|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
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.
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.
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,
forget that . . .
God should be our
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
physically, emotionally, and mentally.
God heals all
types of disease, pain, sorrow, and
infirmity. Nothing is too hard for Him.
us to be healed, to be "whole"
persons enjoying abundant life.
God expects us to
with Him in getting healedóthrough
medicine, diet, exercise, and straight thinking.
Everything that promotes healing is a gift from
Healing Briefs here