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Our God Who Heals
Psalms 38-41 were written by David when he was sick. Not just man-flu sick, but festering-sores sick. In these Psalms he vents and screams out to God without holding back, but more than that, in each of these four songs he petitions God to bring healing. Why? Why would he ask God to bring healing, and why does he ask again when healing doesn't come the first time?
David was asking God for healing because he knew what God had done in the past - both for him personally and for other’s in Israel’s history. In fact, he knew God was so keen that His people associate Him with healing that God revealed himself as Jehova Rapha - ‘God who heals’. As you go through Israel’s history you find story after story of God breaking in with healing. If David had faith in God based on historical fact, then we can have so much more because of Jesus.
Jesus our Healer
Jesus exploded onto the scene and had a healing ministry eclipsing everything that went before, in the frequency and number of healings - 1,000s, if not tens of 1,000s across three years. In the middle of His amazing healing ministry, Jesus turns to his disciples and says – ‘it’s your turn’, “I give you authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead”, and out they go and when they come back, they are celebrating all the miracles they had seen. This didn’t stop at the disciples, healing the sick is something that every Christian since has been given the authority and power to do.
So, how do we as individuals and a church see healings become part of our normal experience?
• Matthew 10:1 - Jesus drew His disciples to Him & then gave them authority to heal the sick
• God doesn’t want people who are good at healing, He wants people who love being with Him.
• A big question lots of us struggle with is, ‘did it really happen?’. Unbelief is epidemic today. Are naturally skeptical and suspicious of testimonies? Do you refuse to believe the testimonies of others? If we suffer with unbelief then this is something that we need to repent of.
• Things that can help you with growing in your belief are biblical study and reading/listing to stories of others.
• To help grow in exception we need to understand God’s identity and ours. He is a good Father and we are his beloved kids who have been empowered and commissioned by Him. Reading and celebrating stories also helps here, as often “More is caught than taught”. We also need to process disappointment well.
Hunger (Desire & Compassion)
• Jesus always had compassion on people when he healed them. We need to repent of apathy in our lives and ask God to give us His heart towards those who are in need of healing.
• Desire produces a determination to keep trying, again and again, even in the midst of apparent ‘unanswered prayers’.
• If we are not hungry then we have already determined our level of breakthrough. Let’s not settle for the familiar - we must push into unfamiliar, even awkward, territory.
What do we do when nothing appears to happen?
• Firstly, don’t dump it on the other person’s lack of faith or some other reason (shows your lack of compassion) - Lazarus had no faith so there is more to it than just that.
• Secondly don’t take it all on yourself, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus - give that burden to Him.
• Keep trying, again & again. If there’s slight improvement, don’t be passive but press for the 100% healing.
• Remain thankful - otherwise we will slip into frustration and then unbelief
• Jesus’ ultimate mission was to save us from the ultimate sickness, sin. On the Cross He achieved forgiveness for our sin and conquered death - death is no longer our enemy. What is more, when we die we go to a place where there is not more sickness and no more pain.
• When the disciples came back celebrating of all the healings and miracles they had performed Jesus told them to not rejoice in this, but rejoice that their names are written in heaven.
• Our response should always be worship, whether sickness goes or it whether it stays. We must have our eyes permanently focused on the blood-stained Cross and the empty tomb.
1) Is there anything from Sunday’s talk that you didn’t understand or surprised you?
2) What do you think about the fact that as Christians you have been given power to heal the sick? Is this a new idea for you? If you do believe then what stops you actively looking to pray for the sick?
3) Do you have any stories of God breaking in and healing you, or using you to heal others? Was anyone healed on Sunday?
4) Do you struggle with ‘unbelief’? What do you think you can do to overcome this?
5) Do you ‘expect’ God to use/heal you?
6) How hungry are you to see this power operating in your life? What holds you back (eg fear) and what can you do to overcome this?
7) What do you think of the concept of ‘keeping an eternal perspective’? Does this help anyone who is struggling with unanswered prayer?