More often than not, healing, redemption and forgiveness, are found together in God’s Word, as if perhaps God meant for us to see them as one, unified work of His Spirit… As if perhaps He wants us to know that He is for us… completely… mind, body and soul.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~ Psalm 103:1-5
“The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. ~ Matthew 11:5-6
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:8-10
Throughout the Old Testament and into the New, God has used physical healings to bring about spiritual healing, to show us who He is and to verify His mission to the world.
There is no doubt in my mind that God has healed my husband in order to testify of His power and love, to the people I love and to the world He loves! He is using it to heal me in ways that I wasn’t even aware were broken – drawing me deeper into His presence – The only place where walls come down and defense mechanisms are swallowed in humility and victory.
We stand in awe of God’s power to heal diseases, and rightly so, but that’s not His end game. Our bodies are only temporary tents we inhabit for a very short time, but our souls are eternal and in desperate need of His forgiveness, redemption and healing.
Most of us can recite the Lord’s Prayer … “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” But do we really take it to heart and apply it? Doesn’t it sound like He wants us to understand that forgiveness is a two-sided coin? We all want forgiveness… we all know we need it, but are we willing to ask for it? Are we willing to extend forgiveness to others? Have you ever faced a situation where you asked forgiveness from someone, only to receive silence or more condemnation in return? Forgiveness takes only a moment, but healing depends on it and true healing may take a lifetime. Especially since true forgiveness is two-sided. It requires the humility to ask for forgiveness, as well as the humility to extend forgiveness. Humility is a pretty elusive concept to most of us. We prefer to carry our hurts with us through life under a pretense of faux humility that is nothing more than pride manifesting itself as self-pity. We pack along our bag of offenses like a bag of stones that we’re ready to hurl at our offender in moments of anger. Then we justify ourselves at the expense of relationships that could be healed with God’s help and a good dose of humility. Humility certainly doesn’t come naturally to us, but it is available to us through the help of the Holy Spirit. In fact, humility is so essential that it was the means through which Jesus destroyed sin’s power over us as He paid for our forgiveness, healing and redemption.
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Philippians 2:1-11
Our relationships require humility to survive. Our spiritual healing requires humility to accept our own guilt and humbly receive God’s free gift of forgiveness, healing and redemption.
Humility is also required to ask for and receive prayer, one of the most beautiful (and un-accessed) gifts that God has given us. When someone asks for prayer, they are saying, “I know I’m not enough, but I know that God is!” When someone offers to pray for me, they are giving me the most treasured gift any person can offer, because, for whatever reason, God has chosen to use prayer for the dispensing of His grace, encouragement, healing, forgiveness, redemption and power. We desperately need these gifts in our messed up world, and particularly in our messed up relationships.
Please humbly join us in prayer for healing, forgiveness and redemption… in our lives… in the lives of the people we love… in relationships… in our nation and the world.