Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 9:2 – Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." (NIV 2011)
The more that I read this beautiful story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man, the more that I believe that real healing begins with forgiveness. As a pastor for over thirty years, I have been with and cared for many people in times of illness and recovery. Usually, when folks experience a serious sickness, injury, or setback, they become more reflective about their situation and sometimes express regrets from the past or long-standing issues that still burden their hearts.
During those sacred moments of confession and unburdening, the hope of forgiveness, mercy, and grace which Jesus freely gives becomes a major step in the healing process. It may not seem amazing to others, but as a long-term pastor, I feel privileged to see the beginning of a miracle in individual lives. Christ's forgiveness and wonderful love combine into a healthy restorative which moves the person forward on the journey to recovery.
Perhaps you are in need of forgiveness because of something you said or did which you regret. Maybe you also need to forgive someone for something which still burdens or affects you. Whatever it is or whoever caused it, allow yourself to be embraced by Christ and permit His forgiveness and compassion to begin the healing process within and around you.
Point to ponder: How can Christ's forgiveness heal and restore me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your gracious words of forgiveness can help us to heal from the past. Grant us this blessing today, and enable us to share that forgiveness with others, so that Your healing may be extended beyond our own lives. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.