October 20, 2006

Sickness, Healing and Christianity

I hope none of you believe that Christians do not get sick and suffer health problems. I bring this up because back in the days when I would occasionally watch Christian television, a well known preacher was bragging that he had not been sick in many years. I’m not saying his claim wasn’t true, I'm saying that I was stunned by this proclamation. And what was it supposed to mean by him making such a claim? I don’t know. All I know is that I get sick probably just as much as anyone else does. Does this mean I am not living right? Does it mean that God is using sickness as a chastisement for me? No, I don't believe any of these things.

Sickness happens to all of us who live in this earth. This earth is full of sick people, various bugs, chemicals and numerous other hazards that find their way into our systems from time to time. We are not living in a perfect earth, we’re not even close to it. Once Adam and Eve sinned, there was no more perfection to this earth. We are not going to live forever on this earth. We are all going to live forever in either heaven or hell, but we won't spend eternity on this earth. Our lives here will be touched at times with both good and bad health. And if we have more healthy days than sick days, this in itself is another reason to thank God.

Faith Healers

I am well aware of the faith healers who hold services for those who desire to be healed from all manner of disease. I believe some people have been healed while attending these meetings. Did the faith healers heal these sick people? No, it is always the Lord who heals, this is done through our faith and his spirit. Knowing that God meets you and listens to your prayers and pleas for help no matter where you are is very important. You can be healed in your kitchen or in a church meeting. The main thing to know is your surroundings doesn't matter, because God is everywhere, he is omnipotent.

My own experience with healing

I have been healed before by calling out to God when I was alone, in my own home. God heard my plea and healed me when I was at my most desperate, and I had finally had enough and decided to cry out to him. There were no mega preachers holding service at 10,000 seat auditoriums when I was healed. There were no thunderbolts or grand revelations when I was healed. It was a simple “healing”. And I was thankful for it.

Paul's Thorn In The Flesh

There have been other times when I, like Paul the Apostle cried out to God to "take this thing from me" as he did his thorn in the flesh. But it was not done. Did I lose faith in God because of this? Did I doubt that God is who he says he is because I did not get healed? No, not for a moment.

Many believe that Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was a disease. The bible clues us in to the fact that this thorn in Paul's flesh was allowed because of his abundance of revelations : 2 Corinthians 7-10

Paul speaking: 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted (puffed up with pride) above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

A Word About Doctors and Medicine

I know there are some Christians who frown on the sick taking medicine or visiting the doctor. I believe that God gives the doctors to us for our benefit. I am thankful for doctors and their knowledge. Doctors and medicine are things to be thankful for and I view them both as a gift from God.

Why me Lord?

Like many of you who have struggled, I have asked God before, “Why is this happening to me”? What I failed to understand is that sickness and disease happens to ALL of us in this earth, whether we are saved or unsaved. It’s just like the scripture from the bible:

Matthew 5:4 and 5 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

Diseases and plagues will only get worse as time marches on. It is indeed one of the signs of the end times, the time just before Jesus Christ’s return. Here is some of the scripture to which I am referring:

Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Our bodies, though they are marvelously put together by God, are nonetheless fragile when it comes to harmful pestilence and other strong bugs that we are introduced to. The long list of diseases that we are subjected to are numerous. We need to understand that while this is innescapable, God is still with us. And he hears us when we are at our most desperate. Do not beat yourself up and listen to silly so-called men of God who tell you that you are not healed because your faith wasn't present or strong enough. Many times I KNOW I have had faith, yet I did not get well when I prayed.

Why are some healed while others are not?

When I don't know the answer to something, I say so. If anyone has the answer to this question, please email me at once. I am open to discussion. The fact is, there are questions that all of us have that will only be answered when we get our chance to ask them of our creator. There is one thing I can tell you concerning this, it is not always that our faith falters. Our lack of faith is not always the reason we don’t get healed. I know this because it’s happened with me and with others I know. I suppose if we got EVERY prayer answered that we requested, we perhaps wouldn't need God as much as we should. We wouldn’t tend to lean on him in tough and dark times, would we? This is the way of human nature, when we have things go our way and don’t go through trials, tribulations and yes, even sicknesses, we get puffed up with pride and the next thing you know, we don’t acknowledge God our Savior as we did previously. How changeable human nature is. It has always been this way and will remain so until we are in God’s presence.

God's Concern For Us

God is concerned for our wellbeing and doesn't want us to be sick. But as I stated before, we have our habitation in this fallen earth and because of that, we are subjected to illness. I have often thought that God's concern for us when we are sick is similar to our concern when our own child is sick, only God cares much more for us than we could ever care for our own.

Sickness reminds us that we are not God and that we are but flesh, made of dust, yet carrying around the very spirit of God in earthen vessels.

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