There are two people in my life (at least that I know of) who are struggling mightily with their pasts.

One is working hard to be free of theirs, making great strides through forgiveness, but tired of constantly fighting lies that continue to creep in and whisper “less than,” robbing their peace of mind. The other? Well, they refuse to move forward at all, preferring instead to wallow in a sea of “if only,” casting blame on everyone in their path for their circumstances.

Interestingly, they are both surrounded by people who seem to have it all together, and in the cast of that long shadow, their own lives pale in comparison. The thing is, that’s a lie, too.

No one has it all together.

Some people have lives that seem incessantly happy, never experiencing struggles, and maybe even have what appears to be loads of money, placing them directly on Easy Street. Well, are we privy to the inside of their four walls? Are we inside their relationships? Do we carry the ledger of their bank account? And what about the ones who seem to have a direct line to God, and have perhaps been believers all their lives? They’ve surely walked the narrow road with ease, angels on either side to spare them from any errant pot holes, right?

Lies, lies and more lies.

I read something this week that I have never considered, and I bet you haven’t either. We talk about all God’s promises of hope and love and forgiveness, but did you realize that He also promised brokenness?

Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties…

Did you see it?

In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.

And did you also notice that there is no caveat for the wealthy or the pious? There is no caveat for ANYONE. In this godless world you, I, WE, will ALL continue to experience difficulties. We may choose not to share them publicly, or even hide them behind social media to make ourselves look like we have it all together, but make no mistake: every single one of us is a mess.

Every. Single. One.

We don’t need to live captive to pasts full of mistakes and bad decisions, or listen to lies of comparison that hold us back, because right on the heels of that promise of brokenness, there was also a statement of victory…

…In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I have conquered the world. ~ John 16:31-33 MSG

And because He did the conquering, and blew the doors right off the jail cells of our hearts, we don’t have to live in there anymore.


The only ones keeping us in there are ourselves.

Today is a new day. A GOOD day. The day when He bore our pasts on a crude cross, so we could celebrate freedom from them. He has conquered the world, my friends, and through Him, we are conquerors, too.


Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. ~ Galatians 5:1 MSG