There are millions of people carrying such heavy burdens all across our world. They cannot sleep at night and wake up tired. They have regular appointments with their counselors. Their attempts at hobbies and exercise are strategies to find relief. What burden are you carrying? If you want to find the peace you have been searching for, it is found in a person – Jesus.
Once He was invited to dinner at a religious leader’s home. Other religious leaders also came, and together they sat down at the table and began visiting. Jesus’ fame as a preacher rose quickly, so word spread about where He was. A certain prostitute who was impacted by Jesus and His ministry learned of His whereabouts. She made her way into the house and found herself standing before Jesus and the other guests. She stood without saying a word, then began weeping. So much, that tears fell on Jesus’ feet. Seeing that, she bent down and began wiping the tears off with her hair.
During the whole process, the religious leaders were incensed at the woman and Jesus. Noticing this, Jesus spoke to the dinner host, addressing his attitude toward her, then eventually turned back to the woman and said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). That incensed the leaders even more. Then He spoke one final word before she humbly slipped out, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50).
This prostitute was looking for something, just like all those preachers in that room, all the people in her city and like you and me. Her search took her into prostitution; for others it is different.
But when she heard of Jesus, something awakened in her that no doubt said, “This is it!” And she overcame the barriers before her to get to Jesus, and when she got there, He did not disappoint.
She found forgiveness for all the wrong she had done! The guilt and shame she had been trying to outrun was finally washed away. How did that happen? Faith. Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you.”
Wow! It was her faith that provided forgiveness. It is interesting to note, what Jesus did not say. He did not say anything about religion, morality, goodness or education. Just faith. He did not refer to anything about personal will power, having a positive attitude, perseverance or working hard. Just faith. And what is faith? It was her belief, trust and confidence in Jesus.
We are all naturally wired to be independent and achieve. We want to earn what we have. Our culture is set up that way from our high school coaches, to our professors and bosses. Work hard and succeed. Faith in Jesus is opposite. This woman simply had faith and her life was instantly transformed. She believed Jesus was the Son of God. She believed she had done wrong and needed forgiveness. She trusted that Jesus had the power to forgive. She was confident Jesus was sufficient for all she needed.
Then Jesus said, “go in peace.” No doubt the burden of the immoral life she led weighed on her. She not only needed forgiveness, but peace. Often the foolish things we do cause great amounts of stress and anxiousness. In one moment, her simple faith brought forgiveness and peace. Lay your burden down at the feet of Jesus. Have faith in Him.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, I pray you will help the reader to end their search. Bring them to take off their burden and find forgiveness and peace in Christ through simple faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
–Clint Decker is President and Evangelist with Great Awakenings. Hope for Today is a syndicated column that appears online and in newspapers in the U.S. Share your comments at greatawakenings.org. The column is underwritten by “We are Branson – USA.”