Woke up depressed, but I have to go to jail, share the “hope that lies within me” with women inmates.
“Can’t give what you don’t have?” Satan taunts me.
I get on my knees where the battle is won, and pray God’s Word aloud. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3)
Then I go out of obedience, not because I feel like it.
The jail tank is empty. Most of the women are asleep in their cells. I sit at the metal table and pray until a young woman joins me.
I confess my foul mood; explain I had to pray for the desire to come to jail. But I’m confident that as we read God’s Word and fix our minds on Him, our moods will change even if troubles remain.
Tears trickle down her cheeks. Woman admits she woke up thinking she should read her Bible, but didn’t “feel like it” which made her feel guilty. Knowing I struggle helps her know she’s not alone.
I assure her that Jesus struggled with mental anguish just before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had to pray and focus on God’s will rather than his own feelings.
So we open our Bibles to Luke 22: 66-71 and read about the trial.
The Council of elders confronts Jesus, ““If you are the Christ, tell us.”
Just like Satan tempted Jesus. “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Just like Satan taunts me. “If you’re a jail chaplain, where’s your hope?”
Just like Satan accuses the inmate: “If you don’t read the Bible, you’re bad.”
How does Jesus respond to Ifs.
Sometimes He quotes scripture.
Sometimes He asks questions.
During the trial, He states facts. “If I tell you, you will not believe.”
Again, they ask Him, “Are you the Son of God?”
“Yes, I am.”
Jesus condemns himself with his own words,
Because they feel that anyone who claims to be the “Son of God” is a liar or a lunatic.
They don’t believe Jesus is telling the truth when He claims to be Christ the Lord.
But disbelief doesn’t change the facts.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Believe it, or not.