Jehovah Rophe... The God Who Heals... Do we believe that?! This church is definitely a PRAYING CHURCH! I am so thankful for the compassion and
zeal...With which we lift one another up in prayer to God!
Often in serious prayer for those we do not even know!...And with complete seriousness... I have to say that for our size... It seems this congregation has been attacked...Physically, emotionally and spiritually... More than any I have ever been a part of in the past!
Just maybe... Hopefully... That means we are not liked by our adversary! How many here today... Either ARE in need of healing of some kind... Or have someone in your life who is in need of healing?
We are from diverse backgrounds theologically...And healing in Scriptures...
Is just about the most disagreed upon, controversial...And downright misrepresented theology of our time!
With many people feeling...
In order for us to pray effectively for Healing as a church...And as individuals...In order for us to see God as He truly IS...In order for us to receive the REAL healing and growth...God desires in our struggles...We MUST see clearly see the Biblical TRUTH…Concerning God and Healing!
So today... Let's walk through Scriptures carefully and in context...Because the Bible is very clear on this matter...If we just come with an open mind... And a desire for His Will!
DOES God Still Heal?
Our first question is... "DOES God STILL Heal today? Listen to this OT Verse...
Prophetically speaking about the Coming Messiah, Jesus!
Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Surely He has borne our griefs (literal sickness, disease) And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace (well-being) was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed (healed, physician, repaired).
This Verse is ABSOLUTELY speaking of our healing from sin and death spiritually! We cannot simply say that the extremists...Are simply bending this Scripture to support that it means PHYSICAL healing as well...Because Matthew makes a very clear statement about this very verse…In his Gospel Account... Listen!
Matthew 8:16-17 (NKJV)
16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses"
So... YES...This Verse means that Jesus' Sacrifice Brings Physical Healing as well! Some say… “Yes, But... This was STILL Jesus... In His Time on earth... Healing...How can you be so sure He still heals TODAY? This could have been for the sole reason of PROVING His Deity!”
Consider the following FACTS:
Quietly... Personally... Having nothing to do with Pomp or Proof! But actually, just the opposite...Commanding many not to even tell of their healing...Because His Time was not yet! Matt 8:1-4 (Leper)/ Matt 9:27-30 (Two Blind)/ Jn 5:1-14 (Bethesda) He simply Healed them out of the Concern and Compassion...
He Held for them as individuals whom He Loved Dearly! Does He STILL have CONCERN, COMPASSION & LOVE for us today?
Jesus gives us Clear, Direct PROOF... That He is STILL WILLING TO HEAL!
James 5:14-15 (NKJV)
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
In SUMMARY: It IS Covered under His Blood... He DOES have just as much care, concern & LOVE for us today...IT WAS NOT just to confirm or validate His Ministry & Word...Because He DOES Instruct us...To pray & anoint one another for Healing...EVEN AFTER His Ascension!
Think about it... Even if it HAD BEEN for the sole purpose of...Validating that His Words were True...Is our society not FILLED with those whom He Loves today...Who are STILL in need of that SAME VALIDATION? If you don't see His Desire to Heal today... Clearly in these Scriptures...The Greek phrase for you here is, "Bolog-na Sand-wich-es" :)
Does God ALWAYS Heal?
So the next... And most troublesome... Question for many here today is: “So if God Desires that we be healed...If He DOES still Heal..."WHY DID I... OR MY LOVED ONE... NOT RECEIVE THAT HEALING?"
Especially when Healing has been witnessed on behalf of others?! Many here have witnessed or experienced Healing in their lives...Painfully…Many others... Have prayed and prayed... In great Faith... Only to see their loved one never healed!
Many, many people teach that God ALWAYS Heals... In every circumstance...And if you don't receive that Healing...Either YOU didn't have enough faith...Or YOU have sin in your life! Period... End of Story... Your fault...God wouldn't do that otherwise.
Let's first lay the ground work…Of whether it is true that God ALWAYS Heals... If you have enough faith! Do you think Paul... Who had the GIFT of HEALING so powerfully...He had to reprimand others for wanting to worship him...
For the incredible ways God used him to heal...Who wrote 2/3 of the NT...Who started many churches for Christ...Who was imprisoned, beaten, starved and murdered for his faith...Would have enough FAITH to be HEALED HIMSELF?
But listen to these Verses:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."...
A painful, troublesome illness or disability was given to Paul...Which he prayed THREE TIMES to have removed...But healing did not come!
What about Timothy... Paul's most loyal follower and helper...Who was also used to birth many churches in the first century...Who served and supported Paul in his darkest days...Who died a martyr for his incredible faith and allegiance to Christ...
Do we think Paul could not heal him? That either of them did not have enough faith? But listen to these Verses carefully:
1 Timothy 5:23 (HCSB)
23 Don’t continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
Many believe Timothy was frequently ill...Because he kept himself completely spent and exhausted...By working so passionately for Christ's Kingdom! What about this Verse... Where Paul, the healer...Leaves his faithful companion behind...
Because he is too sick to continue?
2 Timothy 4:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
The simple, solid, Biblical response from these Passages...IS NO... GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS HEAL EVERYONE... EVERY TIME!...And it is NOT because they did not have faith...NOT because they were living in sin...NOT because they were being disobedient!
WHY Doesn't God ALWAYS Heal? Why Pray For Healing?
Our NEXT LOGICAL QUESTION IS..."WHY does God NOT always Choose to Heal?" Although to have EVERY answer to that question...Is far too high for the thoughts of men...There are some clear answers which we can know and understand! Let's start with the simple and obvious...If every prayer for healing... Given in faith...Were answered...How would these Promises of Scriptures be fulfilled?
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Genesis 3:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
The simple, true fact is that...We are born into a sinful, fallen world...And sickness… Physical death...Are a part of the Curse… Which is not totally removed until the end!...And we MUST eventually shed these corrupt bodies...
Because they are part of this world which is to be left behind!
Christ hates the effects of sin and death more than us all! But we ALL must pass... Yet, some will be transformed! For a true believer of Christ... You will NEVER experience the death that comes to your body! You will immediately be alive in the Spirit of Christ!
When we are sick, injured, hurting, or in a bad situation...Naturally... Everything else seems to take second place to healing! It is our primary goal... To make things better!... For a God Who Loves us more than His Own Life...Do you not think that HE feels the same way about us?
YET... HE Sees needs, sicknesses, disabilities and dangers...With a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PRIORITY than we do at times!! He sees things which are far more dreadful...Which we need healing and deliverance from...Which those around us may need deliverance from...He sees goals, victories, growth, and Glory for His Kingdom...Which can only be achieved… Through trials at times...TRUE Healing… Does NOT always mean physical or emotion...The whole event of sickness is so much larger than this!!
HE KNOWS that sometimes... A sickness, disability... Or even a passing... May be the only way to ACHIEVE True Healing...Complete physical healing MAY literally be... Under certain circumstances...The worst sickness for the soul... Or the soul of a loved one...Because God uses everything in Ways we cannot comprehend! THINK: What if Christ had been delivered from His Trials...And healed from His wounds?!
God will use anything in our lives... Physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial...To achieve the ultimate healing and growth of our SOULS! And if our reaction to NOT being healed... Is only bitterness...Rather than Trust...IT HAS PROVEN ONE OF THE REASONS WE MAY HAVE NEEDED THAT PAIN IN OUR LIVES TO BEGIN WITH... TO SHOW OUR TRUE HEART!
Listen to this verse:
Matthew 7:11 (ESV)
 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Have faith in Him to Heal…But have faith… His Desire is to give us good things!Jesus in Garden (Jn 17)… “Not My Will… But Yours!”
Just like Paul... Sometimes it is because WE ARE CLOSER AND MORE
USABLE...Than others are to God...And He must work to make us more reliant upon Him... More trusting of Him...Sometimes it is simply and powerfully to...
GLORIFY HIM IN OUR STRUGGLES... (countless martyrs) To show the world our faith is real in a way...No other circumstance ever could allow!
Listen to Paul's reasoning and reaction to God's Refusal to heal HIM!
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul's attitude was... “IT WAS AN HONOR...If Christ so Chose...To show his faith... And to show God's Power...In HIS weaknesses and sickness!Sometimes sickness or injury is the Primary Way…In which God MUST Work:
To awaken us from sin...
Or to make us realize what is truly important!
Or to change and grow those around us!
Sometimes we bring sickness, disease, injury and hardship...Upon ourselves… Through sinful or rebellious living...Either through the natural repercussions of our actions...Or the direct intervention of God... To warn or stop us! And then... Blame HIM when we... Or a loved one...Are NOT Healed from our own self-inflicted pain!
Psalm 38:1-3 (NKJV)
1 ...O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! 2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin.
God can and will even deliver us from EVEN these sicknesses...As He did David! But ONLY with a true heart of repentance...Only when HE KNOWS... IN HIS OMNISCIENCE...It will bring Righteousness and Glory!...And a true heart seeking fellowship and restoration!
Examine yourself... Confess your sins to Him...And possibly to a brother or sister... If it has dishonored Christ! Then trust Him as David did... To forgive and restore! Often... Healing comes with forgiveness!
Sometimes we don't receive Healing...Because we TRULY DO NOT WANT IT!
Sometimes we become professional and contented victims! Who identify with the sickness... The attention...The removal of responsibility and accountability...This would help us to make sense of the seemingly unrealistic question...Which Jesus asked the cripple at the Pool of Bethesda:
John 5:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"
Some of us must FIRST decide that we WANT to be whole again! We WANT to be usable... We WANT to be a server rather than be served!
Many people today...Who have physical, emotional or relational struggles...Live for... And bask in the safety and attention...Jesus is asking some of you today, "Do you WANT to be Healed?"
Sometimes we do not receive Healing...Because WE TRULY DO NOT ASK IN FAITH... OFTEN TIMES… WE DON'T ASK AT ALL! Because many don’t believe God still heals... At least not YOU! So you never give Him the Opportunity! Or we think WE don't deserve it...Which we DON'T! It is all His Mercies and Grace! And can be done for His Glory and other's faith! Or we are too proud and fearful to ASK...Thinking we will look bad if we do not receive!
Which shows that our focus is on SELF... And NOT God! Of all of the sickness and pain we have in this congregation...On an almost constant cycle...How many come forward… In request to the Elders... (James 5:14)With a real desire in faith to be anointed? (Few!) If you... Or a loved one... Are in need of healing of any kind...And you are praying for that HEALING...
Ask yourself these questions in your trial as you pray!!
You will receive an answer!
Philippians 1:20 (HCSB)
20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Ask yourself: What can I do... How can I react...Right where I am... To use this sickness or trial...For His Glory?...For helping others? (David)...To draw closer to Him?...Whether I am healed or not?! (This may decide your healing)
How many feel compelled to follow God's Invitation today?
James 5:14-16 (NKJV)
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Come in Faith… That He Wants to Heal…
Come in Faith… That He Wants to give us Good things!
TRUST His Answer!
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