Throughout the past month, I have thought and prayed about what the blog for New Years was going to be. This year has flown by so quickly and I am overwhelmed with the coming of yet another new year. Most people are completely obsessed with their New Years Resolution and the need to make one. They are ready to devote all of their time, heart and energy into making sure that they live by their new years resolution, desperately wanting a change in their life. But I want today’s post to be about the new beginning, revival and transformation that is found in Christ, rather than the New Years resolutions that we come up with every year.
To start, I wanted to go through a passage of scripture that resonates with me when I think about new beginnings. The story of Jesus healing the sick woman with just a single touch. It is a story of transformation, power, and renewal, and I believe that this has been brought to my attention completely by the influence of the Holy Spirit. This woman’s story is recorded three times throughout the Gospels, (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and each carries a little more information than the other.
- Matthew 9:20-22 ~ “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’
Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”
- Mark 5:24-34 ~ “A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'”
- Luke 8:42-48 ~ “As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’ Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.'”
Now, you may be wondering, why on earth would you pick this story out of all of the stories in the bible to correlate with the New Year? Well, truthfully, I did not choose this, the Lord did. I am simply the one doing the research and writing this blog. I want to give a little bit of background on who this woman is, now that you have read all three accounts of her story. She was never named in the bible so there is no way to track her genealogy or how her life was. It does mention, however, that she had “been subject to bleeding for twelve years.” Twelve years straight of physical, emotional, mental, and financial suffering can feel like an eternity. Now, to be completely honest, I am still not sure exactly what kind of bleeding she was enduring.
I have heard from scholars that it was a hemorrhage of some sort, and others say it was a rare condition of constant menstrual bleeding. In both cases, the constant bleeding was considered to be impure in the times she was living in. She could not enter a temple and if she were to sit somewhere that chair was considered impure. She was made an out cast and was shunned from most things she needed to be involved in throughout her day to day life. It also says in Mark’s account that she spent all she had and endured much suffering under many doctor’s care. She was trying to find a cure because she was in so much pain, and think, this pain and suffering had continued for over a decade.
This is why this story is so beautifully correlated with the New Year. When this woman heard that Jesus was passing by, she knew and believed in her heart that He had the power to heal her. Jesus, the Messiah, had been talked about from town to town because of the miraculous encounters the people had with Him, and upon hearing and believing this, she was determined to find healing through Christ. She even went so far as to say “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Her faith was so strong that even after many treatments and doctors that did not heal her, she still believed that she would be cured. Now this is something that brings me to tears, reading in all three accounts that “She was healed at that moment.” Her suffering had been relieved instantly and completely. Imagine, suffering with her condition for twelve years, which I’m sure most of those years were spent trying to cure her sickness, and then in an instant being healed by the power of Christ.
When this woman made herself and condition known to the Lord, He told her “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” The bible tells us in Matthew 5 that “‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'” When we believe that the Lord is mighty enough to heal and restore, He will indeed restore.
So let me ask the question again, why am I comparing this woman’s story to New Years and new beginnings? Because her story of revival is what our stories can become when we live for Christ. We struggle with sin and painfully endure heartache when we are separated from the Lord. We seek counsel and assistance from people who are not able to save us or help us. Before Christ, we are sick and in need of a cure. Just like this woman, it takes faith to believe that Christ is powerful enough to cure our pasts and our sin. When we come to a realization that Jesus is the only cure for our condition, we will see an immediate renewal in our hearts, just like her physical healing. And when Jesus told the woman to go in peace, and be freed from her suffering, it is the same way He sends us out after being saved. We are to go in peace, knowing that He has set us free from the bondage of sin and suffering.
The title of this blog, “The old is gone, the new is here!”, is because of the verse, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” When we give our lives to Lord, our old self has been healed and transformed, renewed and revived. So, I want to tie everything together and come right back to the New Year. Know that, if you have already given your life to Christ but have backslid and are struggling with sin, Christ is merciful and compassionate. He desires your heart to be steadfast in Him, unable to be shaken by anything the enemy has to throw at you. You are not alone! Believe me, I have allowed myself to fall backwards in my own personal walk with the Lord. But I ask that the Lord strengthen each of us and gives us the ability to live completely on fire for Christ.
If you have never given your life to Christ, I pray that the Holy Spirit uses this message to gentle speak to your heart. Only you and the Lord know where you are in life and where your heart is. Let me tell you from my own personal experience with Christ, He will completely restore your life. I know how it feels to be longing for something that you just cant seem to find the answer to, but let me just say, He is. I can tell you with sincerity that I am praying that you take that leap of faith and that the Lord reveal Himself to you in ways you would never have imagined.
I pray that this was encouraging and meaningful to you, just like it was for me. Thank you all so much for reading my blog today, and I hope you know that I am humbled with the opportunity to be here and able to communicate these things by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Please know that wherever you are in life and whatever this New Year brings your way, Christ is waiting there and is ready to see you restored and healed. Feel free to leave me feedback in the comments, or you can email me as well. Thanks again, so much! God bless!