“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV)
“God must have given me this illness to test my faith.”
“God must be teaching me a lesson because of something I did wrong – that’s why I’m sick.”
Have you heard these words before? Or perhaps uttered them yourself at some point in your life? When disease strikes and we cannot understand why, we immediately assume that God must have had a reason for giving this to us. Maybe He is testing our faith. Maybe there is sin in our life that we need to get rid of so we can become well again.
But here is the earth-shattering, amazing, mind-boggling truth: GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU SICK, HE WANTS YOU HEALTHY!
Let me tell you a story about a boy who has been blind, right from the moment he was born. Imagine living in a world of darkness, never knowing the colors of the trees or the flowers, never seeing the faces of the people of he loves. Imagine how much he suffered every single day, how difficult life must have been for him. How many times must he have cried out in anguish, “God, why have I been born like this?” Think about it. How can a loving God subject someone to such a miserable life?
People started to assume that perhaps it was a payment for some sort of sin in his life – whether his own or that of his parents. Jesus responded to all the speculations by saying, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” (John 9: 3)
Now you must be thinking, “See? God gave him the blindness so that He can show how great He is.” But is that really what He meant? Let’s read that again, with a simple change in punctuation.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned. BUT THAT THE WORKS OF GOD SHOULD BE REVEALED IN HIM, I MUST WORK THE WORKS OF HIM WHO SENT ME WHILE IT IS DAY; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” Then Jesus went on to heal him and give him his sight, right then and there!
The blind man was born blind not because he or his parents sinned! Jesus never said what the reason was, but one thing was clear - the work of God was to heal Him. The Light of the World could never have let that man remain in utter darkness. The work of Jesus was to bring health and healing to a sick and broken world.
Friend, whatever it is you are going through right now, know that God loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for you and redeem you from the curse and everything else included in it. At the Cross, once and for all, Jesus bore all sickness and disease – cancer, hypertension, diabetes, even the common cold! – so that you wouldn’t have to. He has already triumphed over all of these – the name of Jesus is greater than any other name. He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer! Start receiving and enjoying your healthy life today!
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite." Psalms 147:3-5 NKJV
Have you ever felt a certain sadness so deep that it felt like you were never going to see the light again? Do you sometimes think that perhaps you missed your calling and now your life is going nowhere? Do you get utterly discouraged and lose the will to go on?
Elijah was such a man. He was a prophet through whom God had done great things - he caused an overflowing supply of food to come to a widow and her son, he raised a boy from the dead, and he called fire from heaven to put Baal followers to shame (1 Kings 17-18). And yet, after all of these, he fell into despair and depression, saying, "It is enough! Now, Lord , take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (I Kings 19:4)
Now, you'd think a man of great faith like him should not have fallen to such emotions. You might be thinking, "He should have been stronger! He should have gotten over it!" Was God disappointed in this beloved prophet of His? Definitely not! The Bible says that during this time of his great depression, an Angel of the Lord fed him and took care of him. (1 Kings 19:5) This was Jesus! Jesus Himself drew near to Him. He revealed Himself to Elijah in a still, small voice, reminding him that the calling in his life has not changed. Jesus stayed with him, strengthened him, and when he was ready, He simply said, "Go, return on your way."
My friend, when you are down and discouraged, God does not abandon you. He does not leave you, and He does not disqualify you from His blessing. He does not say, "How come you have so little faith?" No no no! In the times of your depression, when you are most discouraged and in doubt, Jesus Himself draws near and reaches out to you. The veil has been torn away and now Jesus is in you, in your heart, and now He never leaves you nor forsakes you. He heals your broken heart, and whispers in your spirit, "My gifts and calling are irrevocable. My plans for you have not changed at all." He strengthens you so that you can get up and go back on your way, even better than before! That's how much He loves you and cares for you!
"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Many times we feel like overwhelming problems surround us. We try to find solutions, but then another problem comes to challenge us further. It gets so hard that sometimes, we get to the point when we all want to do is just raise our hands in the air and say "Enough! I give up!"
Once, Peter took a bold step to walk with Jesus on water. This happened in the midst of strong winds and great waves. It was supernatural! However, when Peter started to realize and pay attention to where he really was - in the middle of the storm - he became afraid and then began to sink. Desperately, he called out to Jesus and said, "Lord, save me!"
Our Lord sees our need for help. He is always near. He is attentive to our cries (Psalms 34:15). When Peter cried out, Jesus immediately caught him and saved him. That is who Jesus is! That is our ever-present Savior!
My friends, if you are drowning in your problems, do not seek out answers from self-help books or your friends first. Cry out to Jesus! Pursue the Savior because He has the right answers and solutions for you. He will tell the unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33.3)
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" Jeremiah 33:3