(*based on my McHenry County Jail message from 3/8/20)
The Bible tells us that we will always have times of trouble. Receiving Jesus, as your Savior, does not mean that things will be perfect for the rest of your life. BUT He is right by your side ready to give you the strength to get through each day. All you have to do is ask.
I like to leave the ladies with extra scripture references so that they can study on their own or with others. So, for this lesson, we read and discussed some of the following passages pertaining to what God expects of us on the difficult days.
The discussion on this particular day included such things as fear, trust & God’s grace. Those who are incarcerated have plenty of reason to be anxious about their case, the safety of their loved ones, and a myriad of other issues. As a jail chaplain, it was important to remind the ladies that God tells us 365 times in his word to fear not. We discussed some strategies to overcome fear, such as prayer, studying the word, and taking advantage of the one-on-one counseling that our organization provides. This lead to discussing what grace is and how salvation cannot be earned. The works we do for God after we are saved are one way we demonstrate how much we love, honor and trust our Creator. The discussion ended with what submission is (and isn’t). Yes, we are supposed to submit to those in authority over us. BUT this does not mean being a doormat to an abuser or to break the law. Scripture tells us to obey the law of the land unless it is contrary to scripture (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 2:2, Acts 20:28 etc.)
As the hour drew to a close, I could see some relief on the faces of these precious ladies as they realized that they are never alone and that our Heavenly Father is ready, willing and able to do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).