How to Help Someone Find Hope and Healing, Part 1
“Therefore [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25 NIV).
I believe that small groups are a vital part of helping so-called hopeless people find healing. One of the parts I like best about being in a small group is that you can pray for one another’s “hopeless” cases. We can lean upon the faith of others when we start to doubt.
In Luke 5, there’s a great story of a small group of men who took a friend who was paralyzed and in need of healing to the feet of Jesus. In this account, we find seven characteristics of a small group that God uses to heal. Today we’re going to look at three of those characteristics, and tomorrow we’ll look at the rest.
Compassion: This man was healed because his friends cared. It all starts with us caring about people who are hurting. Romans 15:2 says, “We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord” (NLT). God used these guys because they were sensitive to a friend’s need. And he’ll use us when we aren’t preoccupied with our own needs and start caring more about others than we do ourselves.
Faith: The men believed God would heal their friend. Take a look at Luke 5:20: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven’” (NIV). It wasn’t the paralytic’s faith that made him well; it was the faith of his friends. How many people do you know who are so paralyzed they can’t believe in God? That’s when we have to believe for them.
Intervention: These friends didn’t just pray for their friend; they took action as well. It’s not enough just to pray for someone who is hurting and caught in sin. We also have to take action. Jesus says in Luke 14:23, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full” (NIV). There are a slew of examples in the Bible of people taking others to Jesus.