From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I am in prison and paying a price for things I have done wrong, I don’t deny that. But a chaplain keeps telling me that if I give my life to Christ I will find joy and peace. It won’t help me get out of prison any quicker. What’s the point?

— S.P.

Dear S.P.: Many prisoners find hope in Jesus; but some remain skeptical because they do not exhibit faith in Christ Jesus. Giving our hearts to Him means that we recognize that we are sinners and do not deserve God’s grace; but in His mercy for us He made a way of escape from our sin and guilt. He restores us and makes us new creations when we humble ourselves before Him in repentance, and receive Him as Lord.

We need Christ in this life, no matter our circumstances. And we need Him for the life to come. One day when Christ judges the living and the dead, the graves will be opened, the prisons will empty, the hospitals will give up the sick, and we all will stand before Jesus Christ and account for what we have done in this life. For those who received Him, they will enjoy the rewards of Heaven. For those who rejected Him, they will be separated from Him for all eternity.

We can depend on His promises and the greatest promise of all is His promise of new life in Christ.

No matter what we have done, God will forgive us and give us power to start life again. We can wallow in the sinful choices we’ve made or we can look to Christ and turn our lives around.

There are countless stories of how prisoners behind the bars live effective and productive lives because of the hope that is found only in God.