A question I hear over and over again, “Does unforgiveness have an effect on health?” Before answering this question, I want you to understand the main and the most important fact about Christ and the Cross. Jesus came to the brokenhearted, to those who lost their hope in life, who were sick and tormented by evil spirits. He came to liberate, to heal and to deliver. He wants you to be healed, recovered and liberated too.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,” He said, “because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” – Luke 4:18,19.
The earthly ministry of Jesus was the beginning of new hope for the earth because according to the predetermined counsel of Heaven, He came to save and deliver mankind and the entire creation from the ravages of sin, among which are sickness and poverty. The fall of Adam which is also the fall of this creation plunged everyone into the devil’s net where he nonchalantly afflicts men with a sinister array of troubles. Jesus, the Last Adam (See 1 Corinthians 15:45) came from eternity, stepped into time and space so that He can reverse and undo the devil’s works, thus restoring to the race of Adam that which was lost.
Jesus Brought Healing First for our Hearts, and then our Bodies
The very first public statement given by Jesus, which is not limited to the Jews in the synagogue where He made the announcement, but also extends to all God’s children across the face of the earth, reveals that an important aspect of His mission on earth was to heal the brokenhearted. This is because He knows very well that the heart of man is a spring from which flows the issues of life. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.’ – Proverbs 4:23. You see, when you are brokenhearted, there will be pain, bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart toward whoever or whatever is responsible for the heartbreak. Inner or emotional healing or health is more important than physical or bodily healing. So, you might be praying and confessing God’s word to receive physical healing from God, but might not be able to receive the healing if there is bitterness, pain or unforgiveness in your heart. Inner or spiritual healing is the right foundation for bodily healing. As a matter of fact, physical healing becomes very easy to receive and supernatural health easy to maintain when there is first a clean, healthy and a pure heart.
Did Jesus Ask Questions Before Healing People?
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.’ – Matthew 4:23.
The Bible does not explicitly say whether Jesus always verbally confirmed people’s heart condition before He healed them. When Jesus healed people, He did not stop and asked many questions before healing took place. He did not go around with a list asking if they had bitterness in their hearts. His disciples did not do that too. He told them, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.”
However, we know that the pattern of Jesus ministry was to first teach or preach and finally, heal. You see, if you lived in Jesus’ day and you were part of the people who heard Him teach or preach, you would discover that His words were not flat and dry like someone reading the midnight news. Interestingly, you would discover that His words flow into your heart, to all who hear Him speak with such awesome majesty and power. His words are so charged with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit! Remember how He Himself said, ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63). If there were no life in His words, how then would He be able to heal the brokenhearted?
You cannot hear Jesus teach or preach and your heart remains the same way; His spoken words will send vibrations through your heart! His words have so much power to demolish bitterness, pain and unforgiveness. There’s nothing hidden in your heart that Jesus does not know, even as you read this. His word is light, life and power. As you hear Him teach or preach, any ungodly thought in your heart cannot withstand the spiritual power that flows when He speaks, so His words will expose and shatter strongholds of darkness, bitterness and even unbelief in your heart. So, Jesus would often heal people after He had first taught and preached the word of God to them. His teaching first cleans them up in their hearts, then He heals their bodies. That was how Jesus ministered to the people in the days of His earthly ministry.
However, the scriptures also show us where Jesus healed a certain individual without first teaching or preaching to him. Four friends of a paralytic man had brought him to Jesus’ house so that He could heal him. They were so desperate that they uncovered the roof so the paralytic man could be in the very presence of Jesus. ‘When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ – Mark 2:5. Even though He wanted to heal the man, Jesus perceived in His spirit that the man’s sin is the cause of his paralysis. He first forgives him, then goes on to heal him. ‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go home.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” – Mark 2:10-12.
A Poor Heart Versus a Pure Heart
‘A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.’ – Proverbs 14:30.
A poor heart is a person’s heart that accommodates unforgiveness, pride, unbelief and bitterness. Such a one will have difficulties receiving healing during sickness or pain from God. This does not mean that God doesn’t want to heal him, but rather points to the truth that God first needs to heal the person’s heart and emotions before his body can receive healing.
‘A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.’ – Proverbs 17:22.
On the other hand, a pure heart is a man’s heart filled with divine love, always ready to forgive anyone at any time. Such a one will easily receive divine healing and other spiritual blessings from God because he has cultivated, like a beautiful garden, the kind of heart that God’s Spirit loves to dwell in.
A sound heart is a heart that is offence-free, envy-free and bitterness-free! God goes on to say in His word that when your heart is merry, full of joy, it is like medicine to your bones! Hallelujah!
Why Forgiveness is So Vital?
As I mentioned earlier, Jesus never prayed long prayers and asked lots of questions, and so His disciples, before healing people. Jesus came to proclaim the Good News and to heal! His desire for your life, that you experience all His benefits and live in perfect health. But it could be a hindrance to your healing – a stumbling block, called unforgiveness.
God our Father is a God of love who forgives us when we repent of sin or some other silly mistakes we often make. He tells us to be like Him and forgive freely and not hold men’s sin in our hearts (See Luke 6:37). In the prayer, taught the disciples by Jesus, He shows us that forgiveness is directly tied to deliverance. Healing is deliverance from sickness and disease, isn’t it? Look carefully at the following scripture:
‘And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’. – Luke 11:4
Because of the superiority of light over darkness, they cannot dwell together. God cannot live and fully express Himself in your heart if it is darkened by unforgiveness or bitterness. On the other hand, unforgiveness will often open the door of one’s life to sickness and other bad stuff that you’ll be better off without.
The Word of God also confirms to us that divine healing must be preceded by total forgiveness. The reason why God heals us is because He forgives us. However, if we are going to lay a firm hold on our healing, we must remove all bitterness and unforgiveness from our hearts and release whoever has offended us at any time in the past.
Forgive Completely, so You can Lay a Firm Hold on Your Healing
While not all sicknesses and diseases have a connection to unforgiveness or bitterness, which explains why Jesus did not need to ask the sins of Peter’s mother-in-law and forgive her before He could heal her (See Matthew 8:14,15), it is also established in the Bible that some sicknesses and diseases have a direct relationship with sin, unforgiveness or bitterness of heart. The story of the paralytic man in the book of Mark 2:1-12 confirms this; The disciples’ prayer in Luke 10:3-4 also confirms that forgiveness precedes deliverance and healing.
There’s also another bible passage that reveals forgiveness precedes healing:
Bless and affectionately praise the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases.’ – Psalm 103:2,3 AMP.
This is emphasizing to you, dear friend, that you must release any offence or offender from your heart so you can enjoy the special benefit – divine healing and health – that Jesus has purchased for you by His stripes and His wounds on the Cross. The healing benefit belongs to you. It is yours.
This is the way of the Lord, and all God’s children who want to walk in and enjoy the divine healing and health are encouraged to learn these lessons, embrace them, and put them to practice.
Prayer – Forgive, Bless and Release
I praise You and thank You, my Father, that You forgive all my sins and heal all my diseases. I choose to walk worthy of the Lord in every area of my life. I come to You, my Father, and I confess my sin (forgive, bless, and release a person who hurt you into His hands). You are faithful and just to forgive me my sins because of Christ, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank You, Father.
I believe that by the Lord’s divine power, God has given me everything I need for living a godly life. I am forgiven, I am cleansed, I am righteous, I am patient and kind, I am healed, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. I live worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. Amen.
Do not lose your hope, my friend! Trust in Jesus! In Matthew 19:26 it says, ” Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Humanly speaking, it looks impossible, but you have the Spirit Who will help you!
- Your Words Have Power
- Life is Short – Make the Most Out of It
- What to Do When You are Under Pressure
- Face your Fears
- Why is There Sickness and Diseases in this World?