Healing Hopes

Psalm 107:20

He sent His word and healed them, and saved them from their destruction.

If you have read the Word of the Day for long you probably recognize this as my favorite healing verse. It came to mind recently but in a completely different context. This is the question it presented to me, “Can you use this to pray about the healing of nation?” I believe the answer is, “Yes.”

When I write the Word of the Day, I try to be sensitive to the challenges and mood of the global Christian community and to that of my own nation. I write to what my heart feels is the need. Additionally, I hear what people are saying especially as they articulate their feelings and concerns. I take those to the Father and ask for His help and guidance because I am completely invested in the premise that He is the answer. Today’s message is what I believe the Father answered me.

This year’s election has divided us. It probably would have looked much different but for the Coronavirus epidemic. People are more sensitive and emotional and really do feel the stakes are higher this year. Christians are in that lot too. Overall, as I asked Christians how they were praying to God about the election, most said their main prayer was that God take care of our country. As for the presidential race, Christians voted both parties. The reality check is that everyone of us probably voted for some people who won and some who lost but the common factor is that we all voted for the people we thought would do the best by our country. And we prayed. We asked our God to prevail.

Now comes the hard part. If we prayed and some of our candidates lost what does that mean for our faith? Here is what I believe Father God would have me broadcast across the country. God has not abandoned His throne, nor has He turned a mute ear to our prayers. He is listening and He cares. Now we have to respond to Him. We must invest our faith in Him and believe He has us in His hands. It is not the man in the Oval office that is the most important part of the picture. It is the God who reigns over us all. In our state elections as well as the presidential race, our faith must be towards God and reconciliation. We must pray for unity amongst us and faith in God to carry us forward.

This is so important. It is up to us to reunite this country. Christians need to show that we are people of faith. Do you believe, with me, that our God is bigger than politics? Can He turn the angry rhetoric into a language of reconciliation and cooperation? A house divided cannot stand. So, do we have what it takes to reunite as one people who stand together for love, justice and mercy? Can we stand, again, in the chasm of faithlessness and show the world that God reigns supreme and that He loves humanity? Please take some time to think about this. Let us turn our eyes to Jesus and fix our eyes on him so resolutely that the fire of 2020 politics grows cold in comparison. Jesus is the answer. He is the way. Let us all set aside our political opinions and take up the banner of one nation united under God, with freedom and liberty for all.

Faith in His Glory

Matthew 9: 20 – 22

And behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I shall get well.”  But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.”  And at once the woman was made well.

I believe this is an important recounting of one person’s encounter with Jesus. This event was also recorded by Mark (chapter 5) and by Luke (chapter 8). We see in this encounter that it wasn’t actually Jesus that healed this woman. Jesus said that it was her faith that made her whole. That is a very important lesson. But there is more here than we may at first see.

We learn from Psalm 107: 20 that God sent His word and that the word had the power to heal. We now know from our post-Messiah perspective that Jesus was the Word that God sent (John 1: 1) and that he is our great physician and wonderful healer. None the less, most of us are not walking in perfect health. Many of us have prayed for people who have not manifested their healing or been prayed for ourselves without evidencing the healing truth of Jesus in our bodies. So what is going on here? Why did the woman in this account receive her healing and so many of us fail in receiving ours?

I was praying for someone’s healing this week and something occurred to me as I opened my mouth to pray. It is best framed in this question. What was the faith that the woman in the story demonstrated? Jesus said that it was her faith that made her well so what was that faith? When we pray for others or receive prayer for ourselves we often become very focused on ourselves. We begin focused on the sickness or injury. Then we shift our focus to our faith because we want healing. Then we focus on receiving the blessing, and on and on. The point is that unwittingly we have deviated far from the example of the woman whose faith healed her. I believe the key in her healing is that she had faith in Jesus himself. She said to herself, “If I can but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be made well.” The key here is that her eyes were on Jesus. She was fixed on him and his glory. I believe we are spending so much time thinking and worrying about our faith and our receiving that we have actually taken our eyes off of the healer.

I picture this woman of faith on the ground below Jesus looking up at him. She had faith in him. She believed in him. I don’t think she thought that highly of herself. Moreover, I don’t think she had herself on her mind. I believe the crucial point here is that she was absolutely fixated on this man Jesus. She believed there was healing issuing from him such that if she could just touch even the fringe of his garment she would be made well by that anointing emanating from him.

Receiving your healing really ought not to be about anything you have to do. It isn’t as much about your faith and your ability to receive as it is about the glory of the Lord Jesus. When you invited him to make his abode inside of you, he took healing with him. He had no choice, it is part of him. We have separated ourselves so much from the majesty and glory of the Lord Jesus that his power is deactivated within us. It is exactly like when he went home to Galilee and could do no miracles there (Matthew 13: 57). He is the same Jesus, the same Christ with the same power. He was able to perform miracles everywhere he went except in his hometown where they did not revere him, where their eyes were not full of the awe and wonder of him. The text in Matthew 13 says that he was without “honor” in his hometown. I believe many of us are experiencing the same thing. We have become a bit complacent in our regard of him. He has, perhaps, become too familiar. He should be your best friend but at the same time we should never lose sight of his majesty and magnificence.

Secondly, our attention and concern with the quantity and quality of our faith has caused us to take our eyes off of Jesus and put them on ourselves. We constantly check our hearts and minds looking for evidence of world changing faith. Jesus said we only needed mustard seed faith which is the smallest of all seeds. All we need is just a bit. When we sow that little bit of faith in him and put our eyes on him and stop worrying whether we have enough faith or we have strong enough faith, then there is fullness of faith. It is then that we can see him in his glory and when you really see Jesus for who he is, you have no trouble believing that he can do all things. You won’t even see yourself as a roadblock to his greatness. You will know that he can do all things, even in you. We just have to get a bigger picture of Jesus. We don’t need to worry about who we are or who we are not, what we have or what we don’t have. It really is not about us, our qualifications or knowledge. It is all about him. He is the Lord of glory. He is the Word that our father sent with healing in his hands.

Everything we need for healing, for life, for success in every area of our lives is with us right now. God sent his best and he sent his all. There is nothing that has been withheld. What great news! Now, just let your mind and spirit be filled with Jesus. Look upon him and see the radiance of his visage. The more you fill up on the vastness and greatness of our Father God and our Lord Jesus, the less the damaging effects of this world can impact you. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Fill your mouth with his praises. There are great things for you in his heart. He is the breath you breathe, he is health to your whole body; he truly is all in all. He is the Lord God Almighty to whom no thing is impossible. Selah.

He Has Healed

Psalm 107:20

He sent His word and healed them.

I recall once when I was sick and running a high fever. I kept putting cold towels and ice packs on me to try to bring the fever down. As I lay on my bed with ice packs on my head and chest I began repeating, “I am the healed of Israel, I am the healed of Israel.” I said it over and over again. Where did that phrase come from? I have to believe that God gave it to me. Interestingly enough He didn’t tell me that I was going to be healed or that healing power was coming to me. He gave me words which confirmed that He had already sent healing to me. After three or four days the fever finally broke. The doctors never did discover the cause but the phrase that God gave me stuck with me.

For those of us who are not Jewish by birth our adoption in Christ has placed us firmly in the sphere of all blessings so that we can boldly claim the blessings of Israel. Today’s verse tells us unequivocally that God has already healed “them”, which means us and it shows us the means by which He effectuated the healing. God gave His spoken Word and His written Word and the power in His Word provides for every need we have including healing. But let us overlay this Abrahamic blessing with a little New Testament glory.

The great apostle, John, reveals to us that Jesus is the Word (John 1: 1, 14). I do not believe that the church has yet to grasp the enormity and the power of that simple truth but it makes great sense when you combine that reality with today’s verse. Most of us believe that Jesus is the great healer so it is a fairly easy leap to imagine that when God sent His word it had healing power in it.  

Jesus is the fulfillment of all promises and he has come to us, to live in us and to fill us to overflowing with the miraculous anointing and power of the Father of Grace. When Jesus lives in your heart then, truly, you have everything you need in order to manifest the abundant life that he said he came to give each of us (John 10: 10). Regardless of your need today, Jesus is the answer. He is the way, the truth, the life (John 14: 6). Reach into the depths of your heart and touch the love, the love that heals all wounds, all sicknesses, all disease, all brokenness. He is your healer, your Lord and abundant grace.