How to fight for freedom
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
1 SAMUEL 22:33
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord,
who is the Spirit.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:17–18
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
When you struggle with authority
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority.
1 PETER 2:13
God is with you
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you when you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west.”
ISAIAH 43:1–2, 5
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
When you struggle with pride or surrender
Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 PETER 5:5–6
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect
of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:11–12
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
When anger arises
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
When you feel rejected
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant. I have chosen you and have not rejected you.’ ”
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
When you struggle with purity
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:5
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything
that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 CORINTHIANS 7:1
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, what- ever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
When you feel ashamed
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blame- less in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 JOHN 1:9
If anybody does sin, we have one who
speaks to the Father in our defense— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
1 JOHN 2:1
When you face temptation
I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:13
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached
to others, I myself should become disqualified.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:27
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love,
peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 TIMOTHY 2:22
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us
to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled,
upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When you feel condemned
They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces were not ashamed.
Do not be afraid, you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated; you will forget the shame of your youth.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, He straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her . . .” Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
JOHN 8:7, 10–11
When he [satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the accuser of our brothers [satan], who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
When you have been wronged
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it de- pends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 PETER 3:9
When your heart is broken
I am the Lord, who heals you.
He is near to those who have a broken heart and saves those who are
crushed in spirit.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ...For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:35, 38–39
Moving past the past
Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
When you need peace
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When you have money issues
The Lord will open the heavens, the store- house of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all.
1 CHRONICLES 29:11
If your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
He who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
Greed brings grief to the whole family.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve
God and mammon.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.
The devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be Yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6–8
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
1 TIMOTHY 6:6
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 TIMOTHY 6:10
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
When you feel afraid
Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.
The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.”
No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will up- hold you with my righteous right hand.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 TIMOTHY 1:7
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 JOHN 4:18
When your heart is heavy
He is near to those who have a broken heart and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
For this is what the Lord says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When you face trials
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you down- cast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
PSALM 42:3, 5
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Reasons to rejoice
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!