Number 33 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!
When I pastored I can’t tell you how many times I talked with people struggling with unresolved guilt.
Regret over actions which broke up their marriage. Words they spoke which estranged their children. Destructive behaviors which ruined their health. Poor choices which led to financial collapse.
Frankly, I look back occasionally with regret at things I’ve done, in some cases decades ago. I’m still haunted at times and wish I could undo a word or action but I can’t.
Then compound that with so often the religious response to someone struggling. “I wonder what they did. Boy they must have done something really bad. Wow, God must be punishing them for something big.”
No wonder we’re left feeling helpless and hopeless at times.
And the real tragedy? It so often keeps us from finding the real healing that releases us to move forward into the amazing life God offers.
It’s what I love about this story of Jesus. A paralyzed man is carried on a stretcher by his friends to Jesus to be healed.
He no doubt had been told all his life his condition was a result of some great sin. So he not only struggled with his physical ailment but struggled even more feeling rejected by God.
So Jesus response is surprising yet insightful.
“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.’” (Matthew 9:2 NLT)
Jesus goes right to the heart of the issue.
But I want you to notice something. Jesus responds with forgiveness to the man’s request for healing. Wait, what?
The man didn’t follow some prescribed formula for forgiveness. Didn’t pray a verbatim “sinner’s prayer.” He simply asked to be made whole and hoped Jesus would do that. That’s it. Pretty simple.
Then we see several layers of healing.
First, Jesus deals with the core issue. This man needed to feel forgiven and accepted by God before he could expect to be healed. Jesus gives us that new beginning as well.
Second, Jesus offers him a new perspective. He says, “Be encouraged.” He tells him look up and forward instead of back and down. He offers us that view point as well.
Third, Jesus healed him physically. But it came in addition to the most important healing. Often what we need too.
Jesus offers physical healing. But he brings complete healing.
How have you experienced that true healing?
Please share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or email me. Thanks.