If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to fill the same old holes inside
There’s a better life
There’s a better life
If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking savior
If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker
DAY ONE | CHAINBREAKER
The message of the song “Chain Breaker” came out of an experience of feeling hopeless in the midst of being down a really dark life path. The lies of hopelessness were saying that I was too far gone for even God to find me, and it felt like an impossible feat to believe there could be a better life.
Have you ever felt this way?
In Daniel 6, things were stacked against Daniel. He went against the king’s decree and was punished by being thrown into a den with lions. Do you think that Daniel felt scared? He wouldn’t be human if he weren’t! Do you think that Daniel felt hopeless? He was in a sealed den with lions! This story parallels what so many of us experience. Life can throw us into situations that feel insurmountable, that there is no way out, and that we’re so far gone it will be impossible to believe in a better life.
God sent an angel to protect Daniel from the lions and when he was released, there was rejoicing. In Luke 15, Jesus tells a parable about a shepherd finding one lost sheep from his flock and when he does, there is rejoicing.
There is a better life, one where God’s power saves us from our hopelessness.
As believers, we need to hold these truths about God firm. God has the power to pull us out of the lions’ den and we can rejoice, along with Him, that we are found again.
Lord, if I’m being honest, sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it’s hard to believe there is a better life, but when I read about your miracles, I can stand firm in your power. Please continue to remind me of the truths about you when I feel lost and thank you for rejoicing with me when I’m found again. Amen.
DAY TWO | OLD CHURCH CHOIR
I’ve got an old church choir singing in my soul
I’ve got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful
I’ve got a heart overflowing cause I’ve been restored
No, there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
We have been delivered! He has saved us from death! We have a freedom that’s been given to us through grace, and when we’re in a state of gratitude, nothing can steal our joy because we have been restored.
"Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you." – Psalm 63:3-5
When Jesus ascended into heaven on the third day, the world was restored. God is in the business of taking the broken and the imperfect and making it perfect again in His eyes. He sacrificed to make it happen, but He’s rejoicing because it means we get to spend eternity with Him. That is worth celebrating! There’s no use mourning over our broken pasts because that’s not our reality anymore. We can’t let that steal our joy. It’s biblical to rejoice – there are countless examples of this in scripture – and as believers, we are meant to look to scripture as the guideposts for our lives.
This is not discounting that life can be difficult and that there will be trials, but when the trials have gone, let them stay dead in the past and allow yourself to celebrate and revel in your freedom.
Lord, you are the restorer. Thank you for saving me! Thank you for the fact that celebration and rejoicing are not only allowed but encouraged in your Word. You are a good God and I am grateful. Amen.
DAY THREE | SONG OF DELIVERANCE
Stone walls, I built ‘em
Trapped by the way I’m livin’
I don’t wanna be a prisoner
No, I don’t wanna be a prisoner
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were unjustly beaten and thrown into prison. In prison, they were put in stocks and guarded. At midnight, they started praying and singing hymns. Miraculously, an earthquake came and broke the prison, freeing them. When the guard woke up and found out, he pulled out his sword to kill himself - one of the reasons was probably because he was full of shame - but Paul and Silas had grace with their guard and told him not to. The guard ended up getting saved because of the grace he was shown - God’s grace.
There are multiple miracles taking place in this section of scripture. The obvious one is that God sent an earthquake to free Paul and Silas but one of the more subtle miracles in this story is the grace that Paul and Silas showed to their guard. They were in prison, in pain, and yet they held nothing over the guard’s head.
The thing is, we can be both Paul and Silas AND the guard. When we’re trapped in a prison of our making, based on our own decisions, it’s easy to punish ourselves both when we’re trapped in the walls and when we’re out of them again – it takes the form of regret, shame, guilt, and fear of it happening again. Paul and Silas could have let the guard kill himself because of the torture they endured, and let his shame take over, but they showed him God’s grace.
It’s time that you do the same for yourself. Take a minute to list a few of the mistakes you’ve made that you haven’t forgiven yourself for yet. Now, take a minute and forgive yourself for each of those items by name using God’s grace as your inspiration and strength. God never intended on us living a life of regret and shame. He delivered us from death so that we could truly LIVE.
So I will sing a song of deliverance
I will lift my hands and drop these chains
Walk out free in Jesus’ name
I will sing a song of deliverance
I am free
DAY FOUR | REVIVAL
There’s no more fear and doubt, my bitter disappointments
Became my greatest victory
You called my name
You made all things new
Oh I was dead, but look at me now
I found revival in You
You gave me life cause that’s what You do
Oh I was dead, but look at me now
I found revival in You
Sometimes it’s easy to feel disappointed in ourselves – it’s easy to think, How many times can I mess up before God gets tired of forgiving me? When will enough be enough?
The original Greek word for repentance literally translated means ‘changing one’s mind or purpose.’ This goes hand in hand with the word revive which means to ‘thrive or flourish again.’ Part of what repentance is for believers is telling God that we know we messed up and that we can’t go through this life without Him. Hand in hand with that repentance is revival – accepting that we have a new purpose, which is to thrive and flourish in the new life and freedom we’ve been given because we are forgiven. Our disappointments then turn into our victories because as it says in Isaiah 25:8, “he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.”
There is something important to remember through all of life’s ups and downs, in the times we mess up and the times we thrive again – and that is that there is nothing we can do, no forces around us that can separate us from God’s love.
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble of calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears today nor our worries about tomorrow…" – Romans 8: 35, 37, 38
Take heart – you have been given a new purpose and God will continue to revive you because He rejoices when you thrive.
DAY FIVE | TO THE TABLE
But you keep standing at a distance
In the shadows of your shame
But there’s a light of hope that’s shining
Won’t you come and take your place?
So bring it all to the table
It’s nothing he ain’t seen before
For all your sin, all your sorrow
And your sadness
There’s a savior and he calls
Bring it all to the table
Trust is probably one of the hardest feelings to grow and repair. So many times, our hearts have been hurt because of people not keeping promises, people taking advantage of us, or any number of things. When you think about what builds your trust back up, it’s the actions of people - when they show you that they deserve your trust again.
When we look at the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us – that Jesus, the person who did nothing to deserve punishment and death, was killed so that we could be free – that was the greatest action that could have been done to gain our trust. When we think of what He went through to show us that we should trust Him, we need to believe Him when He says in John 14, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" and also in Psalm 23 when David says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
We keep standing at a distance because we’re afraid that we don’t deserve to sit at a table with the Lord but Jesus proved to us that we can trust Him. He says we are welcome to the table and that God wants us there. There is no greater feeling of freedom than when we can come to God as we are and accept that He wants us there.
Lord, help me to let go. Help me to accept and trust that you want me at a table with you. Thank you for the amazing sacrifice you gave so that I can trust that what you say is truth. Amen
DAY SIX | FEAR IS A LIAR
Fear is a liar
It’ll take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear is a liar
It’ll rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
Cause fear, he is a liar
There is one basic truth about God that has the power to change your life if you let it. It is found in 1 John 4:16:
God is love.
It seems like John wanted to write that first to ensure we keep that in mind when a few verses later, he writes, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.” It sounds harsh but when you unpack it a bit, you can see that the two cannot co-exist – love and fear. Just like when you can’t hate another person and feel the love of God, you also can’t hate yourself and fully feel loved by God.
Fear comes in and starts telling you lies about yourself – You’re not good enough. You’re not strong enough. You’re not worthy. You’re not loved. You’re not beautiful. That is not what God intended for you to feel and think about yourself. He sees you as nothing but beautiful, worthy, loved, and enough. Fear is a liar and it takes the strength of God to put your foot down and say, “Fear – you have no power here.” That’s when you can start feeling warmth creep back into your veins as God breaks down the fear that has built up those lies in your heart.
John writes that we know we live in Him and He lives in us because he sent His Son to us. When we think of the gifts God gave to us out of love, we can cast that fear into the fire because we remember that He loves us, He IS love, and fear has no place here when God is in us.
Lord, thank you for loving me and telling me I’m enough. Thank you for breaking down the lies that fear has told me. Thank you that your perfect love drives out fear. Amen.
DAY SEVEN | SURVIVOR
I’m alive and born again
Rescued from the grip of my sin
God, your love came crashing in
And pulled me out of the fire
I’m a survivor
You’re my God
You’re my fighter
You make me a survivor
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. – Psalm 22:19
The Lord is my strength and my shield… – Psalm 28:7
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense… – Isaiah 12:2
There is verse after verse in the bible about God being our strength and when something is repeated in the bible, it means we need to to pay attention to it because God wanted it to stick with us.
God wanted to repeat a reminder to us about something we tend to struggle with a lot through our lives. We struggle with feeling like we need to have the strength on our own to deal with the hardships that life throws at us but God wants us to remember that we need His strength. We need His strength because we are not meant to go it alone.
He breathed into us to create us, so it would make sense that we continue to need His strength to live the full life that He intended us to live.
When we rely on God’s strength, we are able to withstand more – we’re able to be survivors. When we build our foundation of strength on ourselves, it’s incomplete because we were meant to live with God’s strength. It won’t hold up on its own. In Matthew, Jesus talks about a house that was built on a rock and it didn’t get destroyed when the wind blew and the floods came. That rock is God’s strength in us. When we build our foundation on God’s strength, we are able to survive. You don’t need to shoulder life’s wind and floods alone! You’re a survivor!
Lord, thank you for being the rock of strength that I need in my life. Thank you that I don’t have to go it alone and that you’ve provided a way for me to be a survivor. Amen.