More On Healing

Hey Friends,

Here's a controversial post for you.

A friend sent this email which quotes a popular Christian author. I disagree with this author. You'll see my comments below, but bear in mind that I'm not trying to be mean and I'm not lacking compassion. As a pastor I see suffering and do my best to minister to people, but changing the word of God to make somebody comfortable is not helpful. I've found when I stick closely to what the scripture says we see abundant results.

Here's the quote:

My Struggles are About Him
by Max Lucado
What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? Have you "been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29)?
Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren't matching up? Don't think God is not listening. Indeed he is. He may have higher plans.
Here is another. Are people strengthened by your struggles? A friend of mine can answer yes. His cancer was consuming more than his body; it was eating away at his faith. Unanswered petitions perplexed him. Well-meaning Christians confused him. "If you have faith," they said, "you will be healed."
No healing came. Just more chemo, nausea, and questions. He assumed the fault was a small faith. I suggested another answer. "It's not about you," I told him. "Your hospital room is a showcase for your Maker. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God's song."
Oh, that you could have seen the relief on his face. To know that he hadn't failed God and God hadn't failed him--this made all the difference. Seeing his sickness in the scope of God's sovereign plan gave his condition a sense of dignity. He accepted his cancer as an assignment from heaven: a missionary to the cancer ward.
A week later I saw him again. "I reflected God," he said, smiling through a thin face, "to the nurse, the doctors, my friends. Who knows who needed to see God, but I did my best to make him seen."
Bingo. His cancer paraded the power of Jesus down the Main Street of his world.
God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.
Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.
Through your problems and mine, may God be seen.

Here's my response:

I do believe there is a suffering for Christ, so let's look at how the Bible defines this:
2Co 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
2Co 6:4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
2Co 6:5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;
2Co 6:6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
2Co 6:7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
2Co 6:8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;
2Co 6:9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;
2Co 6:10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

In all of the accounts where Paul talks about his trials or sufferings for the cause of Christ he never mentions sickness as being one of the trials he bore. Some say that Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was a sickness, but the Bible does not say this(unless you read the Living Bible paraphrase, Ken Taylor took the liberty to call the thorn a sickness) but it talks about the thorn being a messenger of Satan.

Purely from a human argument or standpoint, if you read the following:
Eph 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
If God puts sickness and disease on people to teach them something or to perfect them then I should do the same with my children.
Yet everyone knows that if I were injurious to my children I would not be reflecting the glory of God, nor His character.

If someone believes their sickness is from the Lord, then why do they go to the doctor? Shouldn't they just suffer through it if He really gets glory from their pain?

If Deuteronomy 28 clearly separates the blessings from the curses and Galatians 3 clearly tells us that through Christ we are redeemed from the curse why would we get confused and start thinking the curses are blessings?

John 10:10 clearly states that the thief(referring to the devil) comes to kill, steal and destroy. If something in my life is coming to kill me, steal from me or destroy something that belongs to me, it's easy to know the source. Thank God the word says to resist the devil and He will flee from you.

If someone is not receiving their healing it's not God's fault. 1 Peter 2:24 says that "by His stripes we were healed"

Again referring to the type of suffering Christians will endure, unanswered prayer is never one of them as the Lucado piece infers.

If someone is struggling in their faith with some unanswered prayer there's several things they should check:
  1. Are they hanging out with people who have had the kind of victory they are seeking?
  2. Are they listening to teaching and preaching that brings the kind of faith they need? Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the word. If their faith is weak maybe they're not hearing the right kind of preaching.
  3. Are they resisting and rejecting the things that are contrary to God's word? the things that bring doubt and unbelief that war against their faith? Are they casting down imaginations and every other high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God? 2Cor 10:3-5. The very comments written above about suffering in unbiblical ways for the glory of God should be rejected because they are sufficient unbelief to hinder healing.
  4. Are they bringing the rudder of their life(their tongue) under control to speak the truth of God's word or are they letting any negative report come out of their mouth?
  5. Are they obeying what God has ministered to them to do? Obedience is wonderful in releasing miracles.
Lastly, regarding the person who was a witness in the cancer ward:
God could use someone in a cancer ward to display His glory. But the way He's going to display His glory is through their biblical, spirit-led character. Not through the victory of the sickness, but we don't have to be sick to display this character. He wants this glory every day of our lives.

Well there you have it, I know it's controversial and could be emotionally painful especially if you are struggling with receiving healing yourself. But the word of God is true. Jesus was not concerned about his disciple's emotions when he accused them of having such little faith. If your faith is small then do something about it. Stop listening to teachers who teach unbelief. Surround yourself with what brings faith. Your life may depend on it.

Love ya