One of the precious lessons from my devotional life has to do with my sense of rights. I recall a time when my emotional well-being was affected by unfair remarks made against me over certain issues. I tried to speak in defence, but it would perpetually result in an argument.

Regrettably, I would get very upset and lose my self-control. To protect my friendships, I would choose to control myself. But this would leave me feeling very stifled and angry.

One evening, after a similar experience, I recalled something I had read in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest.

Jesus, who never sinned, never asked for His rights when false accusations were heaped upon Him. Why then should I be asking for mine, for much lesser injustices! That realisation calmed and settled me immediately. Having found peace of mind, I praised and thanked God for His timely Word.

Why did I feel entitled to my rights in the first place?

I believe it was my human inclination towards self-preservation. Indeed, our sense of well-being is often so easily shaken by what people say or do to us — whether they’re right or wrong — or by the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Our moods, feelings and emotions can so easily spin out of control.

How then can we follow Jesus’ example of denying self? Oswald Chambers points out, “Christ never spoke of His right to Himself but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father.”

Jesus was free from being affected by the external because He submitted Himself internally to the Father.

And how can we have such freedom? In John 8:31-32 it says, “If you abide in my Word, you are my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. This, as Chambers said, “is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son (John 8:36).

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).

Being in union with Christ, in Chambers words, means we should be free indeed, free to the very core of our being – from the inside to the outside.

Freedom in its truest sense is obedience to the one we most truly love: God. The more we immerse ourselves in God’s Word and grow in intimacy and love for God, the greater our ability and freedom to act in alignment to God’s will.

Jesus was free from being affected by the external because He submitted Himself internally to the Father.

Our life’s experiences are potentially precious lessons for us to grow in Christ. Personally, I have found significant trials in my life to turn out to be God-moments. I look back and see them as pathways to freedom and peace in Christ, and my faith in an all-knowing, loving and sovereign Lord increases.

In Christ my hope I persevere, living by God’s grace.

May we continue to meditate on God’s Word as disciples, and grow in the knowledge of God’s truth which sets us free in Christ from the core of our being. May we be vigilant to submit to the Holy Spirit and be free to do the will of God in love, that we might joyfully say, “It is well with my soul!”

This article was first published on YCKC website and was republished with permission.