I have begun teaching the Good Samaritan Network’s version of the Healing and Transformation Program. During this short time, I have seen men move from stone-faced introverted individuals to very sensitive and introspective people. Last week was a break-through of sorts. I began teaching principles of healing. As we began talking about the foundation and team necessary for restoration, one of the men exclaimed, “There is just no way! I am a terrible individual, a drunk, a man who has destroyed my family, my family can’t forgive me and I will never forgive myself.” If we are honest, we have all felt some version of that statement. The truth is his statement is just not true. However, there is a choice to be made. We can choose to wallow in our brokenness and misery or we can take action and seek God’s forgiveness.
God and only God, through His Son Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit can and will restore us. To prove this, I opened my Bible to Psalm 51, King David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and Nathan had revealed that he knew what David had done. I shared with my student, he like David was at a very important crossroads. Acknowledging past failures is not enough. We must repent of those failures and ask God to blot them out. Psalm 51:1-9 is a beautiful picture of someone who truly wants to be healed. David begged God, he was broken, there was no hope otherwise, he felt the separation, and knew that he must be forgiven. David was willing to take any measure to be forgiven and restored.
Like David and my student, I have felt that separation and at times have wondered if I could be restored. The good news is, God is a God of restoration. He is waiting like the prodigal’s father for us to repent and return to Him. The joy that comes with that restoration is indescribable. Only God can make a heart clean and pure. King David understood this forgiveness. After repentance, he asked God to create a pure heart and to renew his spirit. Can you see the progression? First we repent then we are able to receive the heart transplant; the restoration from God. We can be fully restored because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. However, healing does not stop there.
Verses 15-19 tell the rest of the story. David repented, was restored, and moved forward by committing to teach others of God’s forgiveness. Too often, we sit and thank God for what He has done but never take the time to share what He has done with others. This world can be difficult, cruel, and evil. Without God’s restoration we are hopeless. Everyone is in need of restoration. Some, like me, need it more often than others. To see the brokenness, the hurt, the estranged families, should break our hearts. We should be compelled to repent and seek restoration. Likewise, we must be compelled to share the hope that is within us.
John 5 records the story of a paralyzed man sitting by the pool of Bethesda. Jesus asked the paralyzed man, “Do you want to be healed?” The man answered yes. Sadly, some answer this question with a resounding no. Some answer yes but their actions say no. While still others, answer yes, mean yes, and seek God’s forgiveness for their past. The real question is, do you want to be healed? Do you truly want to move forward in your life? Do you want to share that hope with others? If we truly understand the depths of our hopelessness, the abyss from where God retrieved us, and the restorative work of Christ, then we will seek to share that hope and new heart with everyone. God is a God of healing! Do you want to be healed?