Friday, March 16, 2012

IN the fight of your life!

I have been asked many times why God allows a believer to die from their disease.  Just what was the purpose in his taking the person from those who cared so deeply for them?  In moments of silence and deep thought, I really could not come up with a good answer.  I just don't always understand how God moves, what he plans within the long fights with debilitating disease, or how the loss will affect the lives of those who have trusted him for the healing of a loved one.  One thing I can hold onto - God is NEVER untrue to his word!  His purposes may be far beyond my limited ability understand them, but he never "backs down" on his word!

 16-17That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. He fulfilled Isaiah's well-known sermon: He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases.  (Matthew 8:16-17 The Message)

After a long day of healing the sick, Jesus is faced with even more who petition for their release from infirmity.  He has healed the leper, cured the servant of the Captain of the Roman Guard, and raised Peter's mother-in-law from her sickbed.  Now, with dusk upon him, the demon-afflicted come to him - seeking release, hoping for peace at last - and he is moved once again into the service of healing and delivering.

He relieved the inwardly tormented.  He cured the bodily ill.  He took their illnesses and carried their diseases.  Look at all the action words here:

Relieved - he eased their burden and released them from their oppression.  
Cured - he restored to health what once was plagued with disease and death.
Took - he brought into his own hands, his own possession their illnesses.
Carried - he became the bearer of their torment.

The inwardly tormented (those with oppressed and depressed thoughts) were given a new outlook on life - released to begin to live without the burden which had tormented them for so long.  The bodily ill restored to health - certainly the great hope of all with debilitating disease.

I shared a short time back about a young gentleman - a father of two - who fought valiantly with colon cancer and lost the battle this past year.  As you will recall, his own personal testimony was the closeness he learned with Jesus in the midst of the fight.  We may never understand the totality of what is accomplished in the point between the "God heal me" pleas until the last breath is breathed.  I don't know why some are healed and others continue in their struggle with ravaging disease - but God knows what is transpiring in between the two points between "God heal me" and the very last breath we each shall breathe on this earth.

This is what we hold onto in the midst of disease.  This is what we count on when tides just don't seem to turn.  God is in control - every step of the way.  I cannot know fully the depths of all he accomplishes - but I can trust fully in the promises of deliverance.  So, regardless of the immediacy of the outcome, I encourage those who need his healing to come, just as these did those many years ago.  Bringing inward torment, bodily disease, illnesses without name - looking into his eyes, beholding his grace, and living in his peace.   In the midst of the "fight" perhaps our greatest "deliverance" comes in the "yielding" of our spirits to his control.

In the midst of your fight today, just know I am praying for you!  I may not know you all by name, but God does!  As I write today, I hold you each before him - may he bless you IN the fight!

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