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    1. It is such good news to me! I am that poor girl, the prisoner, the blind and oppressed. And by HIS grace alone HE set me free and opened my eyes! HE is a BIG GOD! No matter what is in front of me, there is freedom, sight, hope and peace in Him! And when I stop and think about what He has done in my life and the Hope that I have in this life and in the next, it makes me want to proclaim it louder!

    2. It’s hard for me to even express in words how these set of verses are a lifeline for me! Jesus came to set me free! He is my good news! I love the text in Isaiah, referenced here, but Isaiah 61:1 also says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” Jesus not only set me free, but He tended to my broken heart. So thankful!

    3. It is good news. HE is GOOD NEWS indeed! He has released me from these sins which would hold me captive, and releases me from the prison of condemnation from others. He gives me strength and hope and freedom with His Good News, in my chronic illnesses, as I am weakened physically, suffer with serious pain, injured, and occasionally feeling dejected. He lifts my spirits when they are down with His GOOD NEWS! It is the SWEETEST news. This joy cannot be expressed in words.

    1. There are several examples in my life. Some have been where He has rescued me from myself or my sin. Other examples I think of are where He has protected me from physically being hurt (getting off of an exit right before a major multi-car collision occurred) as well as giving me His peace and comfort during life circumstances that were almost too difficult to bear.

  1. Discussion Question 3:

    Once we have experienced the freedom that Christ offers us from sin and death, how should that change our outlook on the trials that we suffer in this life?

    (click “reply” to post your thoughts)

    1. Even though our trials can be so hard and painful, I have so much hope knowing that He can use it for His glory, that He will be with me through my trials and raw emotions (and loves me through it)… and ultimately this life is small when compared to eternity.

    2. These set of verses keep popping up this week in my life. Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28. As believers, we may face all kinds of things in this world. It is fallen, broken, and cursed. Yet, our eternity is filled with just the opposite. Either way, we have HOPE. And I have often clung with dear life to my hope in Him.

    3. I’ve found that even in these trials, I find joy within. No situation is hopeless. Not only that, but I see purpose in the pain, in the trials, in the suffering. I have joy, peace, and hope, and purpose throughout it all.

    1. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What Jesus has done in my life is amazing, and He desires me to share that good news with others. He changed me. My heart is radically different now. Others need the hope we find in Jesus. Paul tells us to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have, and I know He’s constantly working on me to share, to not hold back.

      1. Love that Stephanie! I think that when we grasp what Jesus has done for us and is continuing to do for us, we can’t help but SHARE it with others! I couldn’t imagine going through life and struggles with out Him! I want others to know my amazing God too and the healing, strength, comfort, forgiveness, peace, power, direction, grace 😉 etc. that HE alone has!

    2. At first read, the words urge me to 1.) head downtown to the streets of Birmingham to engage/serve the poor and oppressed, 2.) travel to the city and county jails to encourage those in prison, and 3.) make rounds at the hospital praying with the sick. But on a different level, I am reminded that we all are/ have been sick in our sin, placed behind the bars of guilty conscience, with a debt that only Jesus can wipe away. I think we are to be the light in the darkness, helping others eyes to be opened (giving sight to the blind). We are to share the word with those in bondage from sin (freedom for the prisoner), and to share with the oppressed the joy that comes from knowing your debt has been paid in full (set the oppressed free).

    3. I think that in specific ways it will be different for each of us. But we must share the Hope we have, in word and deed. We will be comforters pointing them towards the only One who can completely comfort and heal hearts. We will bring good news of freedom to those we see entangled in sin, and those held prisoner literally, by sin, and by un-forgiveness. Show the only GOOD NEWS that brings hope, healing, and salvation. Always in the Word, prayerfully doing these things, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us…

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