free them yet.

May this be the summer that they experience the contrasts of Isaiah 61!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to
Preach the Gospel of good tidings
To the meek, the poor, and afflicted;

He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the physical and spiritual captives

And the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor]
And the day of vengeance of our God,

To comfort all who mourn,

To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion–To give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes,

The oil of joy instead of mourning,

The garment expressive of praise
Instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit

That they may be called oaks of righteousness
Lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God,

The planting of the Lord,

That He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:1-3 Amplified

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