Sunday, May 29, 2011
Afflicted No Longer
There must be a freeing of the mind and heart from the shackles of hopelessness. Hospitals are full of stories of remarkable reversals of illness simply because of the indomitable spirit of the patient. A pleasant word; a good confession; a smile; an ability always to laugh; an audacity even in the face of death.
I know of many well-intentioned Christians who will give by memory every promise of healing contained in the Bible, and there are many. But perhaps the candidate for healing does not yet have an assurance of Jesus' loving disposition toward him.
The ever victorious progression of thought and faith must be as follows. Jesus is proved history. As all-capable Son of God He came from Heaven, taught Heaven and its ethic, returned to Heaven and dwells there presently, working on the development of His Church in partnership with the Father and Spirit. He loves me and has shown me as much in undeniable ways. I thrill to read the account of His earth walk, selfless death and resurrection in the Gospels. I honestly regard Him as my best friend, and place my life and expectations in His hands. I trust Him more than I trust my own wants or understanding. He will bring about the best of all possible good either in me or through me. He has never done less with anyone who has reached out to Him.
This sort of abandon brings people to an experience of salvation. It comes as a consequence of the gift of repentance. It comes as the Lord draws the believer to Him. It is not manufactured by persuasion or resolve. The same applies to healing. A well-intentioned Christian worker might place the raw materials of truth, warning and promise before a candidate; offer to pray; continue to lift that individual up in the following weeks.
But God will be the One who closes the deal. The victorious recipient, the honest-to-goodness child of faith is the one who can say, as with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him".
For such a one there remain no dark corridors to be traveled. The victory has come from within. The happy old Gospel song asserts, "The world didn't give it to me, and the world can't take it away".