Saturday, February 21st, 2015
Fellowship (Part 16)
Essentials: Group Healing (A)
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:14-16 (NKJV)
Have miracles ceased? Certainly not. Does the rising of God's Son on a Cross help our healing today? Surely so. Does the rising of senior saints in fervent prayer help our healing, too? Very much, according to God.
Then why are some people healed and others are not? I believe every follower of Jesus who seeks to be healed will be healed. The only question is when. Consider:
1) The ill must seek healing. To the 38-year invalid at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus asked, 'Do you want to get well?' (John 5:6). For the woman with an issue of blood, not 12 years of bad doctors, not big crowds of Jesus fans and not even the shame of an 'unclean' label stopped her. She continued to seek healing and found it.* Unfortunately, some believers focus on their failing health, rather than their proven Healer. My beloved mother was one.**
2) Tragedy invites a spotlight. If glory means brilliant illumination, we are glorified in suffering. Before His crucifixion, Jesus said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You' (John 17:1). Suffering draws attention, like car wrecks and fights. Spectators mourn the victims and search for heroes. Hard-pressed believers who remain thankful, hopeful and God-focused are such heroes. They become extraordinary witnesses for Christ. Suffering stars end well.
3) Healing is timely. For most get-it-now Americans, patience is a tough lesson to learn. In this subject, I'm a C-student at best (but still trying). Even so, patient continuance is core curriculum for Christians.*** In terms of healing, whether God is quick, slow or waits until the moment of death, He will restore us. Nevertheless, I believe we should stay in positive prayer and persistent pursuit of healing: 'Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay' (Habakkuk 2:3).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: God performed miracles by the hands of His early church elders. Since 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever' (Hebrews 13:8), let us show and tell this same faith. If you are His end-times church, then appoint mature believers among you to anoint and pray for the sick. Because sooner or later, 'The prayer of faith will save the sick' (James 5:15). Jesus never delays, and He never fails.
To Be Continued...
* Seeking shows faith. Because why seek unless you believe you will find? God rewards faith. Therefore He says, 'Seek and you will find' (Matthew 7:7). 'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you' (Matthew 6:33)... including health. To the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus said, 'Your faith has made you well' (Luke 8:48).
** My mother, Millie Lewis, the New York fashion model who dreamed of being an evangelist as a child, died from the complications of Parkinson's disease. She was miserable for too many years, focusing on illness, doctors and pills. I was not a Christian during her trial. In hindsight, it seems she lost her early faith and suffered severely. But I also believe she found Jesus again before her death. I await reunion in Heaven.
*** God ' 'Will render to each one according to his deeds:' eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality' (Romans 2:6-7).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.