Monday, July 11, 2011

Is there a connection between Forgiveness & Healing?

Seems like every paper I pick up or book I open lately has an article or chapter on forgiveness and the connection between forgiving someone who has hurt you and God being able to heal you. Lord, are you trying to tell me something? Often I believe God gets my attention by putting things right in my face - so here it is~

Do you believe there is a connection between forgiveness and healing? If someone has hurt you deeply,(it could be from years ago or just recently) and you are harboring resentment in your soul toward them, do you think it can physically hurt you?

This life we lead on earth can get very messy. People can say and do things that cause deep wounds in the ones they love. Sometimes they don't even know it. But, what's that they say about forgiveness? When you forgive someone, the one you are really helping is yourself, because you are bound by that anger and resentment.

We all know that stress can be a huge enemy to the body. That is a well known medical fact. The world is full of  yoga, ti chi, pilates, meditation and exercise classes that are filled to the brim with people looking for ways to feel better, help alleviating stress and "center" their bodies and souls. Doctors offices are full of people with different diseases that need to be healed. Message therapists are also used to help relieve stress and tension everyday. Doctors and the many facets of the medical profession are very needed and useful, but I believe there is more to healing than that. There is so much more to us than just our physical bodies. What about our souls? More and more, doctors and scientists are recognizing the connection between faith and healing.

Could bringing yourself back into better health be as easy as forgiving someone who has hurt you and taking that burden off your soul? It certainly couldn't hurt, right?

The Bible is full of verses that talk about forgiveness and being able to forgive others. I know that God will not forgive my trespasses, if I'm not willing to forgive others who hurt me. I believe that with every part of my soul because the word of God states that emphatically. I don't want to harbor unforgiveness in my soul, but I'm human and I know I've committed many sins and continue to do so. Is unforgiveness one of them? Here are some verses about forgiveness:

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." 
                                                                                                                                   Matthew 18:21. 
Or how about this one,

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."       
                                                                                                                                   Matthew 6:15
But what is the connection between forgiveness and healing? Again, I turn to the Bible for my answers. It is also chock full of verses about healing. Isn't that why Jesus came to earth? To reconcile man to God? To heal the broken hearted, to heal the human race from itself. His blood, shed on that cross, covered a  multitude of our sins and our broken and wounded hearts from the effects of sin. Truly, by His stripes, we are healed.

 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
                                                                                                                                  James 5:16
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed."   Isaiah 53:4-5

                                                       Known by His Scars by Morgan Weistling                                                               

I know that "Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever." Hebrews 13:8. 

So, let's put the pieces together, so this can make sense to all of us in 2011. 

Jesus came to save and to heal through the forgiveness of sins. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  1 John 1:9. He wants us to confess our many sins to him so that he can set us free. He came to die for us, and by his wounds we are healed. If we accept this simple truth, that Jesus came to die for us and set us free, the healing can begin. 

Another great verse about the freedom that the Lord can give is  "Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17. God = Love, Forgiveneness and Freedom.

But you have to believe that the Lord will heal you and can heal you. You have to believe that with all your heart and every fiber of your being. God still performs miracles during this day and age. We already saw that he is the same" today, yesterday and forever. He performed miracles in the days that Jesus walked the earth, and he's still performing them today. We all hear of miracles that happen and think, why can't that be me? 

I believe it can be you, if you have strong enough faith and you have forgiveness in your heart to make it happen. I believe your healing can begin. God has brought about healing in my body more than once, when I have totally relied on Him for everything and given him all my fears, anxieties and concerns. Now I just need to focus on the unforgiveness part, because He wants it all.
In his book "The Prayer that Heals", author and internationally known Healing Minister, Francis McNutt says this:

"Yes, if you forgive others their failing, your heavenly Father will forgive yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either." (from Matthew 6:14-15) Similarly, just as our Father will not forgive us, he will not heal us until we forgive those who have injured us. We cannot receive the love of Jesus, the lifeblood that circulates through us and keeps us going, unless we are willing to pass it on to others. We need to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh."                                                                          
Makes perfect sense to me. Forgive and receive the love of Jesus that flows in and through us. They go hand in hand, don't they? So, as I am recovering from my 2nd CCSVI procedure up here in NC, much slower than anticipated, I am focusing my mind and searching the depths of my heart for any unforgiveness I may be harboring towards myself or others. 

I am beginning physical therapy next week to strengthen my physical body, but I'm also wanting to heal my spiritual and emotional self at the same time, to be able to completely soak up all the healing that God wants to give me. I am praying that He will open my heart and reveal to me what I need to do and I pray that if you have someone you need to forgive in your life, you don't hesitate to do it. Life is short and I want to live it to the fullest, don't you?

My verses for today are about Forgiveness and Healing and are red above.

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Lord, I know you want to pour out your awesome healing powers upon me. Search my heart Lord. Help me to forgive anyone who has hurt me, so that you may forgive me my many trespasses. I love you Lord. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to reconcile sinful man to you, a most Holy God. I know that through Jesus' stripes I am healed. He died for me Lord. I believe it and I receive it. Help me to forgive others so that you may forgive me and begin the healing again.

In Jesus name I pray,