“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
What struggle are you facing today that is causing you to respond with sin? Physical pain was the greatest tool satan used when trying to get a job to turn from God (a job 2:7). He is still using physical pain in our lives, attempting to separate us from the Lord.
While we may appear spiritually healthy to those around us, it is easy for our illness to allow sin into our lives in small ways. These can quickly escalate and take over, destroying relationships, our spiritual walk, and even our body. So I ask. . .
Do you grieve that no one seems to understand your illness and so you build up walls of isolation, resentment, and bitterness?
Do you hold on too tightly to your past hurts from a church, turning away from fellowship, mentors, and ministry, insisting that you don’t like Christians?
Do you treat your body with disrespect, since it betrayed you with this illness? Do you ignore doctor’s advice to eat well, exercise if possible, and take certain medications or supplements out of defiance?
Do you dwell in the role of a victim of your illness, squandering your life by constantly using your illness as an excuse so people have no expectations of you?
Do you play the martyr card, keeping a smile pasted on your face and saying you are fine, but later using it as fuel in relationships to gain sympathy?
Tough questions, and most of us may quickly respond, “No!” But really. . . be honest with yourself. Ask God to reveal areas where He needs to come in and clean up.
A. W. Tozer once said, “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”
Let us not waste our beautiful lives by not calling on God’s strength to overcome satan’s temptations.
Prayer: Lord, I admit that I am a sinner and I desperately need Your forgiveness. I ask for You to forgive me for believing that my sins are too little to matter. Resentment, bitterness, envy, manipulation–all of these are sins and not of You. I want You to rule my heart and my head and not the games that satan tempts me with. Bring my attention to the areas where I need You to work on me and help me accept Your discipline without complaint. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is excited about her new prayer book which will be available soon, Refresh Me, Lord, Prayers for those with illness. You can see the other books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop. 100% of the proceeds go to Rest Ministries to keep us going.
Illness takes so much time just to manage that we often push aside areas of spiritual growth until we are forced to–usually under less than pleasant circumstances. If you were to choose one sin to work on and ask for God’s influence, where would it be (if you would be willing to share)? We won’t judge here! We are all in this together!
Do you find yourself dealing with the same sins over and over, no matter your age or the season of your life? I hope that if you do, you will find comfort and hope in this song, “Thankful” with the group Caedmon’s Call. You are not alone. We all struggle. We all need forgiveness. -Lisa