Then Read This…
Last week I spent time in an emergency room fearful of the news a doctor would say. Was I having a heart attack? Was I facing death, or a serious illness? The answers came back with a loud ambiguity, “We don’t know what’s happening to you. We’re not certain why you are suffering.”
Like an echo the words in 1 Peter 4:13 rang into my consciousness: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you, as though something strange were happening to you.” In truth, I think we are a bit surprised. As a Christian I sometimes think I don’t deserve the pains and trials of this earth. Oh, my brain reasons differently, but deep inside there’s a underlying sense that if I am in Christ’s will, His part of the “bargain” is to place me into a bubble of protection.
In pain, and continued anxiety, I came home to news that a dear Christian friend was in the hospital in grave condition because a deadly invasion of bacteria. Then I viewed texts and emails of others facing serious physical and mental calamities.
Questions flooded my mind. “Is this Satan, or sin?” “What is going on?”
Only God knows the exact answers, but His scripture condenses it into two words: “Its life.”
Our question really should be, “Where’s my faith when facing these kinds of things?”
The US Postal Service then delivered some encouragement, and clarification. The letter was from a dear friend, and one of the godliest people I know. I’d like to share some of that:
“There always must be a faith basis for Jesus to work – based on hearing Him. For His righteous ones live by faith, through Him (Rom. 1:17). If we’re not operating out of faith, through Christ, then we can’t expect to see results. For its only by faith that we have His victory (1 Jn. 5:4).
So we must individually come to a place of faith about what each of these words mean, and how Jesus will respond when we pray them or declare them in faith – for them to become effectual for you and for those Jesus sends you to in answer to our prayers.
When we come to a place of faith to trust Jesus in specific ways, He’ll then be able to work in specific ways in line with this faith, through Christ. But without faith His hands are tied. He’s designed for His Kingdom to operate in this way.
Here then is God’s methodology in coming to a place of effective prayer.
• ONE: Read, study and meditate on the truth of God’s Word.
• TWO: Come to a place of faith about what God’s truth means in hearing Jesus and learning from Him (Rom. 10:17).
• THREE: Pray His truth in faith or speak a declarative word of faith based on your authority in Christ. Work out your faith in believing prayer, through Jesus.
• FOUR: Hold fast to the faith position you’ve taken in Him until His answer is fully made manifest, through Christ as your life (Heb. 4:14; 6:18).”
He went on to write of something all who are suffering search for, “What about my healing?”
“When I pray the word heal, I trust God for both inner healing (healing the inner wounds of the heart) and physical healing, as needed.
Many need not only inner healing from the wounds in their life, but also physical healing. I’m not going to limit Christ’s ministry to a person. I’m going to make my prayer as big as I possibly can – with a loop around it that encompasses much more rather than less.
From God’s Word:
• Ps. 147:3 (GWORD) He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds.
• James 5:16 (ESV) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
In Scripture the confession of sins clearly makes a way for God’s healing power to flow forth.
• Lk. 4:18, 19 (ESV) (Jesus speaking) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
• 1 Pet. 2:24 (ESV) He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
• Ps. 103:3 (GWORD) He is the one who forgives all your sins, the one who heals all your diseases.
• 3 Jn. 2 (ESV) Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
From my journaling:
• Jesus. Often times there will be an inner heart wounding connected with sin – either from some form of sin you’ve yielded to or from the sins of others against you. These inner wounds need to be healed. Only I can heal them. But I’m here to heal them – based on Calvary’s victory. I tell you the truth, I am.
• Jesus. Trust Me for physical healing. Include physical healing as well. For what does My written Word teach in this regard? That dealing with your sins makes a way for the physical healing of your body.
• Jesus. Confessing your sins is a necessary preparation for Me being able to come and minister in other ways also in your life.”
I hope this message helps you as much as it did me. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we and our love ones will suffer. My friends words say it much better mine: “I’m entrusting my life and the lives of others into His hands in faith for Him to fully carry out His restorative work – based on Calvary’s victory…Jesus will be found faithful!… Jesus will be found faithful!”