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Have You Ever Been Paralyzed by Problems?

38 Comments

Gwen Smith

September 24, 2015

Blog, Christian Living, Confession, Devotions, Encouragement, Fear, Forgiveness, Friendship, Healing, Prayer, Trials

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Dont Linger in the Lame

I love Scripture’s account of when Jesus healed a paralyzed man. Those of us who grew up in Sunday school know it well. If you are new to faith or just getting to know the Bible, I am confident you are going to love it too.

Nestled into Luke 5, we see a group of guys who had a loved one that was paralyzed. They loved their friend and wanted him to be well. Having heard that Jesus was in their town and knowing of the power He possessed, they sprung into action. “Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus” (Luke 5:18).

Their actions showed that they believed Jesus could make a difference in the life of their loved one. So they took this man to the place of his hope…to the place of possibility…to the place of power…

They took him to Jesus.

And they were persistent!

“When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus” (Luke 5:19).

Can you even imagine? Can you imagine the thoughts of the people inside the house as they began to see the ceiling tiles moved? And then to see a man lowered through the roof into the middle of the crowded Jesus-lesson!? My. Glory.

Theses guys were intentional. They were on a mission. They positioned their friend in the presence of the Healer. And their belief in the power of Jesus was visible to His divine eyes.

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 5: 20).

Jesus saw their faith, which was active, and He began His work of healing from the inside out. He started with this man’s heart. Healing always begins in the heart.

People were ruffled. Eyebrows were raised. Anger flared. Chatter began in the minds of the religious leaders in the crowd. Then the radical Jesus-show continued like this.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

            Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today” (Luke 5:21-26).

Do you not just LOVE this story?

So many practical faith lessons stick out to me. If we apply these to our lives, I believe these initiatives will help us and help others find healing in Jesus. Check it out.

#1. Take the hurting to Jesus.

Pray. Encourage. Be available. Speak life.

#2. Have faith in God’s ability to heal and move powerfully.

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT)

#3. Be persistent.

I cannot take my friends to Jesus physically but I can grab their mats as I hit my knees. I can pray with them and for them. I can encourage them toward believing God for big things. I can walk them to the healing and grace of Christ. Time and time again in Scripture God rewards persistence. I must be persistent in my mat carrying.

#4. Remember that healing begins with Jesus… and in the heart.

Jesus dealt with the sin sickness first then He addressed the physical needs. Must. Remember. This. When I pray for my loved ones, I will pray for their hearts first.

#5. Be confident that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. (And that He wants to!)

A simple but vital truth. No matter how big or small, confess it all. And trust Him to hear and heal your heart.

#6. When Jesus tells you to get up, GET UP.

Get off your mat! Don’t linger in the lame. I see woman after woman paralyzed by her past, by failures, by limitations, doubts, and circumstances. This is not God’s plan for anyone who has placed her faith in Christ. God is full of strength, wisdom, mercy and love. We have full access to all of it.

When I ask for forgiveness, I must believe that my sins are covered. When I ask God for healing, or wisdom, or provision, or strength, or peace, I have to move beyond the paralysis of my problem to the power of His all-sufficient grace.

Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being a Friend to the broken and the Healer of hearts.
Help me to move beyond my paralysis into the freedom, strength,
and healing you have for me today. Teach me truths in the trials
and empower me to believe beyond my doubt.

In Your name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

What beds of brokenness have you been lying on?

Got any spiritually or emotionally paralyzed friends who need you to carry their mats? What one thing could you do today to get her/them to Jesus? Will you do it? I would love to hear about it. CLICK HERE to visit my blog and share your thoughts in the comments section.

If you love it, click to TWEET IT: When Jesus tells u to get up, GET UP. Get off ur mat! Move beyond the paralysis of ur fear. Don’t linger in the lame @GwenSmithMusic

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

 

38 responses to “Have You Ever Been Paralyzed by Problems?”

  1. Joh says:

    This devotion you wrote is so powerful. I’ve been living in a season of such hardships that I am at the very end of myself. My son and his wife and two children who live nearby have chosen to live their lives so “distant” from us. It’s heartbreaking because not only are they “believers”, but he is my only child. We don’t get to share holidays with them and see them only occasionally. He never calls, texts, or sends emails. If I didn’t reach out and make contact to visit with my grandchildren I don’t think we’d ever hear from them. There’s not been an incident between us and I don’t understand why this is happening. It’s extremely painful to live through. My family of sisters can’t be bothered to maintain any contact and after my father passed away this past January I’m trying hard to rebuild a strained relationship I’ve had with my mother over the years. My husband has been out of work for over 6 months which alone is difficult to deal with, but besides all these trials I live with chronic pain from a fall I experienced over 36 years ago. I’ve has 3 spinal surgeries to stabilize my back, but am left with daily pain.

    I have learned many truths in these trials and He has opened my eyes to the anger and resentment I was harboring inside and the bitter attitude that was eating into my heart. I’ve spent the past two years seeking Him. I’ve forgiven those who have hurt me and have repeatedly asked for Him to reveal to me any grudges I’m still holding on to. I’ve asked for forgiveness from those I’ve offended and I’m walking in complete humility, by His grace.

    I believe in divine healing as I have experienced this before in my own body and I know He can and does heal. I lie around most days crying out to Him to show me mercy. I spend hours seeking out His will. I feel so helpless and alone and at times afraid. Mostly I feel I’ve failed at something that this oppression won’t lift. I keep waiting and hoping that today this season of struggle and hardship and pain will end, but its been more than two years of financial stresses, family fallout, physical suffering and emotional grief and all I feel is despair. I cling to my faith and will never stop believing in Him, but I’m desperate for some relief. I’m grateful He’s a friend to the broken and Healer of hearts. I’m just so tired and my heart is weary. I need my hope renewed.

    • Sue says:

      I believe you can renew your hope by reaching out to serve another who is suffering. Visit an elderly person who does not get visitors. Cook a meal for someone who just came home from the hospital. Giving to others will help you
      see the beauty that still resides in you and will allow you to minister to others willing to receive the grace you have to offer. You can help yourself while showing the recipient how God’s love resides in you. God bless you in your search for peace and love

      • Gail Stoltzfoos says:

        A wondrous and uplifting message for all of us who are suffering and seem to be sinking down into the mire. Thank you! We serve ourselves by serving others. You, Sue, must be a resilient, loving and tremendously caring person. Blessings.

      • Joh says:

        Thank you, Sue for your reply. I do want to reach out and touch others who are suffering or in need. The problem is that I deal with daily physical pain and it’s been extremely hard for me to do much of anything anymore.

        I have learned much though through this journey. I’m much more empathetic towards others. My heart hurts so easily now when I hear about the difficulties others experience. I do send out encouraging messages to those I know online and I pray for others as well, again mostly online requests. I am praying that my physical healing will happen one day and I will be able to offer more in the way of practical serving.

        Thanks again for your thoughtful suggestions and your blessings for me. I pray He will bless you for your faithfulness.

        ???….jo

    • Gail Stoltzfoos says:

      I have a cell phone prayer list and you, my dear, will be added today. This is my way of actually doing something instead of simply saying, “I’ll pray for you.” I WILL BE praying for you! Many of your pains are ones I can relate to: distant or non-existent family relationships, job loss & financial pressures and chronic pain. My sister in Christ, I lift you up to the One who can heal all your brokenness. I beseech our Living God to touch your life in a wondrous and powerful way. I pray that you will continue to seek Him, despite the difficulties, challenges, trials and tribulations that are being sent your way. I pray that you will be encouraged by those who are reaching out through this discussion. And, I pray peace, understanding and joy into your troubled life. In Jesus’ Precious Name I pray. Amen. Blessings.

      • Joh says:

        Thank you, Gail, for your kind words of encouragement. I’m grateful for those who take the time to pray for me. I sometimes feel like I have worn out my “prayer request welcome mat” with the few friends I have left. I do believe He hears our prayers. I know that there is a reason for all this and I look forward to the day when I can understand, but then I read Job and realize he never knew the “background story” to his sufferings. Yet he gave praise to God anyway. He never stopped believing in the goodness of God. He knew that he had a “Kinsman-Redeemer” and eventually he would see him with his own eyes. His heart yearned for this moment. (Job 19:25-27).

        From this I learn I may not ever know why I am going through this journey, but that I can and should rejoice anyway. Give thanks not for what He can do for me, but because He is God and that’s enough. I am just very tired and it’s so difficult to do anything. Getting out of bed is a monumental effort. Sometimes it’s the depression, sometimes the physical pain. I feel like I’m barely holding on to this rope of hope. I try hard not to allow my feelings to guide my choices. I enjoy Joyce Meyer for her teachings on this truth. So I clear my mind from the feelings of despair and cling to what’s TRUTH, His promises, His Word.

        Thanks again for responding. I am sorry that you have experience in what I’m going through. I’ve gained a lot of empathy for those who suffer like this. My heart aches for people who deal with such grief. I never thought I’d be on such a difficult road. I really appreciate your support and prayers. I pray He blesses you for your kindness to strangers.

        ???……jo.

  2. Jo Ann Jacilla Hale says:

    This devotion you wrote is so powerful. I’ve been living in a season of such hardships that I am at the very end of myself. My son and his wife and two children who live nearby have chosen to live their lives so “distant” from us. It’s heartbreaking because not only are they “believers”, but he is my only child. We don’t get to share holidays with them and see them only occasionally. He never calls, texts, or sends emails. If I didn’t reach out and make contact to visit with my grandchildren I don’t think we’d ever hear from them. There’s not been an incident between us and I don’t understand why this is happening. It’s extremely painful to live through. My family of sisters can’t be bothered to maintain any contact and after my father passed away this past January I’m trying hard to rebuild a strained relationship I’ve had with my mother over the years. My husband has been out of work for over 6 months which alone is difficult to deal with, but besides all these trials I live with chronic pain from a fall I experienced over 36 years ago. I’ve has 3 spinal surgeries to stabilize my back, but am left with daily pain.

    I have learned many truths in these trials and He has opened my eyes to the anger and resentment I was harboring inside and the bitter attitude that was eating into my heart. I’ve spent the past two years seeking Him. I’ve forgiven those who have hurt me and have repeatedly asked for Him to reveal to me any grudges I’m still holding on to. I’ve asked for forgiveness from those I’ve offended and I’m walking in complete humility, by His grace.

    I believe in divine healing as I have experienced this before in my own body and I know He can and does heal. I lie around most days crying out to Him to show me mercy. I spend hours seeking out His will. I feel so helpless and alone and at times afraid. Mostly I feel I’ve failed at something that this oppression won’t lift. I keep waiting and hoping that today this season of struggle and hardship and pain will end, but its been more than two years of financial stresses, family fallout, physical suffering and emotional grief and all I feel is despair. I cling to my faith and will never stop believing in Him, but I’m desperate for some relief. I’m grateful He’s a friend to the broken and Healer of hearts. I’m just so tired and my heart is weary. I need my hope renewed.

  3. VH says:

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS DEVOTION! I’ve been dealing with a friend who has been hurt before and has the biggest barrier around his heart. I’ve been praying for him for a while now and truly felt like giving up. Today, in fact, right before I read this devotion, I asked God to set me free from him. And then your devotion comes along. My journal entry couple days ago was about the persistent widow and I wrote I felt I was like this persistent widow standing in the gap for this guy! But honestly, seeing no change. It is like he wants to stay stuck, like the paralyzed man. Recently God has showed me it is the barrier around his heart and I started reading two good books on this topic so yes, it is all about the heart! I will keep praying for him knowing one day God will set him free and he will get off his mat!!!

  4. Kalia Borne says:

    Thank you for this word… God will use people in ways that others will never understand. Thank you God for encouraging us to not only GET UP for ourselves but to help and encourage others to GET UP from paralysis. God is a way-maker and a healer, a deliver and a comforter. He gave his only Son Jesus Christ for our sins before we were even thought of. We can do all things through Jesus because he gives us strength. We have to stay obedient and believe that all things are possible. We have to keep our Armour and Shield in place at all times…. When the teachers gives us an open book test we need to read it… God is the principle, Jesus is the teacher, The Holy Spirit is the assistant and the Bible is our book to any and every question. Faithful is our God and as long as we believe that no matter what situation or circumstance that may come before us, we will make it through… God Bless all of you… I encourage you not to Give Up… no matter how hard it may seem…

  5. Cassandra says:

    Yes, thank you! I’m feeling that way now. But I believe God is still God and he will free me when I truly let it go. It’s just hard to let go and trust when your in the situations.

  6. Gladys says:

    Yes I agree that, that last statement in your prayer also touched me. My sister has ALS and she suffering a lot, she has given up and only is waiting and wishing to die. This devo has encouraged me to be persistent to bring her back to our sweet Jesus. Thank you for your words I can see they are inspired by God.

  7. Tonya Thompson-Morgan says:

    I am a Believer who was paralyzed and laying on my mat for 10 long years not serving God. My paralysis was resultant of falling into sexual sin and getting pregnant out of wedlock. I became paralyzed (overcome) with guilt and condemnation and I allowed that to separate me from God for many, many years. Did I repent for that sin? Yes. However, instead of reaffirming God’s word and trusting in God’s power of forgiveness, I listened to my own negative self-talk and Satan’s accusations. I thank God for the Saints who carried me on my mat (i.e. prayed for me) to Jesus. The Lord spoke into my spirit and told me to ARISE! He gave me the power to believe again and profess His word daily: Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Thank you Gwen for this powerful lesson!

    • LKB says:

      That is a beautiful and relevant testimony! So glad you were brave enough to share! Now that you have risen and can walk I pray you will walk and not grow weary, run and not grow tired and that you will soar on wings like eagles. Bless you and your sweet young one

    • Kalia Borne says:

      Reading this brought tears to my eyes…. God is so good and him giving his only son for our sins…. we have no choice but to be grateful…. Thank God for your faithful friends and encouraging friends…. I will continue to keep you in prayer… Yes that’s right… I have included you into my prayer list… It’s amazing how you can encourage strangers to become family in the body of Christ… God Bless You…

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Thank YOU, Tonya, for sharing your testimony! LOVE hearing of the way God moves in the hearts of His people.

      Blessings, friend.
      Gwen

    • Gail Stoltzfoos says:

      Although quite some time ago, I too lived a promiscuous and self-absorbed, sinful life. I too struggled (and sometimes still do) w/forgiving myself for the lost years, ruined relationships and all the heartache I caused by being such a sinner. I am so glad you have Prayer Warriors in your life that lifted you up. I am so glad that your testimony will be all the more powerful and poignant because of your sin and your suffering. Blessings, dear sister.

  8. Gail Stoltzfoos says:

    I have allowed myself to become paralyzed with fear. I have been ill and off work since July. As I discover what isn’t wrong with me, but can’t find what IS wrong, I am wearing down with the pain, anxiety, fear, fatigue and hopelessness that is enveloping me. I struggle so much because my concentration is also affected & I have trouble studying or journaling & even trouble praying at times. I KNOW I need to take it all to Jesus – the lover of my soul and the Great Physician. Holy Father, I pray for the strength & courage & resilience & discipline & desire to GET UP! In Jesus’ Precious Name. Amen.

    • Kalia Borne says:

      I touch and agree with you… God is a healer… all you have to do is stay obedient and believe and with Jesus stripes you will be healed…

  9. Anissa says:

    I can only think of three adults in my whole apartment complex, besides myself who are not severely paralyzed. We all have a mat at times. I struggle daily, which is why, I GET UP, 🙂 , read your email and open the bible. That way, I feel I’ll have a positive day and try to have it all day. I pray for this little community and its inhabitants. Hopefully my little light can shine a little brighter and yes, I’d love to bring them to Jesus.

  10. daisy says:

    I have two daughter’s one believes in Jesus she is lost needs prayer, other one believes in God but not on Jesus, that mostly comes from her dad side, pray I can do more to help them , thank you Gods Blessings.

  11. Rachel Williamson says:

    My sweet neighbor is a young mother of two and is paralyzed by her anxiety. She is very much one to try and do it all and do it herself. She was raised in the church but hasn’t been going since getting married 10 years ago. My prayer is for her to reconnect with God and feel how powerful His help can be, especially while in the throws of motherhood. Please pray for her reawakening.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Lord, I ask that You would move in the heart of Rachel’s neighbor. She won’t know peace until she knows the Prince of Peace. Would You please draw her to salvation through Jesus and lead her beside the quiet waters of Your Word that can restore her soul? We ask this that you might be glorified in and through her life, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  12. Debbie says:

    Today was a hard devo for me to keep reading and praying through. Have to be honest..made me sad, a little upset with God, and discouraged all at the same time. We have been struggling with our daughter since 4th grade and now she is a senior!!! Very cold heart and playing church. She is headed for a dangerous path if she doesn’t surrender herself to God. We have been through many trials with her..but through the hurt and aggravation of today’s devo it just reaffirmed me that I must keep the faith..I must be persistent..and I must believe that God CAN and God WILL. My job is to keep the faith…keep carrying the mat and trust God’s timing and His plan and not my own.

  13. Iris says:

    I love that last line “empower me beyond my doubts”!
    When I read it I was amazed at the feelings that over came me ! It was like God talking to me and me alone! So often I read scripture and nothing comes but this was and awesome feeling! Thanks for the words that touch me this morning!

  14. Maggie says:

    Thank you so much for your powerful words,”empower me beyond my doubt”. They were exactly what I need to hold on to. Blessings.

  15. fiona scheibel says:

    I have a friend who had to take leave from work because it is an emotionally sick and damaging to his mental wellbeing place due to problems with the leadership and with other people there. He left in late January and is being paid while on this leave but I have ran out of trust that he will be healed and his workplace sorted out so he can return. This is silly. Jesus can do anything. All through scripture miracles happen but I have given up. I’m glad his wife is still trusting. I know I need to rattle those roof tiles and lower my friend to Jesus and not give up when things look difficult.

  16. Nina Kelley says:

    I am so thankful to God for having shown me this story and your teaching on it. I’m going to share this with my mother who has been stuck or “paralyzed” in her depression, often praying to God but not taking his healing of her heart, not having faith that God is in charge of her circumstances. How I wish she would accept Jesus’s words to “get up”, move on, and start enjoying the life he wants her to have.

    • Delores S says:

      Hi Nina ,I can so relate to your story .My son is now 22,at the age of 16 he told me he have this hole in his heart that made him so sad. At the time I just thought it was a phase ,but soon my straight A son would stop going to classes ,refused to even talk with his friends and would stay in his room all day . We have tried every doctor suggested but today he still is not well. This is my son whom I was sure would be a Christian as a teen ,it was he who insisted on devotion ,argued with sunday school teachers as to the meaning of scriptures ,challenged teachers in school as to how man hours are in a day because he insisted that Jesus said it was 12 . I too pray every day for him to be well ,so I know how you feel .One thing I do learn is never ever give up on him and always know that God has a purpose for his life. Gig is always my go to to jump start my day .Thank you guys for allowing God to use you and for your hearts to share with other women.

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