Bible Society of South Africa

Do you feel like a hostage? - 5 February 2024

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

36If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free.

On the 3rd of November 2017, Gerco van Deventer had only been in Libya for three days. In the convoy they were travelling with, en route to the construction site where he would have worked as a paramedic for a British-Libyan contractor for a month, they were suddenly ambushed by terrorists. The convoy came to a halt and Gerco was taken hostage.

For the next six years, negotiations took place while Gerco remained a captive of the terrorists in both Libya and Mali. Last year, the negotiations took a turn and Gerco was released. He is back in South Africa with his wife, Shereen.

In an article after his release, Gerco spoke about the fear he experienced at times during captivity. He was shot in his arm, lost 50 kg and feared many times that they would kill him. Today, however, he said that he feels completely free.

I wonder how many of us walk around as “free” individuals but, in our souls, are hostages. We carry with us unresolved trauma from the past, loss, fear – you name it. We try to ignore it, so it turns into bitterness and even hatred towards people who have hurt us. Without realising it, we become hostages in a “free” life.

In John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Also, in Philippians 3:13-14, we read, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Do you desire a free life? Take your situation to God, and ask him to intervene and set you free. He gave his son so that we do not just have to survive, but we can truly live a life in abundance – free in every aspect. God bless.

Prayer: Father God, today I bring to you the things in my life that sometimes make me feel like a hostage (mention them). Thank you for your promise that if your son sets me free, I can truly be free. Please set me free. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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