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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Freedom and Healing

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." - 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

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Many years ago, before I met my husband, Joe, I was involved in a very unhealthy relationship that ended badly. It was such a negative experience that it left me with emotional scars that I would carry with me for decades. After my husband and I were married for a number of years, and we began to have some serious problems, I sought counseling, and it helped to some degree. But I never found the real freedom and healing that I so desperately needed. Then one day, I made a quality decision to live my life for Christ. I gave Him my broken heart and my broken life, and I asked Him to heal me, and to make me the person He created me to be. I knew that God had done a work in me, because I suddenly developed an insatiable hunger for His presence and His Word. I got up early every morning to pray, and to read the Scriptures. I poured my heart out to the Lord, asking Him to make Himself real to me. I don't know when it happened - I can't tell you the date or the time - but I realized one day that the deep pain and sorrow in my inner being was gone. I have to be honest and tell you that all that time, I hadn't been seeking healing for my emotions - I had been seeking God. And the troubled past that I thought would haunt me forever was wiped away by His healing hand.

The apostle Peter wrote: "May grace (God's favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." (2 Peter 1:2 AMP) This verse reveals the supernatural power we tap into when we actively seek the Lord with our whole hearts. This kind of power isn't available to those who aren't fully committed to Christ. We can only plug into this kind of power when we make up our minds to wholeheartedly seek and serve God in good times and in bad. The apostle Paul had the right idea when he said: "[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection." (Philippians 3:10 AMP) When we are this serious about our relationship with God, we will witness His mountain-moving power working on our behalf, even if that mountain is emotional baggage from our past.

I began smoking cigarettes when I was a young teenager. By the time I met my husband, Joe, in college, I had already been smoking many years, and I was addicted. Joe had never been a smoker, and he didn't want me to be one either, so he would throw my packs of cigarettes out the car window whenever he got the chance. We got engaged, and then married, and though everyone thought I had quit smoking, I felt compelled to sneak a smoke from time to time. After I surrendered my life to Christ, I noticed one day that the relentless cravings for cigarettes had vanished. It amazed me that I had been delivered from a 20-year-old addiction so suddenly and completely. The Bible says: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom)." (2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP) When we surrender our lives to Christ for real, we open the door to supernatural healing, deliverance, and freedom. Have you been earnestly seeking freedom from an enslaving addiction or a painful past without success? Perhaps the Lord wants you to stop your fruitless efforts, and to simply begin seeking Him in a deeper way. His presence and His healing are waiting for you.

Prayer: Lord, today I give You my broken heart, my broken dreams, and my broken life. Make them into something beautiful for Your glory. Fill me with a growing passion for Your presence and Your Word. Teach me to love You, seek You, and serve You the way You desire and deserve. Thank You that as I come to know You in a deeper way, I will draw closer to the victories and blessings that belong to me in Christ!

- J. M. Farro

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