Tag Archives: healing

Do You Believe? ~ Matthew 9:27-31 (Part 1)

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St-Talka.org

27 After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind Him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

28 They went right into the house where He was staying, and Jesus asked them, Do you believe I can make you see?”

“Yes, Lord,” they told Him, “we do.”

29 Then He touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” 30 Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” 31 But instead, they went out and spread His fame all over the region. ~ Matthew 9:29-31 — NLT ~

Do you believe that Jesus can…? Fill in the blank and ask yourself, “Do I believe that Jesus can heal my disease? Free me from painGive me a childGive me a home? FoodClothingDeliver me from fearDepressionAddictions? Do I believe that Jesus can forgive meLove meChange me?

When I began to truly follow Jesus, dedicating my whole life to Him, I could feel my faith growing stronger and stronger, as I read and studied God’s word…

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17 — NASB ~

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Apostolic Titbits

One of the ways our faith can grow is from hearing God’s word. We can hear His word when we go to church on Sundays, but hearing His word only once a week, will not help your faith to grow. If we want to have the faith that moves mountains, then we must know His word for ourselves. Indeed, we must know Christ  for ourselves, and there is no better way to know Him than to read His word and spend time talking and listening to Him.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7 — NLT ~

Do you believe that Jesus can change your life? Can He heal your broken body? Can He mend your broken heart? Can He restore broken relationships?

But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. ~ James 1:6-8 — NLT ~

How strong is your faith? When Jesus asks you, “Do you believe I can make you (fill in the blank)how will you respond? Do you believe He can do anything, or do you doubt it?

I’ll be honest with you… I have such a strong faith that Jesus will help others, but when it comes to me personally, though I desperately long to believe, I struggle. I don’t think the struggle is so much can He, as will He? For the last three years, I’ve suffered with constant, chronic debilitating back pain, and I’ve prayed for relief, which hasn’t come.

When I first started dealing with this pain, I sensed the Lord telling me that this is something I must go through. So what does that mean, exactly? Is this a temporary thing? Or is it something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life? I desperately want to believe that  this won’t be forever, but I’m not sure. I want to pray according to God’s will for this, but I’m not sure what His will for me is… Is my faith weak? How about yours? What do we do when our faith is weak???

There was another person in the bible who loved the Lord and wanted to believe in Jesus’ power to help him, yet, like mine, his faith was much too weak. Yet this man didn’t allow that to stop him. Do you remember the man whose son was possessed by an evil spirit that caused him to have violent seizures, and wouldn’t allow the boy to speak? He brought his son to Jesus, hoping that He would heal and deliver his son, but when he arrived, Jesus wasn’t there, so he asked the disciples to cast the demon out. However, they were unable to do so, and the man was left feeling as dispirited as I’ve felt about my chronic back pain…

Then, of course, there were also naysayers in the crowd, who further depressed the poor crestfallen man, by stirring the pot. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. Instead of encouraging and empathizing your plight, they instead try to stamp out any faith you might still hold onto, by adding their opinions… “I told you, there’s nothing anyone can do”… “You don’t really believe God can do anything about your problem, do you???” This is the scene Jesus came upon when he returned to His disciples…

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Image Credit:
bongodogblog

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.”

20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if You can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” ~ Mark 9:16-24 — NLT ~

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Image Credit:
Darrell Creswell

Have you been there? You want to believe, and you know you should believe, but there’s still a part of you that just can’t believe. Not only that, but others have seen your situation, and added their opinions, and though you’ve tried not to listen to the negativity, it’s still registered in your brain, and you have that doubt on top of your own. 

The father of this boy had heard that Jesus was a miracle worker, and though he desperately wanted to believe, his boy had been like this for a long time.  Still, he had worked up his courage, and brought his boy, and the disciples had tried to cast the demons out to no avail. How discouraged he must have felt! 

Have you been there? I have. I’ve had several people, from several different churches, pray over me and prophesy that I am healed, though I really haven’t been. I’ve had some tell me to walk in my healing, even though I’m still in pain, denying the pain, though it remains. They’ve commanded me to walk around the church, when I can barely hold myself up, let alone make a trek around the church. I’ve been told to ignore my pain, and though I’m in excruciating pain, I should repeat over and over, “I am healed.”  Jesus never told anyone to deny their condition. He always deals in truth.  

Therefore, I am left with this realization… I am a lot like the father in this story. I desperately want to believe that Jesus will heal me, but I’m not sure that He will… Though I believe that He can, what if it’s not His will to heal me?

22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” ~ Mark 9:22-24 — NLT ~

In the beginning of this study, Jesus asked the blind men, “Do you believe I can make you see?” (Matthew 9:28 — NLT) Later, He told the father of the demonized boy, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?.. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”  (Mark 9:23 — NLT ) Therefore, in light of this study, I will join with  the boy’s father, tell ing the Lord, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 — NLT)

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers


All bible references are taken from Bible Gateway. Do you want to look up a scripture, but can’t remember where to find it? Try finding it on Bible Gateway, a wonderful website that includes many different bible versions, study aids and helps. Bible Gateway is a great resource for all believers to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

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http://gracepieces.com/

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

HelpI’ve Fallen And Can’t Get Up!

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

(Galatians 6:2 ESV)

This week has been such a struggle for me, but I praise God for His unending love, and for the men and women who are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank the Lord for His Holy Spirit, who prayed for me when I was too weak to pray for myself. 

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the HolySpirit prays for uswith groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

(Romans 8:26 NLT) Continue reading Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

Words of Jesus – Great Faith

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come into my home. Just say the word from where You are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to those who were following Him, He said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

~ Matthew 8:5-13 — NLT ~

There was something different about this Roman centurion. He was humble and reverent, and on top of that, he had the kind of faith we all long for and need. He had storm-stopping, mountain-moving, sea-parting, water-walking, blind-seeing, deaf-hearing, mute-talking, sickness-healing faith. This gentile heathen had a deep abiding faith that even the Jews, God’s chosen people couldn’t match. Continue reading Words of Jesus – Great Faith

Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

~ Matthew 8:5-7 — NLT ~

I really do love this scripture, and all that the Lord reveals to us in it. When I first began to write about this encounter of the centurion and Jesus, I thought I would just write a simple post about the great faith of the centurion, and as great as that is, the Lord has revealed so much more to me in this passage. Let’s examine these verses…

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Image Credit:
http://searchingforthelightonthepath.blogspot.com/
2011/01/roman-centurion-had-faith.html

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, (the place where His ministry was located, and the place where He performed many miracles, signs and wonders) He was approached by a Roman officer, who said to Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Look closely at this conversation between Jesus and the Roman centurion.

Do you see a question mark at the end of the centurion’s statement? Certainly, it is obvious that the centurion was concerned about his servant, by the way he humbly and reverently approached Jesus. And yes, it seems evident that the centurion wanted Jesus to heal his servant. But here is what made my heart pound… Immediately after the centurion told Him about his servant’s terrible pain and paralysis, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

~ Matthew 8:5-6 — NLT ~

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Image Credit:
http://jenwilton.com/general/
does-god-still-speak-today-part-two/

I love when the Lord speaks directly to my heart through His word. It gets me all excited and wound up as I begin to ponder what He is telling me. Then, as I begin to wrap my mind around things that I’ve read many, many times before, suddenly, He opens the eyes of my heart so that I can see what I didn’t see before, and my ears begin to hear what I didn’t hear before. I’ve read this story many times in the past, and have heard many teachings on it, but now, the Lord is speaking directly to my heart again, and I am taking note of things that I didn’t see before.  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…

Words of Jesus – I Am Willing

Large crowds followed Jesus as He came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Him and knelt before Him. “Lord,” the man said, “if You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

~ Matthew 8:1-4 NLT ~

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Image Credit:
http://www.idri.org/blog/?p=666

To understand the beauty of this passage of scripture, we need to understand the ugliness of leprosy in biblical times. To fully comprehend the magnitude and glory of this passage, we must first come to grips with the shame and disgrace of leprosy…

Leprosy was very common in biblical times — much more so than it is today, although people still get the disease even in this day and age. Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes horrible disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage. Some leprosy sores look like large, painful open blisters or ulcers, but they are not painful, even when pricked with a needle, because the person with leprosy has lost their sense of feeling where those sores are. Still other manifestations of leprosy may have pale spots or even what  looks like ringworm with a loss of feeling. Lepers (those with leprosy) may have thick, square earlobes, thick eyebrows, and deformed hands and feet. Continue reading Words of Jesus – I Am Willing

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be Healed

 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV)

This is a prayer that I was fervently praying Sunday night as I sat in the emergency room at my local hospital, feeling sicker than I ever remember feeling in my life. I started getting terribly sick Saturday evening, after getting home from my granddaughter’s birthday party, and the sickness continued into Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon, and Sunday evening, and I seriously thought I was dying. Now, before anyone else says it, I’ll say it for you — I am a total wimp when it comes to nausea. I don’t much like pain either, but if I have to choose, I’ll take pain over nausea any day!

I was so sick Sunday, and I’m usually filled with hope, but that day, I couldn’t muster any hope up. I was in a dark black place that was pretty awful, and I began having terrible thoughts of dying. In the midst of that blackness, I caught a glimpse of my own mortality, and I was frightened. After refusing to go to the ER all day, despite my husband’s numerous suggestions, suddenly, I was afraid to turn the light out and go to bed, I was so sick. I was exhausted, but so miserable that I couldn’t sleep except for five to ten minute snatches here and there, and the nausea was unbearable, and somewhere in the midst of all of that nausea and sickness, I got an unrelenting headache that wouldn’t loose its grasp on me.

I knew I should pray for myself, but I couldn’t, except to groan and cry, “O God! Help me! Jesus – please help me!” And truthfully, I didn’t do a whole lot of that either. I whined, and I complained, and I moaned and I groaned. Let’s just say that those who think of me as a strong and mighty warrior of Christ would have been terribly disappointed at this pitiful weakling. I won’t lie, in the midst of all of my sickness, I was disappointed in me. Finally, at around 9:30, Sunday night, I agreed begged to go to the hospital. 

What a horrible experience! There were several people ahead of me, and though the vomiting had stopped, the diarrhea had not, and neither had the nausea. My husband had to get a wheelchair to wheel me in there, because by this time, I was too weak to walk. As I sat in the waiting room, there were several other sick people, and blaring loudly was the television, or as one of my former pastors used to call it, the “hellivision,” showing Mob Housewives, a show that I’d never seen before, and never wanted to see again! 

What a horrible thing to have on in an emergency room, where there are sick people! At that time, I wanted to hear words of hope, or some soft quiet music… Or, better yet, SILENCE over that! Instead, while my body was being assaulted by the spirit of infirmity that was attacking it, my ears and my vision was assaulted by that hateful, hopeless show…

That’s when I began to desperately pray over and over and over, Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.” It wasn’t an eloquent prayer. I can’t even say it was a very faith-filled prayer. Rather, it was a desperate, monotone repetition. Looking back on it, I’ll be honest with you. My faith was weak and wavering. I kept repeating it, because I was desperate to believe that God would heal me.

The physician’s assistant finally decided to admit me at approx. 3:30 Monday morning, so I told my husband, who was suffering with a painful, swollen foot, to go home. Then, at approximately 4:00 that morning, he came back to say the doctor didn’t want to admit me. There I was, alone in the emergency room, sick and scared, and now they weren’t going to admit me? I must have looked like a pitiful mess, because he told me to just stay there for another hour or so, and when the doctor came, just tell him I was too sick to go home. That’s what I did. I was finally admitted to the hospital under observation at approx. 7:30 am. 

My early afternoon, I was feeling better, though still really weak. I actually thought I might be going home, when the nurse practitioner came in to see me at around 3:00pm, and informed me that I wouldn’t be going home that day, because I had C-Diff, which is a nasty intestinal infection, that can indeed be deadly if not treated. I was stunned. I thought I had probably gotten a stomach virus. They began treating me with antibiotics right away, and also giving me medication to replace the good bacteria that the antibiotics were killing. 

I am so blessed to be at home and alive now, and I am so thankful to a God, who loves us in our weakness. Indeed, His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and though my faith was weak, He still honored His word to:

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV)

I came home this evening, and I’m going to go to bed as soon as I finish this post. Hallelujah! I get to sleep in my own home, with my husband, in my own bed! I’m alive. I am loved by the God who still has much work for me to do. My recovery is nothing short of amazing, and I know that God honored His word, even though my faith was weak. If you don’t believe me, just google this illness and see how bad it really is…

I’ll share more at another time, but for now, I’m wiped out, and my bed is calling me. Brothers and sisters, hold tightly to your faith, and cling to God’s word, because it truly is living and active, and He truly does honor His word. Thank you all for your love and prayers, and I pray that the Lord will bless each of you with a heart that seeks Him. His word also says:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

(Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV)

Many blessings to you all!

Love,
Cheryl

Heal Me, O Lord, And I Shall Be Healed

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV)

I’ve been in a lot of pain lately. For the last two years, I’ve suffered chronic back pain, and my back seriously hurts all the time, except for a few days, that could probably all be counted on one hand. It’s been — well — painful. As I’ve said before, I’ve had to stop working because the pain has been so great.

But last month, things took a turn for the worst. My chronic pain became acute pain. Whereas before I suffered from frequent insomnia due to pain, I now suffered from constant insomnia. The pain would not let me rest. But God! 

I don’t want to write something dark and gloomy, nor do I want to make my pain any more or less than what it is. I thought my pain was pretty horrible up until a month ago, when suddenly, for some unknown reason, it became more acute than before, and this time, instead of the pain radiating on my left side, it moved to my right side. It was a sharp, constant burning/aching pain. It’s been horrible.

At any rate, Friday, my church was having a special service, with an Evangelist that I had never met before, and I wanted to go — especially since I hadn’t been to my own church in more than a month. Therefore, I called my pastor to come and pick me up, because I was not able to drive with the pain medication I’ve been taking. It causes drowsiness, and I didn’t want to risk falling asleep at the wheel and killing myself or someone else.

I was in a lot of pain when my pastor picked me up, but I was determined to go to the service. As the evangelist was ministering, she suddenly stopped right in the middle of her message… right in the middle of a sentence, and she said, “Oh, ouch. I’ve never felt like this before. Oh the pain. I’m feeling a sharp burning pain in my back, like a pinched nerve, but it’s not my pain. Someone here has terrible pain in their back. I feel it. It’s sharp, like a pinched nerve.” I listened closely. I knew in my spirit right away, who she was talking about, and she mentioned it a couple of more times as she was preaching, but I said nothing to indicate she was talking about me.

You see, I figured if the Lord had a word for me, He would reveal to her who it was that had the pain. As soon as she was finished preaching, she walked over to me, and began to pray that the Lord would heal my back. She was for real. After she prayed for me, I sat down. I was still in pain, but the Lord whispered this scripture in my heart, and told me that I need to speak it over myself…

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I went home that night, and I was too wired to sleep. Again, I felt no improvement, but I knew that the Lord had put that scripture on my heart, and so I repeated it to Him… Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise. When I finally went to bed at around 2:00am, I slept until 12:30pm. That’s the longest I’ve slept in months!

Then, when I got up that day, the acute pain was gone. Yes, I still have this nagging, chronic pain, but I can deal with that. I couldn’t deal with the acute pain. I can’t even begin to describe how debilitating that was for me, but now, the Lord had delivered me from that acute pain. It’s now Tuesday night, and yes, I’m in pain, but the acute pain is still gone. Hallelujah!

And since the Lord put that scripture on my heart, I’m one who likes to dissect the word and see what it means… Therefore, I’m going to break this down — as much for me as for you.

Heal me, O Lord and I shall be healed the original Hebrew word for Heal is Rapha (pronounced raw-faw), which means:

  • to heal, make healthful
  • of God
  • healer, physician (of men)

When I pray this, I am telling the Lord to heal me, make me healthy, and I believe that when I speak these words, I shall be healed. If God put it on my heart to pray this prayer, would He then not do what His word says He will do? 

He also tells me Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:4 NASB) So, let’s be clear on this. I am supposed to delight myself in the Lord. If I’m going to do this properly, then I need to know exactly what it means to delight myself in the Lord.

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The Hebrew word for delight is `anag (pronounced aw-nag’), and that means:

  • to be soft, be delicate, be dainty
  • to be delicate
  • to be of dainty habit, be pampered
  • to be happy about, take exquisite delight
  • to make merry over, make sport of

Therefore, to delight oneself in the Lord is to have a soft spot for Him. When you’re in love with someone, have you ever had a place within your heart that’s just like mush for him/her? And when that person looks at you, or whispers an endearment to you, you know how your heart does a little flip-flop? Sometimes you feel weak in the knees? You feel sort of shaky and breathless? That’s how God wants us to feel about Him.

You know how it is when that one that you love starts walking to you, and you get all giggly and excited? You’re extremely happy that he/she is coming towards you or calling you or texting you… Have you ever felt like that? This is what it means to delight yourself in the Lord. You get all giddy as you read His word, and as He speaks to you. There’s an excitement and a joy within you that’s palpable. This is how it is when you delight yourself in the Lord.

When we delight ourselves in the Lord, it moves Him, because He delights in us. Did you know that? Check this scripture out — it’s one of my favorites!

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

(Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)

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Do you see? It’s when we delight ourselves in the Lord, that He is delighted in return, and He then gives us the desires of our heart… He quiets us with His love…. Sometimes, I need to be quieted, when my body is wracked with pain… When my heart is broken, and I just can’t seem to get past it… When I’m angry… When I’m fearful… These are the times, that I begin thinking on the goodness of the Lord… and as I do, He begins to quiet me with His love.

As He rejoices in my love for Him, He begins to sing over me… Sometimes, if you listen closely, you can almost hear His voice as He sings His songs of love for us… And as I delight in Him, He gives me the desires of my heart… 

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV)

Save me, and I shall be saved The Hebrew word for save is Yasha` (pronounced yaw-shah’) and it means:

  • to save, be saved, be delivered
  • to be liberated, be saved, be delivered
  • to be saved (in battle), be victorious
  • to save, deliver
  • to save from moral troubles
  • to give victory to
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What binds you? What holds you captive? Is it sex? Money? Drugs? Alcohol? Bitterness? Unforgiveness? So many people try to make deliverance more complicated that it is. If the devil, the enemy of your soul can convince you that it’s impossible, then deliverance from these things will be impossible. Deliverance is really very simple, but people have bought into the enemy’s lies, and so they repeat those lies to you… “You’ll never change”… “My whole family is like this, and I can’t help it. It’s in my genes”… “I tried Jesus, and maybe that works for you, but it doesn’t work for me”… “Well, God knows my heart. He knows I want to quit ____, but I just can’t.”

Have you bought into those lies? Let me tell you the truth. Jesus is not just something you try for a while to see if it works out for you. He is the Son of the living God, not a new soft drink or recipe that you try to see if you like Him or not. Don’t fool yourself. He does know your heart, better than you do, and He knows if you sincerely want a relationship with Him or not. 

Do you know that when I married my husband more than 31 years ago, I made a vow to love him for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, until death parts us? Let me tell you, he’s had a lot of sickness. He’s had five surgeries that I can think of right off the top of my head (I think more, but can’t remember them all)… He’s had numerous hospitalizations. I haven’t seen the richer part, but I’ve sure seen the poorer… We’ve had some wonderful times that would classify as for better… And we’ve had some worse times, times when my flesh wanted to call it quits, but the Lord kept reminding me that I made a vow to love him, even when he was being unlovable. (And for the record, my husband has gone through some poor times, some sick times and some worse times with me, but he made a vow to love me, and he has kept that vow.)

Photo Credit: http://www.prayerthoughts.com/

I shared all of that to say to you, it’s not enough just to “try” Jesus and see if He gives you what you want. I made a vow to Jesus that I would love Him for richer or poorer, just as I did with my husband, and I’m not rich in material things, but I am rich in love, and in mercy and grace. I don’t care if I have to scrape my next meal out of a dumpster, I will still delight myself in the Lord, because I trust Him to take care of me, and if I die, hallelujah! To be absent from my body is to be present with the Lord.

Until I am completely healed, or until He takes me home, I will continue to delight myself in the Lord, because He makes all things work together for my good — even the pain — because I love Him and He has called me according to His purpose. And what is His purpose? He came to heal the brokenhearted, to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison doors.

Until I am completely healed, or until He takes me home, I will continue to declare the goodness of God, and I will also continue to pray:

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV)

Are you sick and tired? Are you lonely and brokenhearted? Are you deaf, mute, blind or lame? The same Jesus who worked miracles over 2000 years ago still lives, and He still works miracles. Why don’t you cry out to Jesus? Don’t just try Him, commit yourself to Him… delight yourself in Him, and watch how He changes your life.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Do You Want To Be Made Whole?

“Do you want to be made whole?” Anger rose up in me when I looked at the man who asked me the question. “Do you want to be made whole?” What a stupid question! What fool would dare ask such a question of a poor man such as myself?

English: Pool of Bethesda Русский: Вифезда. Ов...
English: Pool of Bethesda Русский: Вифезда. Овчья купель (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For thirty-eight long and miserable years, I had suffered. I had lost everything and everyone I ever cared about. My friends and family had long since deserted me, leaving me to lay here in my misery beside the pool of Bethesda. Bethesda! The name of the pool had two different meanings… For some, Bethesda was known as the “House of Mercy” or the “House of Grace”, while for others such as myself, it was known as the “House of Shame and Disgrace.” 

Perhaps I sound bitter to you, but if you had suffered as I have, then you too,  would be bitter. And now, as I looked into the eyes of this stranger who squatted beside me, thirty-eight years of pain and sorrow welled up within me. It was immediately obvious to me that this man had never suffered a day in his life! He certainly didn’t know what it was like to be in anguish, while everyone you love rejects and abandons you. I sighed deeply, as I tried to explain my situation to this ignorant man, “Sir,” I said,  “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”

“Now that should shut him up,” I thought to myself, rather proud of the self-restraint I had shown, when I could have given him the tongue lashing that he deserved. But sometimes, I surprise even myself with the kindness and patience I show to others, even though I have endured so much agony. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed my commendable behavior, but everyone else was too consumed with themselves to pay any attention to me. Sometimes I’m astounded by how self-absorbed so many people are.

at_the_pool_of_bethesda_lg“Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!” I looked at this man in disbelief, astounded by his audacity.

“Very well then,” I thought to myself in irritation. “I’ve tried being polite and kind, but that doesn’t seem to work with this one, so I’ll just do as he says, and when he sees that I am unable to get up by myself, maybe then he’ll be ashamed of himself!”

And so I turned over, getting to my hands and knees, and I arose! I was amazed! I hadn’t been able to stand unassisted in thirty-eight years, and now, I was standing. Unbelievable! I looked at the man, who was smiling at me, dumbfounded, and I rolled up my sleeping mat and picked it up, as he had commanded, not knowing what else to say or do, as I walked off.

“Who was this man?” I thought to myself as I walked outside for the first time in decades, wondering where I would go now and what I would do. Perhaps you’re wondering about my lack of enthusiasm over this whole event, but you must understand that I didn’t ask to be healed. And now that I was healed, my life would change dramatically. I had no place to live, and no money to live on. Now I would have to try to find work, because people certainly wouldn’t pay alms to a man who was no longer ill.

And then, as if my life hadn’t suddenly become complicated enough, a group of Pharisees came dashing towards me, looking very angry. “You there!” one of them shouted, “stop!” I stood there nervously, as they approached me, wondering what they could possibly want with me. “You can’t work on the Sabbath! It’s illegal to carry that sleeping mat!”

I looked at them, appalled by their accusation. Me? Working on the Sabbath? I hadn’t worked for thirty-eight years, let alone on the Sabbath, and now suddenly these men were hurling their accusations at me.

Really — it was all just too much! I hadn’t asked for any of this, and who knew what these men would do to me now. The Pharisees weren’t known for being compassionate, so I quickly replied, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.'”

Pharisees
Pharisees

“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded, but I was unable to give them his name or any other information about this man who had so completely disrupted my life. When they finally realized that I truly was ignorant about this man who had healed me, and that he could no longer be found, they left me alone, after throwing several more threats against me.

Frustrated, I hid my sleeping mat, hoping no one would steal it. I certainly didn’t want to wind up in jail for working on the Sabbath! Then, I wandered around Jerusalem looking at the sights — something I hadn’t been able to do for such a long, long time. Finally, I walked into the Temple, observing the money changers and thinking that perhaps this would provide a lucrative living for me.

It was while I was pondering the possibilities of this, that he sauntered up to me again. I was scarcely able to hide my irritation when he said, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Enough was enough! This man had entered into my life uninvited and turned my world upside down. I hadn’t asked him to heal me! Indeed, this whole thing was his idea. And now, he accused me of sinning and threatened me.

As soon as he walked away from me, I asked the people who were standing nearby if any of them knew his name. When I learned that his name was Jesus, I rushed to find the Pharisees who had approached me earlier that day, and told them that it was Jesus who had healed me and commanded me to fold my sleeping mat and carry it, all on the Sabbath!

It didn’t take them long to leave my presence, and to go and find him, while I stood watching from a distance, careful to remain hidden from his sight. There was something about this man that frightened me. It seemed as though he had the ability to read the thoughts and the motives of my heart.

Perhaps you think I should have been grateful, especially when I heard people claim that he was the son of God. However, if this was true, then why did God wait until I was an old man and allow me to suffer for thirty-eight years before he decided to heal me? I believe I’ve earned the right to be bitter… What do you think???
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Author’s Note: The account above is my interpretation of John 5:1-15. This particular passage has challenged me for a long time, and I’ve often wondered about this man who was healed, and his response to Jesus… or perhaps I should say his lack of response to Jesus. I’ve read this passage many times, and I always leave this portion of scripture with many questions…

  • Why did Jesus ask him, “Do you want to be made whole?”
  • Why didn’t the man give Jesus a direct answer?
  • Why didn’t the man seem thankful for his healing?
  • Why did Jesus go back to the man and tell him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you”?
  • Why did the man run back to the Pharisees and tell them about Jesus, knowing that they intended to harm him?

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled (Hebrews 12:15 ESV)

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers