Duration: 365 days
Read 2 Kings 5:1–19
Naaman, a valiant captain, seeks healing after he is stricken with leprosy.
Healing doesn’t happen overnight. The Bible tells us that Naaman, was told to dip seven times in the Jordan River in order to be healed of leprosy. He couldn’t go to one of the prettier rivers with cleaner waters and just dip once. He had to get in the Jordan and bathe there again and again and again. Healing was a messy process, a choice he had to make. It works the same way in our lives. We have to choose to heal, and trust that if we do what God, the Great Physician asks—forgive those who have wounded and damaged us—there will be a change, a good result, strength, and wholeness. That means we can:
- Forgive every time we feel anger or mistrust or bitterness. Instead of dwelling on the emotions that are eating us alive, we can dwell on all that is good (Phil. 4:8).
- Stay in the present moment or think on the future. Instead of rehearsing old injustices and letting our lives revolve around the past, we can find a greater reward by thinking on the future (Phil. 3:12).
- Love others enough to let them make their own choices. Instead of loving the need to control and insisting on our own choices, we can love others enough to let them decide for themselves (Ps. 52:8).
- Let go of the idea of our perceived power and focus. Instead we can focus on God’s work in every person and on the power of the cross. We can’t heal our own hearts. But God promises to be strong when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:10).
- Stop trying to punish those who hurt us with anger and hate. Instead, we can let God deal with them. Unforgiveness harms only you, and the damage is considerable. It keeps you cowardly and stunted, isolated and alone, ugly and bitter. Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven because no matter how much you forgive others, he has forgiven you even more (Matthew 18:22).
- Stop trusting in ourselves. Instead we can trust in God and follow his leading. When we do, he promises to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5–6).
- Believe our wounds can make us stronger. The hard work of therapy makes the wounded parts of our hearts even stronger (1 Peter 5:10).
POINT TO PONDER
Beyond the things we can do, God is at work too. He is always good. He can always be trusted. He is in the business of turning anything bad into everything good. You can trust him with anything—any wound, any circumstance, and situation.
Devotions by Christine Caine copyright © 2012 by Christine Caine and Equip & Empower Ministries.