Focus: Pain and sickness
1 Peter 4:19 (NKJV) Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
Some people feel that pain and sickness are a sign of sin. Sometimes, that might be true—but not all of the time.
The Bible has many references to pain and sickness. The apostle Paul, who wrote a significant portion of the New Testament, had a chronic infirmity. In several of his letters to the churches in the Bible, Paul mentions various friends and co-workers who were sick or in pain.
There are reasons for pain and sickness. One reason is that we live in a ‘fallen world’, where sin is present. Germs are passed by doorknobs, close quarters, and poor hygiene. Another reason pain and sickness comes to us, is from overworking and allowing our immune systems to get into a state of deficiency. Not eating right will also take a toll on a person’s physical health and can result in pain and sickness.
Many of the great saints fought various weaknesses in the flesh. To say they were being punished for some sin is shortsighted.
God uses all kinds of things to purify our hearts and minds. Pain is one thing that will get a person’s attention in a hurry. It’s impossible to put ‘pain’ in a box—any more than we can claim to have all the answers.
Most faith healers were healed of a serious disease, or have had several attacks on their health–yet, they are able to successfully pray for miracles for others. Many of them became equipped to pray for the sick with great faith because they experienced a miraculous healing of their own that caused them to believe ‘healing’ was possible.
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The Bible says to: “Call for the elders of the church and let them pray over the sick person anointing them with oil, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord will raise them up, and if the sick person has committed sins, they will be forgiven” (James 5:15).
There are many accounts of healing in the Bible. One of my favorites comes from John Chapter 9. The story is about a man who was blind since birth. Jesus was passing by this man and His disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened that the works of God should be revealed in him.” Jesus then made a paste of saliva and dirt and put it on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. The man did as Jesus said and came back to them with his sight restored. Until that time, there was no record of anyone who had been born blind receiving their sight.
Another great story is in Acts Chapter 3. Peter and John, who were disciples of Jesus, went together to pray at the temple. Everyday people brought a man to the temple gate who had never been able to walk in all of his life. When the lame man saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for money. They fixed their eyes on him and told him to look at them. When the lame man gave Peter and John his attention, he was expecting to receive something from them. Peter spoke and said, “Silver and gold I don’t have—but what I do have I give you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Peter and John took the man by the right hand and lifted him up. Immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. He started walking and leaping and praising God. The people who knew him were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Quite possibly, you are dealing with some kind of physical pain or sickness. In the place of infirmity, put your full attention on God, who is Jehovah–Rapha, the Lord your Healer. What is it He wants you to learn from this? Is the purpose of your pain and sickness for you to know Him as your Healer? Is the purpose for you to learn to trust Him in this kind of trial? Is it to become able to wait on Him in faith for a manifestation of something He has promised?
Whatever the reasons, we are told to pray constantly and to give God thanks. If you are in pain and sick, pray, pray, pray—and thank God for your healing. Tell your sickness to, “Go, in the Name of Jesus Christ.” It may be the time you least feel like it, but now is the time to give God praise and commit your soul to Him. He is faithful.
Declaration: I will find new strength by believing in Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord my Healer. I will offer Him my prayer and thanks and wait on Him for pain and sickness to leave my body in the Name of Jesus Christ. I will obey the Word of God concerning pain and sickness. I will give God glory in all things and do my best to learn what He wants me to learn.
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