Forgiveness vs. Healing
“This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” Matthew 8:17
The Hunger Games is a movie trilogy where citizens are randomly selected to fight to the death until there is one person left standing. In the first series, Prim, the younger of two sisters, was one of 24 children chosen. The rules are strict. If your name is selected, you can't back out but someone can volunteer to take your place.
When Prim’s name was announced, without hesitation, her older sister Katniss made her way through the crowd yelling that she would take her sister's place. Prim yells, "No, Katniss! No! You can't go!" Katniss is granted approval to trade places with her sister.
This is a scene in the movie portraying unconditional love and it’s the kind of love Christ has for us. Like Katniss did for her sister, Christ did for us, but for a much greater purpose.
After listening to a message on healing by Andrew Wommack, I started to evaluate how I deal with illnesses that appear suddenly. They aren’t chronic or life-threatening illnesses, but viruses or colds that are an annoyance for a few days.
When I wake up feeling ill, do I respond like Jesus? Do I have the mind of Christ when I have a migraine? I Corinthians 2:16
I can’t say I always do. If I wake up with a migraine my first response tends to be, “I have a migraine.” I generally pray, but on average praying and taking an excedrin go hand-in-hand.
I cope with it opposed to confronting it with confidence that I will be healed immediately. I do what I can so it doesn’t worsen.
What I realized is that I’m not consistent when it comes to trusting God with my desires to be healed on those days I don’t feel up to par. God began showing me, lovingly and patiently, a truth that I had not seen before.
I started concentrating on Psalm 103:2-3 which states that “He has forgiven me of all of my sins and healed me of all of my diseases.”
When Jesus went to the cross, it was to forgive me of ALL of my sins.
From the moment I asked Christ into my heart, I have never doubted he forgave me. Not once!
The verse also states that Jesus healed me of ALL of my diseases.
Can I say the same for healing as I do with sin? Can I say with confidence, “From the moment I asked Christ into my heart, I have never doubted he healed me of all of my diseases?” I cannot. Can you?
During cold and flu season, doctors highly recommend getting the flu vaccination. Annually, I defer to man’s recommendations and I don’t think twice about it. I’m thankful for medical research.
My husband has a different approach. He doesn’t get the flu shot unless his employer requires it. He says, “I don’t get sick,” and he rarely does. If he has an onset of the flu or a cold, he says the same and within 24 hours he’s fine. He believes he will remain healthy the same way he believes he is forgiven.
Another example of Rick’s faith is his confidence when eating outside the United States. He’ll eat raw fruits and vegetables the National Institute of Health recommends against consuming in certain countries. Without hesitation, Rick will eat anything. He has eaten raw meat hanging on the streets of Korea as quickly as he grabs a hamburger in the United States.
Rick doesn’t concern himself with thoughts that he might get sick. He confidently says what he knows to be true, “I don’t get sick,” and I have never seen him eat food and get sick.
For years I attributed this to good genes. I didn’t attribute this to his faith. But, “faith is confidence,” and he is confident and he is a man of faith. Hebrews 11:1
I’ll be going to India in 2019 and as of today, I have a list of items recommended by the NIH to have on hand in case of a health emergency. Packing these items isn’t wrong, but I also recognize trusting God starts by believing “I won’t get sick.”
I know I must get to the point that I can confidently say it and mean it. I admit I’m not there yet. I will take the proper health precautions, but first I want my comfort and confidence to come from the care that doesn’t fit in a suitcase.
I’m working on creating new habits. I don’t want to wake up and say, “I have a headache.” I want to have an attitude and expectation that I’ll be fine and that I don’t have to resort to past habits and quick fixes.
Instead of defaulting to what I know man does to cure a sickness, I’m being conscientious to speak what I believe: “I’m fine. Jesus is taking care of me.”
Dr. Caroline Leaf states, “It is not just the decision to believe that God heals; it is the actual believing...It is not just confessing God will meet your needs; it is the actual believing.” “Switch On Your Brain.” p. 283
Jesus traded himself for me so that all of my diseases will be healed. This includes the seasonal illnesses that I so often give too much attention to.
Shortly after I began spending more time seeking God to conform my behavior and words to line up with God’s promises, it didn’t take long before I began seeing a remarkable difference in my health. Praise God!
I don’t have to concern myself with the “what ifs.” Jesus walked to his death to forgive and heal me. It’s not forgiveness vs. healing. It’s forgiveness and healing.
We can search nearly every medication on the internet and self-diagnose what we think is happening to our bodies. We are so inundated with health information that we can easily override what God wants to do in us. How often do we end up spending more time searching about our health needs than praying about them?
I pray we don’t accept man’s remedy as the go to. Let our words and actions be the first steps we take towards healing. Let our talk exhibit that we are Christ-like and Christ-minded. I Corinthians 2:16
Let the Spirit of God guide you in every area of your life, including your physical health. If medicine and doctors are part of God’s healing, let God be the one to guide the decisions that need to be made. Don’t seek the doctor and then God. Seek God first.
I am so thankful for medicine, but I am more thankful for Christ who suffered for me. It’s God who traded my place to take away all of my diseases, not my doctors.
Christ traded himself to give you life!
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin.” Isaiah 53:4-10