Throughout life, each of us will get a knock on our door. When we ask, “Who is it?”, the response comes—“Uhh, yes, this is mortality. May I come in and visit a while?”
It may be a car wreck, illness, remembrance of loss, or a present loss of friend or family. One thing is for certain, each of us must wrestle with this unwelcome acquaintance.
Then there are those who are facing death as we speak. Perhaps they are fighting–battling for their lives. Not all of us can say, “I understand how you feel”, nor should we. But we can affirm Jesus in this role.
“We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. That is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Jesus asks us, “Can worry make you live longer?”
Jesus tells us, “I tell you not to worry about your life.” (Matthew 6:27, 25)
I love those words, but you know, they don’t always stop me from worry and fear.
I have to stop–take a deep breath, read them carefully and then remind myself of who it is that offers these words to me.
It is not just a well-meaning friend or family member, or pastor, or even the kind medical staff. It is Jesus.
Even still, I have a lot of questions and most of them begin with the word WHY?
“If there is a God, why doesn’t He do something?”
“Why is this happening to me?” “Will I be OK?”
Many of us will be sincere in asking these questions, hoping for an honest answer that can lend some comfort and relief.
Many of us will merely be venting our anger at God and anyone else as we cry for help. And yes, anger and bewilderment towards God is natural. He has big shoulders and will love you and me through our fear, pain and doubt.
We all know that our bodies will eventually grow old and die. But this knowledge needs the compassion and grace that is offered to all who trust in the Love of God. Otherwise, it is just too painful and God makes no sense.
The Bible can help us here. According to the bible, God allows not only sickness, but many unexplainable tragedies that occur daily around the world. We will never fully comprehend this freedom God allows, but we can be assured that such activity is within His character of love and grace.
In fact, God would not be loving if He made puppets of us all, stripping us of any ability to act on our own–to make decisions about health and safety–to sin or not–to receive His Son or not. This would be like parents locking their children up in a room, protecting them from the potential harms of the outside world, and calling this “love”. There can be no joy and love without pain and suffering.
These truths found in the bible can help us as we live without all the answers:
– We have a suffering Savior who is acquainted with our grief. (Isaiah 53:3)
– We all inherited sin and an appointment with death. (Hebrews 9:27) Romans 5)
– God is long-suffering towards us. (II Peter 3:9)
– Sin produces death. It began with Adam. “Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
– Jesus is a kind Redeemer who conquered death. (II Corinthians 5:1-2)
– Not all sickness leads to death. (John 11:4)
– Not all sickness is caused by personal sin. (John 9:1-3)
“As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. Jesus’ disciples asked, “Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?” “No, it wasn’t!” Jesus answered. “But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him.”
-Much illness is caused by personal sin. In fact, most of our wounds and bruises are self-inflicted. Even still, God is a loving father who corrects His own to the end of holiness and Christ-likeness, never destruction. He calls us to repentance as we agree with Him about sin. (Hebrews 12:10-13)
“Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace. Now stand up straight! Stop your knees from shaking and walk a straight path. Then lame people will be healed, instead of getting worse.”
–Suffering for doing good as you follow Christ. Through our suffering, others may receive hope. “God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.” (I Peter 2:19-21)
– As Christians, we understand that this world is not our home and we have no promise of how long we will dwell here. (I Peter 2:11)
– Our promised home has no sickness or death. (Revelation 21:4) (John 14:1-14)
The human body begins its journey to death at conception. Then there are at least 5,000 species of virus, not to mention bacteria, germs and fungus, and at any time, the human body with its amazing antibody system could be fighting off several simultaneously.
This miracle of healing happens daily on our behalf and often without our thankfulness and praise to God for His healing! We can change this oversight with a prayer of thanksgiving each morning we open our eyes and each night when we close them. Miracles abound on our behalf and we never know it. This is called God’s providential care.
Give your day away to God, with all of its unknowns and future fears. He can give it back with new faith, trust and courage.
All healing and forgiveness comes from God.
No doctor, minister, or pill can heal us or save us.
All these are helpful, but they merely assist in the process God invented for us. Please pray for doctors, nurses, scientists, ministers and medical staff. They bear many burdens while they care and love deeply. God continues to use them mightily in his wise care.
The bible reminds us to pray and call on the Elders of the church. Call on your Elders. Do not send your money to the TV hucksters. (James 5:13-16)
NOTE: We must be discerning. When our bodies are sick, we may feel desperate and afraid. We are more vulnerable. There are many deceivers who want to prey on us when we are down. These evil people are not just in the world. They go where the money is—they are also in the church as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
They are called “Seed Faith Healers”. Found on TV, they are crooks and thieves masquerading as real. They twist the bible in ways unthinkable to manipulate people into what I call the “Jesus Lottery.” You send $50.00 for a little miracle, and $5,000.00 for a big return on your investment.” (If you “win”)
They are like empty waggons–they make a lot of noise but they are as empty as empty can be. (Benny Hinn, Copeland, Duplantis, Swaggart, Roberts, Murdock, White, Popoff, and many more) They have bilked billions of dollars from people and they use it for their own ticket into the world of the rich and famous. Each of them will give an account to God for using His name to deceive and steal in the name of Christ. Please do not send your money to them.
God offers us great wisdom here–to see beyond our pain and suffering:
II CORINTHIANS 4:16-18 “We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.”
During our lifetime, God graciously provides healing and comfort for our bodies, but also for our Spirit/Soul.
Our Bodies Are Like Tents: II Corinthians 5:1-10
“Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.
These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. So always be cheerful!
As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. But we live by faith, not by what we see. We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.”
Christ Jesus says to each of us,
“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)
At some point in our personal journey, the words of Jesus, along with our faith, offer a consolation like no other. Jesus said it this way to his disciples who were troubled and afraid:
“If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. But anyone who doesn’t love me, won’t obey me. What they have heard me say doesn’t really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.I have told you these things while I am still with you.
But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.
I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you.
If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am. I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me.
I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him. It is time for us to go now.” (John 14: 23-31)
Remember this verse?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Jesus offers His life to you for the forgiveness of sin and life eternal. God’s gift become yours when He offers (His part) it and when you receive it. (your part)
If you have never personally received this Jesus into your life:
(a suggested prayer that may express the desire of your heart–call upon Him)
“God, I know that I am a sinful person and I ask you to forgive me. I have heard about Jesus, but I want to know Him. I believe in my heart that Jesus died for me and that You raised Him from death. I now invite Him into my life. Make me your child and guide me in your ways, I pray.– In Jesus name—”
“With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow.”
A Christian who knew of all we speak wrote these words:
(from the hymn, “Be Still My Soul”)
“Be still my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order or provide;
“In every change God faithful will remain.
Be still my soul:
Your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”
Text—Katharina von Schlegel
Listen Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwkPsKe-39Y
Eventually, we all must die. The bible also says that we will all kneel and confess.
“We die only once, and then we are judged. So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
“Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“ (Philippians 2:8-11)
DO I STAY OR DO I GO? To live is Christ, to die is gain.
“I will keep on being glad, because I know that your prayers and the help that comes from the Spirit of Christ Jesus will keep me safe. I honestly expect and hope that I will never do anything to be ashamed of. Whether I live or die, I always want to be as brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ.
If I live, it will be for Christ, and if I die, I will gain even more. I don’t know what to choose. I could keep on living and doing something useful. It is a hard choice to make. I want to die and be with Christ, because that would be much better. But I know that all of you still need me. That’s why I am sure I will stay on to help you grow and be happy in your faith. Then, when I visit you again, you will have good reason to take great pride in Christ Jesus because of me.” (Philippians 1:19-26)
FINALLY OUR NEW BODIES
“My friends, I want you to know that our bodies of flesh and blood will decay. This means that they cannot share in God’s kingdom, which lasts forever. I will explain a mystery to you. Not every one of us will die, but we will all be changed. It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet the dead will be raised. We will all be changed, so that we will never die again. Our dead and decaying bodies will be changed into bodies that won’t die or decay. The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true,
“Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting?”
Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!
My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.” (I Corinthians 15:50-58)