"Knowing their thoughts, (the Pharisees) Jesus said, 'Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....' Then he said to the paralytic, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.' And the man got up and went home." -Matthew 9:4-8
There are times in life when we feel like giving up. We don't want to try again; we stop even caring. We feel hopeless and inadequate, as if there was nothing we could do to reconcile our pain or help our circumstance. But, in spite of our feelings, God has a different view. Like the man who had been lying on the mat for most of his life, we don't realize the true potential of God. The reality is that we ARE forgiven. The reality is that he HAS set us free. The reality is that we don't have to live in a place of doubt, despair, discouragement, loneliness, or anything else that might try to steal away the life, love and joy that God intends for us. Like the man on the mat, we have to be awakened to the fact that He sent his Son, His only Son, not only because He loves us, but also because He believes in us to do great things! Once I was feeling so broken because of something that had happened in my life. I felt so helpless. I felt so alone. I didn't understand the process of God in one of my most trying times. I plopped down on the floor when I reached my parent's house and just cried. I couldn't even say what was the matter. Then, something happened. "GET UP!", said my stepmom, powerfully. No one had ever said that to me before. It rather shocked me into reality; but amazingly, not in a bad way. It was as though someone believed I was going to make it in spite of what was happening. When you feel downtrodden, get up! Don't let the things that try to keep you down stop you. Recognize these as attacks from the enemy. Don't let him win. Let God's Spirit rise up inside of you. Let the truth and peace that you know is real bring you through to the next place, and remember how much He loves you, in spite of any circumstance you may be experiencing. He loves us so much more than we will ever know.