MGHM Healing Brief, 11/13


Dead-End Traditions, 2

Dead-end traditions are strictly incompatible with healing by faith. Nowadays the Church has an oversupply of soothing thoughts about God that donít go anywhere. But working faith--a simple, strong trust in the Lord and His goodness--canít coexist with traditional "maybes" or "what ifs" or "what abouts" or "how comes," even if they sound deeply spiritual.

Youíve heard them often: What about Job? What about Paulís thorn? What about Timothyís stomach-ache? How come God healed Aunt Maud and not Uncle Felix? How come you think youíre good enough to be healed when your saintly cousin Horace died of cancer? And countless others, on and on.

Enough to plug the pipeline

These pious distractions are perhaps Satanís major tool in keeping Christians discouraged, doubtful, rebellious, and sick. Any one of them is enough to plug the pipeline through which heavenís restoring power flows. We canít deal with them all in a few 500-word Briefs, but we can certainly offer Scripture-based answers to some typical ones and encourage you to apply the basic truths to questions of your own.

Letís start with our first example, above. Iíll be adapting short extracts from the third chapter of Simple Healing, so some of my remarks may have a familiar ring.

God's grace was sufficient

What about the sufferings of Job? Despite his uprightness, Job was a sitting duck for the devil. He had no covenant with God and no Savior. As the ruler of this world, Satan was legally free to test him. Jobís oft-quoted saying, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away" (1:21, KJV) is wrong, like most of what Job and his friends said about God (see chapter 38). The devil, not God, was the one who "took away."

What about Paulís thorn? First, we can assume that the subject is persecution (shipwrecks, stoning, etc., as in 2 Cor. 11:23-28), not sickness. The biblical expression "thorn in the flesh" means about the same as our "pain in the neck." Second, the thorn was "given" to Paul by the devil, who, in this fallen world, is free to give it. Third, the traditional assumption that the Lord "graciously" stood back and let Paul struggle with the thorn is simply foolish. Grace triumphs, and the text is clear that Godís grace was sufficient for Paulís needs.

Cooperate with your Father

What about "the chastening of the Lord"? The core statement of Hebrews 12:3-10 is "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons." It has been used to put a smiling face on every disaster a Christian can possibly suffer. But the message is not that God is raining catastrophe on your head. The Greek word for "chastening" or "discipline" is paideia, meaning "education" or "instruction." The lesson is simply "Stop whining, grow up, and cooperate with your Father in facing trouble."

Next month Iíll address a longer list of "what ifs" and "what abouts." Until then, "whenever a sweet, sly voice insists that youíre sick for the glory of God, that your poverty is the way God has chosen to bless you, that your depression is a form of Ďsuffering for Jesusí--get out your Bible and read your covenant rights to the devil!" (Simple Healing, p. 41).

                                                                                     óMary Graff  

Don't forget that . . .

God should be our first resort, not our last resort. Start taking time right now to build up the faith you need to receive His healing.

God is ready to heal us in every wayóspiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

God heals all types of disease, pain, sorrow, and infirmity. Nothing is too hard for Him.

God wants us to be healed, to be "whole" persons enjoying abundant life.

God expects us to cooperate with Him in getting healedóthrough medicine, diet, exercise, and straight thinking. Everything that promotes healing is a gift from Him.

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"God's Word Brings Our Healing"