Monday, March 14, 2016
The Healing Power of Forgiveness
Jesus taught us to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Our forgiving Lord expects us to be forgiving toward others—to pass on the forgiveness we have freely received from Him.
There is something deeply therapeutic about forgiveness. We can see that in this verse from the Psalms: The LORD forgives our sins, heals us when we are sick, and protects us from death (Psalm 103:3-4, CEV).
Forgiveness and healing are linked. Before Jesus healed the paralytic, who was lowered down through the roof he forgave his sins. Jesus asked, "Is it easier for me to tell this crippled man that his sins are or to tell him to get up and walk?"
Jesus answered his own question with these words, “Get up! Pick up your mat and go on home.” And the man responded by doing just that. You can read the full story in Matthew 9:1-8.
River of Healing — Photo courtesy of Donald Adam
James, the brother of our Lord, writes, "If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot" (James 5:16, CEV).
I do full dramatizations of the Epistle of James and about ten years ago I was invited to present James in Kingston. All went very well and I returned to Ottawa with a feeling of satisfaction.
A few weeks later I got a call from the church administrator who reported that a miraculous healing had taken place due to my dramatization of James. (I can't take credit for any healing. Only God can do that.)
Apparently, a young woman in the congregation had been plagued by the crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Upon hearing the message of James, she was gripped by the urgent need to forgive her abusive father.
As she released forgiveness to her father, healing was released into her body. Her health was completely restored.
Forgiveness is a Garden of Healing — Photo courtesy of Matthew Taylor
Forgiveness is the Lord's prescription for ailments of body, soul and spirit.
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