The Gifts Part 12
What I’ve always found interesting in the scripture passage in the gospel according to James, is the fact that after the elders of the church are called, and the person in question is anointed with oil in the name of the Lord and prayed over, we are told that the ‘prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.’ Even in our most desperate situation, even during our darkest hour, even when we are suffering and are in need of healing, we must remember that being saved is the principal thing, the most important thing and the most relevant thing.
Do I believe that God can heal the sick? Yes, of course I believe it, because it is in the Bible. I believe in a God of miracles, I believe in a God of power, I believe in a God who can take away our diseases, and restore us to good health, and these things He does through His Holy Spirit, freely and without need for compensation, but what we must perpetually keep at the forefront of our mind is that salvation is our chief and primary goal in this present life.
I’ve known men who made oaths, and promised that if only God would heal them, they would make their lives aright, they would seek the grace and love of God, they would be different than what they had been, only to have them go back on their promise once God in His mercy healed them. No, they didn’t have a relapse, they didn’t get sick again, but though they thought they put one over on God, they didn’t realize that they had thrown away the greatest gift of all, something far more important than an extra few years on this spinning rock.
Does God heal? Most definitively! Does He always heal? No, and this is one of those areas in which we as believers have a difficult time because we are attempting to understand the mind of God. Some things will forever remain a mystery to us, the ‘why’ of a certain event, a certain illness, a certain trial that God has allowed in our lives may always be out of our reach, but no matter the struggle, no matter the hardship, no matter the thorn we must always remember that first, all things work for the good of those who love God, and second, His grace is sufficient even in our darkest hour.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Sometimes trying to see the good in something God allows in our lives will bring us to the edge of despair because ‘the good’ is very difficult to see in times of grief, sorrow, illness or pain. God didn’t promise that we would see and understand, perceive and identify the good that would come out of a certain situation, but that good would come of it nevertheless.
Another thing that we must keep in mind is that the Word tells us ‘all things’ work together for good to those who love God. It’s not just some things that work together for good, it’s not most things, it is all things.
I don’t have to see the good in a situation but rather I have to believe that good will come of it because the word of God promised that it would. When we strive to see the good of any given circumstance ourselves, when we try to squint and concentrate and peer beyond the veil of tomorrow, often times we will even come to wonder if we really love God, and if we were called according to His purpose because we are not seeing the good with clarity.
My grandfather’s passing was the most difficult time of my life, followed closely by the passing of my mother. Both of these were two situations in which I could not see the good, and from which I could not perceive how any good could come. Yes, I wept both times, yes, I spent many days on my knees asking God the one question everyone asks in times such as those, ‘why’, and in both instances I received no answer to my query from God.
Rather than grow angry or bitter toward God for choosing to take the two pillars in my life, the two people I turned to time and again for counsel, advice, compassion and direction, I went to the Word and reread God’s answer to Paul, who pleaded with God not once, not twice, but three times that God might take his thorn from him.
2 Corinthians 12:7-12, “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 buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 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. 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 will be times when we will ask for an answer and no answer will come, there will be times when we will ask for healing and healing will be delayed, there will be times when we will try to make sense of a certain trial, tribulation, hardship or lack, and no enlightenment will be reached, and in all these cases we must humbly conclude that His grace is sufficient for us. Even in the direst of circumstances, even in the darkest of hours, His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. Because His strength is made perfect in weakness, because His grace is sufficient, we take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ’s sake.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.