The Biggest Miracle: Repentance

“Farida” was plagued with ever-increasing chronic back pain, as the cartilage between four of her lumbar vertebrae began breaking down. Sometimes she’d be bedridden for 2 months straight, unable to walk more than a few steps. Farida came to the Center in Beirut, heard the gospel, and received prayer for her back. It was miraculously healed, and now has been pain-free for several months! She has been attending discipleship classes at the Center and proclaims her faith in Christ, and her testimony of healing, to many.

But even though she’s experienced this miracle, and even though she believes in Jesus, she still lacks something very important: repentance.

Farida believes she is a good person, and that she was a good person even before she was a believer. She says things like “my heard is good,” or, “I’ve never hurt anyone,” and she doesn’t acknowledge that she was, or is a sinner. She has accepted the “free gift of salvation” in Christ, but she doesn’t really understand what Christ has saved her from.

This certainly is connected with her culture’s view of sin, as bad deeds that can be outweighed or even erased by good deeds. In her culture, “sin” is really only used to talk about the “big sins” like theft, adultery, and murder, whereas coveting, lust, and hatred slip under the radar. But the biblical understanding of the fallenness and rebellious heart of man is a whole different paradigm that is, frankly, hard to swallow.

Yet, this bitter pill of recognizing the dark and terrible sin of our own heart is necessary to understanding what Christ did for us, and is the only way to experience true repentance. Otherwise, it’s as if we’re saying “sorry” to God for something we feel is not really a big deal.

God does many miracles in people’s lives around the world. But I think the biggest one is repentance. The miracle of repentance is what sets the stage for the Messiah, and allows him to work his transformation in the lives of humans.

“Lord God, loving Father, we ask that you would bring a wave of conviction of sin throughout MENA, that millions would turn to you and be healed. We pray also for Farida, that you would complete the good work you’ve begun in her, and help her to become aware of her sin, repent of it from the bottom of her heart, and receive you abundant healing power in her life. Amen.”

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