There will be many varying topics discussed under the umbrella of healing in the coming weeks. I want to share a variety of personal family testimonies so that you may understand that not only does my family believe in miraculous healing but we have experienced it to a wondrous degree. We also believe healing can come with the assistance of a doctor as the Lord gives him wisdom. In addition, we believe there is another side to God’s healing where, instead of being instantly healed, we have been “made whole” and learned things about ourselves and God we would have learned no other way. It is often in this process that the Lord has produced the fruits of the Spirit in us. Through this time of long-suffering we not only learned patience but we also discovered facets of God’s character previously unknown to us.
Galatians 5:22-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:23 meekness
Let me comment briefly here on two points that have always struck me because of their irony. First, look at that fourth fruit: long-suffering. Cheerful little word isn’t it? Yes, I know that in other translations it is listed as “patience,” but it is just as often translated long-suffering. I have been blessed with a dry sense of humor and I have often had reason to speak with the Lord that not only does that fruit contain the word “ suffering” but it is amped up a few notches by adding the word “long.” Twice in my forty years with the Lord I have been “blessed” – oh, yes, I mean that word with all my heart – with the fruit of long-suffering. Each time was characterized by severe chronic pain lasting over three years each. Sprinkled intermittently between those times were less intense, shorter-duration pain in other areas. Do you detect an undercurrent of laughter and joy in this description? Hopefully you do because one of the lessons I learned was:
James 1:2-6 New Living Translation (NLT)
Greetings from James
Faith and Endurance
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver * for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
*squirm – Lindsell Living Bible
Right from the beginning the apostle prepares us that we will profit from trials if our attitude in our time of trouble is to count it “ great joy.” In pain, in close-to-poverty, in depression – joy is not our normal response. How are we to understand this command? The Lord never leaves us without wisdom. As John Gill states in his Exposition of the Bible:
The apostle exhorts them to count it all joy, or matter of joy, of exceeding great joy, even of the greatest joy; not that these afflictions were joyous in themselves, but in their circumstances, effects, and consequences; as they tried, and exercised, and improved the graces of the Spirit, and worked for their good, spiritual and eternal, and produced in them the peaceable fruit of righteousness; and as they were attended with the presence and Spirit of God, and of glory; and as they made for, and issued in the glory of God; and because of that great reward in heaven which would follow them; see ( Matthew 5:11 Matthew 5:12 ) ( 1 Peter 4:14 ) .
To me squirming is the opposite of resting in the love and goodness of the Lord. It’s a denial of what the Lord wants for my life here and now. We are highly encouraged not to squirm but to hold steadfast to the Lord and rest in Him, safe and secure from all alarm, leaning on Him.
Lastly, we will also dwell on the following verses as we continue our study because they will demonstrate that healing sometimes does not come at all. What does come is a greater realization of the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [a]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
There’s a great deal of ground to cover and we will begin by making all these testimonies very personal and truthful. However, let us first lay a foundation for miracles — the supernatural deeds of Jesus — by listing merely some of His miracles stated in the following: Matthew 9: 1-8, 27-33; Mark 1: 30-37, 40-45; 8: 22-26; Luke 8: 43-48; 13: 10-17; John 4: 46-47; 5: 1-9; 9: 1-38. There are numerous other verses we could site and numerous other miracles Jesus did as He went into towns and healed all who came to Him. It will not be unusual to read, therefore, that He Who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow performed the following miracles you will now read about.
I had been born-again for approximately two months – the first one in my family. My 12 year old daughter, Tracy, came home on a Friday and we discovered – by x ray – that she had a broken bone in her foot. She was sent home until Monday so that the foot could naturally swell to a size that would comfortably hold the cast they would put on. Before we left for the hospital on that following Monday I asked if she’d like me to pray over her foot. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctor again x-rayed her foot and compared it to the previous x-ray. There was no sign of a break on the second x-ray even though the break was obvious on the first. The doctors had no explanation; we volunteered our explanation of prayer which was received with silence. When we got home, Tracy asked to receive Jesus, this Almighty, loving Savior into her heart, thus becoming the second in our family of four who was saved. (My son and husband followed suit in the two months following).
My husband, John, has an ascending aortic aneurysm in his heart; it is not repairable by a stent. Certain boundaries have been medically set because beyond those the aneurysm will rupture and instant death will result. Surgical repair is necessary once an aneurysm reaches 5 centimeters (cm) in diameter. In addition, the doctor may recommend surgical repair of a small aneurysm that’s growing more than 0.5 cm per year. Twelve years ago John’s aneurysm doubled in size in one year and grew to 4.5 cm. The doctor decided to wait three months to see if it grew further. The entire church prayed. It has not grown in 12 years and is still at 4.5 cm.
Before we were saved, my husband had a most serious prostate infection that had him on bed rest for one month. We were told to be very watchful if he ever had another one. Flash forward fourteen years: we were all saved (albeit relatively new Christians) and my husband came home with his second prostate infection. He had seen the doctor and had had one dose of an antibiotic. He had 101 fever and I told him to get in bed and sleep. I went downstairs and began reading a book on prayer by Andrew Murray. I was so amazed by the truths I was reading that I called a mature Christian to confirm if what I was understanding about the power of Almighty God was accurate. Indeed it was. I felt led to read one more chapter. When I finished, I went upstairs to see my husband. He was much worse. His fever was now 104; he was glassy-eyed and incoherent. I will never forget what happened next. I put one hand on him, raised one hand to Heaven and prayed. I knew the words were God’s Words. When I finished, my husband blinked and said – coherently, and with no fever – “ I want to take a bath.” And that was that. He was totally healed. We had the scheduled Bible Study at our house the next day and he had quite a testimony to give. God is Awesome. He is Jehovah Rapha – the Lord our Healer.
My son-in-law Wes (of whom you will hear much more in the weeks to come) was informed by his internist that he had a cluster of cancerous lesions in his esophagus. The doctor pointed them out to Wes as he put a camera down his esophagus. Wes was sent to the specialists at the University of Virginia hospital for further testing…and the strangest thing happened. The UVA specialists put the camera down Wes’ esophagus and the lesions were gone. They were nowhere to be seen. (Reference first testimony of my daughter, Tracy, who just so happens to be Wes’ wife). The specialists had no explanation for how this was possible and our explanation of Jesus performing a miracle was not acceptable to them, but we knew what had happened. And do you. The Lord still loves His children and He is still able, faithful and merciful. He always will be.
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