Friday, May 1, 2020

Understanding The Source Of Suffering

"And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” – Mark 5:30

I am certain you remember the story of the woman who needed healing – she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” So Jesus was in a crowd where they were not practicing social distancing – people pushing people trying to make their way through the throng. So what was it about that woman’s touch of the hem of Jesus clothes? It wasn’t physical – it was faith.  Jesus sensed the woman’s faith and it was her faith that healed her.

That one sentence raises a lot of questions – especially for those who have not been healed. Does that mean that the reason we are not healed of our maladies is because we lack faith? Does God heal our physical infirmities?  If so, why hasn’t He healed mine? Is it because I lack faith? Big questions. Is lack of faith why some are healed and some are not?

And He [Jesus] was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.””  – Luke 4:17-19

So why did Jesus not heal every blind person that He met along the way? (I wish sometimes that the Lord would not lay these issues on my heart when I ask Him what should I share today.) I just know that someone needs to hear (read) this. 

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” – John 9:2-3

Can you imagine a man living without sight his whole life so God could be glorified in his healing? What about the pain od lost relationships and a normal life? Would God allow that? Does that seem fair? Oh, there is so much that we don’t understand about this life on earth.  If eternity was a clock that never wound down, then my life on earth would be but one tick on the clock. But this is the only life we know. Our only reality – even though we have the hope of heaven. We must live in a world that is racked with sin and its consequences. Many people more educated – more spiritually mature – wiser – have tried to understand and explain why people suffer. It is certainly not God’s intention, but it is the consequence of creation gone wrong by creation’s choice.

And the message is that through faith in Jesus, what God created can be restored. Jesus healings are visual examples of that spiritual restoration. Miraculous healings today are the same.  When I pray for my wife and her struggle with the slow healing from her spinal fusion, I want the Lord to take the pain away. To heal her back. Is it because of lack of faith that she is not healed in that instant? Or is there a greater truth at work here.  Is it possible that God is more interested in our faith than our physical health?  Pastor Rick Warren said, “God is more interested in your character than your comfort.” Don’t we really want it to be the other way around? Especially when we are suffering? I think so.  It is like the father said to Jesus, “Lord I believe but help me with my unbelief.”

As I was typing this, a song came to mind as it often does, Even If by Mercy Me.

“I know You're able and I know You can, Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't  My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't My hope is You alone
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul”

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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