My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:2-4 NKJV
There was a time, little children, when you went looking for sin, when you chased after it because of its bright, shiny attraction for your eyes and the sweet taste of its pleasures to your flesh, not realizing that it was poison, that it had its consequences and its cost. And we used to celebrate when we could lay our hands on more, more, more of it – whether it was the filthy lucre of wealth, or the filthy lust of sexual immorality, or the filthy bitterness of jealousy and envy, or the murderous hatred of anger and unforgiveness towards others, or the filthy devisiveness of gossip and biting words and unproven accusations, or many of the other tricks and traps of the enemy. For a time, we shopped in these dens of wretchedness, buying death from the apothecary – happy to pay in full for a chance to taste once more of their sweet poison. We were like lost, blind sheep led to the slaughter by the very one that we thought had our best interests in mind – even though we saw him daily feasting on the meat of our brothers and sisters as he sat by the fire amongst a pile of their dead bones.
But no more. We are free.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:31-36 ESV