When Illness Comes
If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
[1 John 5:14]
Let me close this week’s study of Jesus, the perfect healer, by suggesting three principles for what Christians should do when illness comes into our lives or the lives of those we care about.
First, when illness comes, we are to ask God for healing. In 1 John 5:14 we are told, “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Notice the Bible does not promise that if you ask God for something, He will automatically give it to you. But the Bible does promise that you can ask God for anything and He will answer that prayer according to His will. The phrase “according to His will” is not a way of letting God off the hook, saying, “Lord, if You can do it, fine; but if You can’t muster up the power to do it, then I’ll just say it wasn’t Your will.” No, God’s will is a border around your life to keep bad things from entering. So when we say, “God, I want You to do this, but only if it’s according to Your will,” that is the true prayer of faith. We are to ask God for anything He places in our hearts and then quietly trust Him to do what is best. That is faith praying. Sometimes God says yes to our request for physical healing. He did it with a leper. He did it with a paralytic. And sometimes, as in the case of the apostle Paul, God says no (2 Corinthians 12:9). But whatever need we have, we are to ask God to answer that need.
Second, when illness comes, we ought to examine our lives for unconfessed sin. Now, not all illness is the result of our individual sins, but sometimes it is. Sometimes if we are living apart from God, God will use illness as a way to get our attention. James says, “The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:15-16). James is saying that not all sickness is caused by sin, but sometimes it is. And if your sickness is the result of sin, then you need to confess your sins to one another as well as to God.
Third, when you face illness, you ought to seek the prayers of other godly Christians. James says, “Pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (5:16) Throughout the New Testament, whenever God sees Christians praying together for the same thing, He sits up and takes notice. So when you are facing an illness, don’t keep it to yourself. Let other people pray for you, because the Bible promises that the effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.
How do we respond when illness comes? We ask God for healing, we examine our lives for unconfessed sin, and we seek the prayers of others.
~ Dr. Robert Jeffress ~
I pray that your attitude will be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who, in spite of being fully God, humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death. Like Christ, may you willingly take on the nature of a servant. May you prefer to serve than to be served, to be humble than to lord it over. I pray that God will exalt you for your humility and obedience.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Worry Dishonors God
You look at tomorrow’s demands, next week’s bills, next month’s silent calendar. Your future looks as barren as the Sinai Desert. “How can I face my future?” …
God knows what you need and where you’ll be… Trust him. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:34 msg).
The Greek word for worry, merimnao, stems from the verb merizo (divide) and nous (mind). Worry cleavers the mind, splitting thoughts between today and tomorrow. Today stands no chance against it. Fretting over tomorrow’s problems today siphons the strength you need for now, leaving you anemic and weak.
Worry gives small problems big shadows. Montaigne said, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” Corrie ten Boom commented, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” Worry scuttles our lives, hurts us, and most sadly, dishonors God.
[Every Day Deserves a Chance]
When demands or disasters come our way, help us trust you. Help us trust you to guide us safely through the storms of life. Help us turn to you for guidance when we feel lost and confused. Most of all, help us remember your loving faithfulness that has never failed,
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
[2 Samuel 22:29]
~ Max Lucado ~
The king of Israel replied, “Tell him the one who puts on his battle gear should not boast like one who is taking it off.”
[1 Kgs 20:11]
Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Was I not girded for the battle-field?
Bore I not helm of pride and glittering sword?
Behold the fragments of my broken shield,
And lend to me Thy heavenly armor, Lord!
~ ANONYMOUS ~
Oh, be at least able to say in that day,—Lord, I am no hero. I have been careless, cowardly, sometimes all but mutinous. Punishment I have deserved, I deny it not. But a traitor I have never been; a deserter I have never been. I have tried to fight on Thy side in Thy battle against evil. I have tried to do the duty which lay nearest me; and to leave whatever Thou didst commit to my charge a little better than I found it. I have not been good, but I have at least tried to be good. Take the will for the deed, good Lord. Strike not my unworthy name off the roll-call of the noble and victorious army, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and let me, too, be found written in the Book of Life; even though I stand the lowest and last upon its list. Amen.
~ C. KINGSLEY ~