Today’s Scripture: And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Matthew 8:2

Do you ever consider the characters in the Bible as actual people who had real problems just like we do, or do you just think of the brief stories or statements about those people? For example, Lazarus was raised from the dead, but before he had that experience, he was miserably sick.

In Matthew 8, we see the story of the leper being healed. However, we rarely ever consider the heartache this man had before he was healed. Consider, sometime before we see him talking with Jesus, he sees an infirmity on his body.

He shows it to the priest, and the priest confirms it is leprosy. He leaves the temple with a broken heart and walks with his head down back to his house. He gets home, gives the news to his wife, says goodbye to his kids, and leaves the city to live with other lepers.

He has no hope of ever returning home. Every time he sees somebody for the rest of his life, he has to cry the awful words, “Unclean, unclean!” He will never be able to hug his family again, in fear of giving them this terrible disease. Worst of all, the only hope he has is that death will take him out of this miserable life.

Now out of nowhere, the Prophet from Nazareth that he has heard about is in the town by his leper village. He travels into the town in fear of what the people in the town might do to him, but it was worth the chance, for surely this Jesus could heal him.

You may be going through the hardest trial of your life. You may be in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Remember this; Jesus is just as alive today as he was when he changed this leper’s miserable life.

Just like Lazarus and the leper, your life may seem hopeless, yet God can intervene. Often, for God to get the glory, it must seem hopeless first. Regardless of what your trial is, there is always hope. Trust God.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder Jr.