In this scripture, Luke tells us of a woman who had been crippled for 18 years. Satan had been keeping her in “bondage” and because of this, she had been unable to stand up straight. But Jesus freed her… He healed her.
Perhaps this woman had held on to deep resentment and bitterness towards someone for a long, long time. Satan could have been telling her over the years that she should not forgive someone that hurt her. He could have told her that she was fully justified to have this mindset.
Medicine shows that when a person carries deep anger inside, it can actually eat away at our body. For some people this poison, in the form of unhealthy chemicals and acids, can attack their digestive system. Problems with the GI system can prevail. For others it can attack their joints and cause major joint problems, even severe arthritis. I suspect that most people don’t make the connection between this unresolved, deep inner stress and their health problems. Often, in an attempt to alleviate the problem, some turn to taking medications or elect surgery to correct the condition.
The Bible tells us of another way, through forgiveness. It’s not surprising that Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:23 that we should forgive others not seven times, but seventy times seven. He knows that if we carry a spirit of bitterness for a period of time that we will be adversely affected, to include in our bodies.
Do you have a health condition, perhaps like the woman in this week’s scripture, that might be affected by harboring some deep negative emotion? Search your heart. Ask God to help you go deep. If you do become aware of something, prayerfully ask Jesus to take it from you and to replace that anger with His love.
Jesus is still in the healing business. It can take many forms. Sometimes, all we have to do is believe in His healing power, and cry out to Him in the most genuine way possible. Then he’ll heal your hurting spirit and your body.
Have a great week!
This is an excerpt from Joel Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now that speaks to this week’s scripture with an example:
When I was growing up, we had a former Methodist Minister in our church. His hands were so crippled with arthritis, he could hardly use them. They looked as though thy had shriveled up and were deformed. He couldn’t open a car door. He couldn’t shake hands or anything like that. For as long as I’d known him, his hands had been that way.
But one day, he went to my Dad (the church minister) and showed him his hands – they were perfectly normal! He could move them like any of us, almost as though he had received a new set of hands.
My Dad was surprised, but so happy for him. He said, “Man, what in the world happened to you?” – “Well, it’s an Interesting story, the former minister said. “Several months ago, when you were talking about unforgiveness. You were speaking on how it keeps God’s power from operating in our lives, and how it Keeps our prayers from being answered. As I listened, I began to ask God to show me if I had any areas of unforgiveness and resentment in my life. And God began to deal with me. He brought to light several situations that had happened to me down through the years in which people had done me great wrong. I didn’t even know it, but I still had anger and resentment in my heart toward those people.
That’s the odd part – I didn’t realize I was carrying it around. But as soon as I saw it, I made a decision to forgive them and totally let it go. And then the most amazing thing began to happen. One by one, my fingers started straightening out. One week went by and this finger would get healed. The next week this finger. As I continued to search my heart and eliminate all that bitterness and resentment, God brought complete healing to me, and now look at my hands! I’m perfectly normal!”