Ever feel like life is an uphill struggle with a multitude of barriers in your way? Are you suffering with a chronic illness or what you perceive as an impossible situation, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight?
You and your doctor have tried everything you can think of: special diets, exercise, physical therapy, drugs, experimental treatments, prayer, healing services, and anointing with oil.
You’ve cried out to God, “WHY?”
You’ve searched your heart for secret sin and found nothing. Your faith is real, and it’s strong.
Still, you are suffering. What do you do?
1. Turn Your Focus From Your Situation to God
God called Job His servant, blameless, and upright. Yet, God allowed Satan to take away his children, his wealth, and his health. In all of Job’s suffering, he did not sin.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
Job honored God, even when his friends accused him of sin. He mourned greatly, even to the point of wishing that he had never been born, and He cried out to God and asked why he was suffering.
God never told him, but God challenged Job to consider His power and majesty. Once he turned his focus from his situation to God, his prayer changed.
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:5-6
Job’s friends had not represented God accurately when they were accusing Job of sin, and God was not pleased. God told the friends to offer a sacrifice and asked Job to pray for his friends. When Job prayed, God restored Job’s fortunes twofold, his health, and gave him sons and daughters.
2. Use Your Situation to Honor God
Today, we pray, and people are healed, but others are not healed. We don’t know why one is healed and the other is not. But we do know that God can AND DOES use our weakness to display His strength.
Paul prayed three times that God would remove his afflictions from Satan, and God said
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul said, ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Photo from https://www.joniandfriends.org/photos/
In 1967, a diving accident left Joni Eareckson-Tada, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. After two years of rehabilitation, she decided to turn her focus from her disability to helping others in similar situations.
People have prayed for Joni, laid hands on her, anointed her with oil, and she has attended healing services. Yet, she’s still in her wheelchair.
She wanted healing. She had the faith to be healed. She searched for sin that might have caused her continuing health problems, and she found none – like Job, like the man born blind (John 9:2).
I believe that God’s answer to Paul was God’s answer to Joni’s prayer for healing, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Joni is one of the world’s leading international advocates for people affected by disability. Her efforts led to more accessibility for people with disabilities.
She founded Joni and Friends in 1979, which quickly grew to provide Christ-centered programs to special needs families, churches, and communities. She’s written over 50 books and created beautiful Christmas cards.
Do you think that Joni would have accomplished all these things if she had been healed?
She had cancer in 2010, and it has now returned. Her request? She wants her challenge to glorify God, to showcase God’s grace, to give the gospel, and to provide her surgeon with great skill.
God’s grace is sufficient for Joni. Is God’s grace sufficient for you?
3. Immerse Yourself in Scriptures
Those nights when the pain was so great that I could not sleep, I lay on our sofa and read the Psalms. There, God met me and held me. Those were some of the sweetest times that I’ve had with the Lord.
In the Psalms, David cried out to God, told Him that everyone was trying to kill him, that he had sinned, that he was miserable. Most of the time, he turned from his situation and focused upon God. Psalm 91 recounts the protection of our God in the midst of danger.
David speaks of his pain in Psalm 69:29-30 and ends urging heaven and earth to praise God.
4. Ask for Prayer
Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and 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. James 5:14-15
David Guzik points out that oil was used for medicinal purposes in biblical times.
James connects sins with prayer for the sick. In some instances, Jesus connected sin to sickness, but not in all instances, like the man born blind. Jesus said to the man He healed at the Pool of Bethesda, “Do not sin anymore.” John 5:14
The context of the statement demands that James does not exclude physical healing as an answer to prayer, though he does seem to mean something broader than only a physical healing. We should pray for others in faith, expecting that God will heal them, then leave the matter in God’s hands. David Guzik
5. Remember That God’s Children Will Be Healed
Revelation 21:3 promises that after Jesus’ second coming and God’s dwelling place is among men and women, there will be no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, and no more pain. In that day, all who dwell with God will be healed.
In 1969, a Methodist minister visited me in the hospital. He shared Isaiah 40:31 with me,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
This promise became my life verse. The “wait” is an active “wait.” It is a hope that is acting with expectation that God will restore.
What are you hoping for? Please share your prayer request in the comment section below.
Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer, we wait upon You, our Lord of all. We are weak, but You are strong. Empower us to focus upon Your strength and majesty. Give us new strength, strength that enables us to rise above ourselves and our problems. Whether in our weakness or in Your strength, we want to run and not get tired. We want to honor You, to glorify You. Bless our walks and strengthen us to press toward the mark of the high calling of Jesus. We love You, Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord! Amen.