Escape From Prison

Have you ever felt as if everyone had deserted you and left you to face terrible circumstances all alone? Paul states in 2 Timothy 4:16,17, "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength."[1] We may be abandoned by others, but not by God.

Psalm 107 also provides great encouragement. The people in this psalm had rebelled against God in spite of how good He had been to them. He had taken care of their needs and had given them many wonderful promises of what He would do if they would only serve Him; however, they continually rebelled and chose the wrong road. Eventually, God had to let them suffer the consequences of their actions.

Those individuals, like many of us, had to hit bottom before they were ready to look up to God and listen. They were imprisoned with no one to help them, yet, in spite of their history of rebellion and disobedience, when "they cried to the Lord in their trouble  . . . he saved them from their distress" (vv. 12,13).

When faced with seemingly impossible circumstances, we may be engulfed by feelings of fear, discouragement, and hopelessness. Verse 14 says: "He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains." God delivered the people from the deep despair that wrapped itself around them like unbreakable chains. He overcame the fear and anxiety that paralyzed them. He released them from the depression that held them captive.

Perhaps you're facing insurmountable problems. You see no way to get through them. Verse 16 states that God "breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron." Bronze and iron are very strong metals that cannot be easily broken. They represent real barriers that are too strong for us to overcome by ourselves. However, they are nothing to God; He breaks down massive bronze gates as if they were toothpicks.

Verses 23-30 describe merchants who traveled across the seas to buy and sell. When great storms arose, threatening their lives, "their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end." Perhaps you feel tossed about by unpredictable circumstances and wish that you could find a place of quiet rest. Just as He did for the sailors in this psalm, God can still your storm to a whisper, calm the waves, and guide you to a safe haven in His love.

No matter what your situation may be, God will help you if you will call out to Him and trust Him. Then, when He does, remember to praise Him and thank Him for His wonderful deeds and His unfailing love. Because of God's great mercy, when we return to Him after having been rebellious, we discover that He never stopped loving us.

"Lord, help us to ponder Your great love and to thank You for Your unfailing kindness."

© by Nancy A. Stevens



[1] All Scripture verses are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.