I recently learned that the Greek word for “Trial” (as in, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds”) means “restricted and bound”.
Many people consider “religion” to be just another set of restrictions, a big list of DON’Ts. But actually, God wants us unrestricted, set free. He understands that we are restricted and bound by the general presence of sin in the world. and our penchant to turn away from his ways which are better and higher than ours.
Listen to what he promises:
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.
Nowhere here does it say, “I was a perfect believer and followed all the rules, therefore God saved me.” But, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
He delighted in us first and set us into the spacious place where we could be given another chance to know the truth.