Chapter OneGod's Word for You
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed
and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek,
the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual]
captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who
are bound .
Why We Must Forgive
Have you been hurt? Misused? Abused? Treated wrongly or improperly?
Rejected? Has it affected your emotional state? Do you really want
to be healed? Do you really want to get well? Will you forgive?
I believe that most people are abused in one way or another during
their lifetime. It may come in the form of physical, verbal,
emotional, or sexual abuse. Whatever form it takes, abuse causes a
root of rejection, which is a devastating problem in our day.
I know all too much about this. I was sexually, physically,
verbally, and emotionally abused from the time I can remember until
I left home at the age of eighteen. I have been rejected, abandoned,
betrayed, and divorced. I know what it means to hurt . and I
thank God that He has shown me how to recover.
Wounded emotions can become a prison that locks us into our pain and
keeps others out. Perhaps you are in the condition in life where I
was, an emotional prisoner. It's a bitter, resentful, angry prison
cell, and forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door that holds us
there. How long have you been there? Do you want to be free of it?
Jesus came to open prison doors and to set the captives free! He
wants to heal you. Jesus is willing; are you?
God's Word for You
There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated
and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had
already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you
want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]
A Question for the Heart
For many, many years, "Why me, God?" was the cry of my heart, and it
filled my thoughts and affected my attitude daily. I lived in the
wilderness of self-pity, and it was a problem for me, my family, and
the plan of God for my life. My troubled mind caused me to have a
chip on my shoulder and to expect everyone else to fix my problem. I
felt as though I was due something for the way I had been treated,
but I was looking to people to pay me back when I should have been
looking to God.
When Jesus addressed His question to the man who had been lying by
the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years, He knew that self-pity
would not deliver this man. "Do you want to become well?" are words
of compassion to anyone who is trapped in an emotional prison and
who has learned to function with their problem. They are words
directed to the heart.
Gaining freedom from hurts and emotional bondages is not easy. I
know. It will provoke feelings and emotions that have been "stuffed"
rather than faced and dealt with. It may involve very real pain, but
to be free and cleansed by the power of forgiveness is the only way
to ever be fully well again.
God told me I could be pitiful or powerful, but I could not be both.
I had to give up the self-pity to be free.