"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
August 11, 2010
Healing is a subject that individuals have questioned for centuries. Why does God heal some, and not others? Why do some have to endure so much pain and suffering for lengthy periods of time? Why do babies and children have to deal with health issues and die? Why are some people spared in car wrecks, while others are instantly killed or suffer injuries that plague them the rest of their life? During tornadoes and other natural disasters why is one house flattened and everything lost, while the house next door is untouched? So many questions!
When 9-11 happened hundreds of lives were lost. Yet we read accounts and heard reports on TV of those who were protected and saved. Years ago when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred there were many who were killed, yet stories of those whose lives were spared.
I've had family and friends who were diagnosed with cancer. Some have survived, but a lot of them haven't. Why were some healed and others not? It doesn't make sense. The Bible declares that Jesus heals, which I believe He does, but why does it sometimes seem as if He picks and chooses only a few select in which to bestow His healing upon? I do understand that for the believer, the ultimate healing is received when they die; yet I also know that there are those who receive healing on earth.
It seems as if a lot of ministers have tried to pinpoint the answer, and some have come up with various conclusions. Some say it's how much faith you have when you pray; some say it's the words you say when you pray; some conclude that you have to use certain scriptures when you pray; others have tried to teach that it's sin in your life that hinders you from being healed. But the truth is, no one truly knows or understands.
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and in fact the Bible declares that no one else will ever be as wise as he was. Yet in all his writings, he doesn't reveal the answer to this age old question. So it makes me think that the answer was never reveled to him.
When Jesus was on earth teaching and ministering, He didn't reveal the answer either. He did boldly proclaim that salvation was the one and only way to God, and only those who repented and were saved could enter heaven. There was/is no if, and or but about it; Jesus declared this is what you have to do to see God. Yet He never said, "If you do this, you will always receive your healing; but if not, then you will die."
Perhaps Jesus knew if the answer to healing was revealed, then man would try to "play God" and take circumstances into their own hands. If that was disclosed, and someone didn't receive their healing and died, then people would have the tendency to point their finger at them as having sin in their life. We would become judge and jury of the sick who died.
Also, death is part of the cycle of life, and there comes a point when everyone will die; whether it's from sickness, old age, accident, etc. If man knew the "secret" to always receiving their healing, then when would they ever die?
One thing we can be sure of is that the day will come when we all must die. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed for men to die once, then after that the judgement." So although none of us knows how long we'll live, or how long our family and friends will live, we know that the day will come when we all will die. After that we must stand before God and be judged for our life on earth.
Recently our pastor preached about healing. He commented that he doesn't understand why some are healed and others aren't. There are those who have served God all their lives and have been faithful and were filled with faith, yet they don't receive their healing and die. While there are others who have been reprobate heathens who have given God very little thought and they are healed. It doesn't seem fair! He said if it were up to him, then those who have loved God and been faithful would be healed, and the others would be the ones who weren't.
In Matthew 9:10-13 Jesus and His disciples were in a house sitting at the table eating with tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees saw them and asked the disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus overheard them and answered, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." He continued on, "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
When a christian dies they receive their eternal reward of being in heaven with God. All that they looked forward to and lived for while on earth comes to pass. There is no more sickness, pain, sorrow, struggles or hardships for them. No more paying bills, working, worrying about family or day to day living. No worrying about the economy or finances for retirement, and no fear about government, politics or the direction our country is going. Babies and children who have dealt with sickness and pain and death, are running and playing and having the time of their life. They'll never have to deal with the struggles and pain that life can bring. The believers who die are at home with Jesus where all is peace and joy. They will never feel another ache or pain. All their days are filled with laughter, running down streets of gold beside the river of life. And they get to see Jesus face to face and kneel at His feet. They get to feel the arms of Jesus surround them as He says, "I love you, my child!!Welcome home! I've been waiting for you."
They don't experience the sorrow that those of us who are left behind have to deal with. Tears and grief are felt by those of us left upon earth because someone we loved and cherished is separated from us and it changes our lives. We don't grieve because they're in heaven with Jesus, but grieve because we miss them. But we can hold onto hope that if we receive salvation that we will one day be reunited with them for eternity. And what a great reunion that will be!
Perhaps God chooses to heal those who have struggled with their faith or who have never acknowledged Him as Lord because He knows that they're not ready to enter heaven. He is giving them another chance to repent and turn their life around and come to Him. The above scripture speaks that those who are sick are the ones who need a physician. Not only physically sick, but also spiritually. Jesus goes on to say that it's the sinner who need repentance, not the righteous.
2 Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
By healing those in need of repentance, God is extending His mercy to them and giving them another chance to repent and come to know Him as their Savior.
But there are still many situations that are hard to understand. And I don't think we'll ever truly get an earthly answer to all our whys. There is an old hymn that states we'll understand it better by and by.
I've heard people say that they can't wait to get to heaven so they can sit down with Jesus and get all their whys and questions answered. And perhaps they will. But somehow I think when we get to heaven that none of those things will even matter anymore. When we first see Jesus face to face, we're not going to be thinking about the problems and hardships we faced on earth. When we see the beauty and splendor and the mansion that's been prepared for us, I don't think we're going to be rushing over to Jesus to have all our questions answered. When we're reunited with our loved ones, we're not going to grab their hand and run over to God and ask why they weren't healed or why they had to suffer. I really don't think all the things we ponder and question while on earth are going to even enter our minds or matter once we get to heaven.
I haven't seen my mama since I was 15 years old, and when I'm once again reunited with her I'm not going to be thinking about all the pain and suffering she endured, nor will I want to discuss those years with her. It will all be over and done with and completely past. I want to hug her and sit down beside the river and visit with her. I want to introduce Jon to her. I want to be there when most of her grandkids meet her for the first time. Everything that seems so important on earth isn't going to matter anymore.
So while we may have unanswered questions and unanswered prayers while we're here on earth, we need to keep our eyes focused on the prize at the end of our lives. Life may be tiresome and weary at times and there may be days when it seems unfair, but we have hope that this isn't all there is to it. Whether someone lives 5 hours, 5 days, 5 years, 50 years or 100 years, at the end of there is eternity with Jesus waiting for each of us. So don't become weary and tired of running this race. Don't give up on faith in God. And don't let your questions keep you from accepting the love and forgiveness of God. The years we live on earth is like a drop of sand compared to eternity. Hold fast to your faith in God!
I hope never to be in a disaster--whether a severe illness, plane crash, fire, tornado, etc. But most of us have seen others portrayed in movies or TV, or shown by the press after a real disaster. People commonly leave in a shocked state, mostly looking for loved ones, friends, or someone to hold onto. They seem to want to make sure others are okay, and want to be with someone. They almost never look back right away, unless it is to make sure someone else makes it out. The disaster they've gotten away from isn't that important anymore. They just want someone to be with and to rejoice.
I suspect the same will be true of heaven. No matter how great we might think our life is here and now, compared to heaven, it will probably seem like a train wreck. The Lord will be there to wipe away our tears (Isaiah 25:8 and Revelation 7:17). And our most important duties will be to rejoice and worship The Lord.
Who was the first king of Israel?
Who built the first temple in Israel?
Which king was made to eat grass like oxen?
What king prayed to God for deliverance, with the result that the angel of the Lord slew 185,000 Assyrians?
What king was tricked into throwing Daniel into the lion' den?
1 large box strawberry Jello
2 cups hot water
1 cup cold water
1 angel food cake
1/2 small box sliced strawberries
Mix jello and water together. Tear up half of cake into chunks and pour half of hot jello over cake. Put half of strawberries and Cool Whip on top. Layer again. Refrigerate.
Saul (1 Samuel 9:17)
Solomon (1 Kings 6 )
Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:32,33)
Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:35)
Darius (Daniel 6:1-17)
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.
We love you!
Loretta & Jon