Dealing with sickness

James 4:14

“Is any sick among you? let her call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over her, anointing her with oil in the name of the Lord:

When Christians are sick we can find ourselves unable to minister to ourselves and to not be able to keep or eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus. When suffering on our bed of sickness and feeling many weaknesses, we can be unable to ask God rightly, or just not be able to focus to the words we need to say. We easily become discouraged and our minds can become negative in aspects of our lives, because of the trial we are going through. There is a remedy provided for our benefit and God instructs us and the church leaders to express this manifestation of the grace of God. The prayer of a Godly person has the blessing of God with it and healing can ensue.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.”

John 15:4

The suffering saint can let it be known that they are finding the way of life difficult to walk. We can call to the church leaders to come and minister to us. This involves the meeting together, praying over the sick person for strength to recover and that the illness will be abated, in the will of God. The will of God is paramount, as it is He who decides our sicknesses and times of suffering. The are times when He requires us to prove His love through protracted periods for sickness. We pray in His name and according to His will. Solomon prays this prayer at the dedication of the temple, and it rings true for us too, as we depend entirely on the perfect will of God.

“Listen to the petitions of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yes, hear from your dwelling place, even from heaven; and when you hear, forgive.”

2 Chronicles 6:21

The suffering Christian is then anointed with oil. This is not necessarily an anointing for healing, but a testimony of the willingness of God to bless and keep, and that He may heal, but all according to His will. As the oil was poured as a blessing on the sick person, it was the reminder that they have the oil of purification from the Holy Spirit, as one of God’s children.

“Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them..”

Mark 11:24

The anointing is in the name of The Lord, so is not valueless or ineffective. It symbolises the grace poured out for all of us by the sacrificial death of Jesus our Saviour. The poured oil must not be forgotten and the implication that we are Queens and Kings of heaven and as such, the future is certain for us, wether we live or die.

“The Almighty will be your treasure, and precious silver to you. For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face to God. You shall make your prayer to him, and he will hear you. You shall pay your vows. You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established to you. Light shall shine on your ways.

When they cast down, you shall say, ‘be lifted up.’ He will save the humble person.

He will even deliver him who is not innocent. Yes, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job 22:25-30

God power is given to His people. The spirit resides within and those who seriously seek God will enjoy that full treasure. Those who are blessed will pray and their prayers will be answered. This should be Christian leaders, but very often, it is not. We can get defensive rather than concerned about our state before God. We justify ourselves and play down the messenger, so that we can carry on in the way we are used to. We will be no help to the suffering, and God will not be seen in what we do.

Are sisters and brothers sick? Are you encouraging them, and pouring oil on troubled lives? This is a measure of our own spirituality. God intimates that many Christians are sick and even die, due to lack of respect and solemnity at the Lord’s Table. (Communion) Our attitude to God’s ways is crucial and we obey Him with humility and contrition. We have nothing in ourselves, and must constantly readjust our attitudes to become more like Jesus our Lord. This is not easy, but we bring comfort and encouragement to each other, as we suffer in this pilgrim way.

‘You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures..’

James 4:3

Gods blessing and healing in sickness, is according to His will and our ultimate good, which we may not recognise. The Christian trusts God’s ways and enjoys His closeness and power.

His good pleasure

“For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:17

It is very easy to get discouraged about life in general and our service for God in particular. God does not ask us to do easy things. When we come to Him, we give Him everything, and we follow his purposes for our life until he brings us to heaven. We can find discouragement everywhere, and often the attitude of other people can make us weary, doubting and weak. We are comforted to know that God’s will always prevails. He will not allow us to finally fail, or let discouragement take a hold.

The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5

No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Our first point of help, is to bring it all to God. We can trust in Him and be sure of His love for us. But we will find ourselves doubting ourselves and wondering if God is really with us. Human help can be thin on the ground, and there may well be lack of any kind of support from the people around us in our lives. This can lead to further uncertainty and often it can be hard to go on.

This verse assures us of the purposes of God and good desires for God are given to the committed believer by God. The fact that you have the desire to serve God and make sacrifices for His sake, is a selfless desire, and in keeping with God’s purposes. As we desire to serve Him, He also gives us the resources, energy and everything we need to do the task He has given us to do.

As we work for God, and desire His ways of working, He will be glorified and He will be well pleased with our sacrifice. No one else might see it, or even acknowledge it, but He will reveal Himself to the faithful believer and the work they have done will produce good fruit.

The verse before, verse 16, calls us to…

“work our our salvation with fear and trembling”

We are called to follow God where ever He goes and where ever He leads. We are responsible for our walk with God and to keep a close relationship with Him. We must prove that we follow Him, and the times we are not able to serve as we would like, we will trust in the precious promises and wait for His time.

God will give us the desire to do whatever He wants us to do and his name will be glorified in us. This is true rest in God. His good pleasure is worked out in everything, and He will help us to pray rightly and be willing to obey His will, whatever it may be.

We don’t need to fret or get down about anything – His grace conquers all our fears.

For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.

Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times .. 2 Timothy 1:17

Contrition

James 4:10

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

If the stakes are so high and the fight so impossibly difficult, how are we to combat the enemy within and overcome? Certainly we cannot do it by ourselves, in fact we cannot do it at all. Our human powers are puny compared with what we face. We come back to seeking the Lord and throwing ourselves and all our troubles on Him.

We know who He is. He is the almighty God, the Sovereign maker and ruler of everything. He holds our life in His hands and our future is known to Him. Our only position before Him, is humility. We humble ourselves and ask of Him in a heartfelt contrite spirit. We cannot dupe His all-seeing mind and we cannot pretend to be desperate for His love, just to find an easy way out.

As we stand before His throne, we see ourselves as we really are. We realise we are destitute before Him and totally dependant on the majesty on high. As we prostrate ourselves in the presence of God we are truly humbled. Nothing will ever be the same again. We are in the position of our true state in God, and we are in the right mindset to commune and ask for mercy.

At the point of utter contrition, God sees us and has mercy on us. He forgives our sins and lifts us up to sit beside Him on His throne. This is not like the tyrants of our earthly regime who grab at power and hold onto it tightly. These tyrannical leaders are everywhere. They oppress and distress and disappoint so many.

Or mighty God is not such as they. We willingly shares His glory with those who are humble. He lifts them up in a way that they really know and understand is from Him. They are now rulers in the everlasting kingdom and will reign with the Saviour Jesus, when this present age is gone.

The folly of pride is clearly seen. All pride must go. If we are indulging in it, we will suffer total loss. Not everyone who names Christ is truly His. This should make us shudder, but unfortunately for many, it does not. Pride has taken such a hold that many cannot see their sin, and will never turn from it.

For the humble saint, who serves the outcast, and is obedient to the call of Christ to save those in great need, there is much tragedy and heartache in this world. They will not be recognised, because they are humble and their lives are a challenge to these false saints of God. The Saviour, Jesus, was rejected and put to death on a cruel cross. Why would we think we will be loved by the societies around us?

To follow Christ Jesus, is the greatest life and the only rewarding life. Those who humble themselves are exalted and on that last amazing day, when Jesus returns in the clouds, they will enter into all that God has in store for them…

The steadfast Believer

“Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”

Proverbs 4:36

The Christian believer cannot ever walk through life in a careless and thoughtless manner. We cannot read the Scriptures lightly or pray to our Father in heaven in a shoddy frame of mind. If we are to obey this directive we must be very conversant and clear about the truth of God. This is how we understand what He says, and eager to obey what our Saviour is saying to us.

To be steadfast is all life long desire and fight to over come sin and self. The focus is on where we go. Everywhere we find ourselves must be in the will of God. As we walk with God we are obeying His voice and making careful judgments about where we go and what we are doing there. Every step is in step with Christ.

As we walk we honour His name and make His presence our delight. It is easy to have a false walk where we just adjust our beliefs and behaviours to suit the company. We must be sure of that company and not be lead astray. Christians who walk worthy and obey fully, can reach out to unexpected people and in situations that most would find difficult. God raises His people, makes them bold and strong and saves the unlikely.

To walk steadfastly with careful attention to where we go, will produce a fruitful life for God. Others may not see it, but the Christian is happy with the daily company of their Lord and friend. May we be those people.

Lust of life

“You lust, and don’t have. You kill, covet, and can’t obtain. You fight and make war. You don’t have, because you don’t ask.” James 4:2

What lengths we go to, to get what we want. Our human sinful desires are powerful and will keep us in chains and away from God forever. We see things we like and we really want them, sometimes even when they will damage us. We covet the things that are offered in this world, and grieve for them for long times and end up bitter and disappointed when we don’t get them. Some people are overcome with apathy and the disappointment they feel becomes too heavy, so they substitute nothing. They blot out their desires and dreams and pretend to themselves that their lives are ok. That is such a tragic place to be, and only as we seek God can we be delivered from that prison.

Other people will go to any lengths to get what they want. Killing others. Perhaps not physical killing, but undermining and discouraging other people to keep them down. Often we measure ourselves by what others think, rather than what the Scripture says. The inner desire to possess and the wanting of things, can become almost unbearable. We can listen to philosophies that kill our conscience and legitimate dreams, and we take on board the idea that if we work hard and do all the right things, we will be ultimately successful and get everything we want. This is an insidious lie and is the root of apathy and spiritual death.

The arena of work can be very destructive. People, try to get to the top and get acclaim and recognition, even in so-called Christian circles, and it poisons the mind comprehensively. We really want to be recognised in our group, but we don’t get the position we wanted and when we do, it’s burden to us. We pick arguments with other groups in order to “big” ourselves up and get our followers motivated for combat. But it is fake, because there is no substance or sincerity about it.

No matter how hard we try to reach the top, we cannot. We are always left craving for something more. For the Christian, God will keep you from all harm and will raise you for His glory at the proper time. What ever He has given you to do, do it with all your might and He will sustain you and make your work shine out in His time. We must keep a godly view on these issues. Should we listen to worldly ideas, we will quickly succumb to its deadening agenda.

All the Christian has to do to fulfil their wishes and goals, is to ask God. The only reason we don’t have success and joy, is that we are finding our own way around our desires, and not bringing them to God. God is very straightforward with us. “Ask and it will be given to you.” The asking proves our faith and dependence on His holy will.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:67

“Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in him, and he will do this: he will make your righteousness go forth as the light, and your justice as the noon day sun.”

Psalm 37:5-6

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

So many Scriptures on this aspect of life. Love for God is the key and if we use it, we receive our hearts desire. We do not have to sacrifice family, marriages, callings… all is of God and as we trust Him, He will bring it all to pass.

As He is

“We shall see Him as He is..” 1 John 3:3

Christians who live in time and space walk through life in the power of faith. Faith is the obvious presence of God in the life of a believer. It is a sure evidence that there is a God and a Spiritual life ahead for the Christian. It is our hope and our certain reward in the life to come.

When we step out in time and into the eternal realm, all our faith and hope will gaze upon the reality of heaven. In the centre of it all will be the Lord Jesus Christ. We will see Him for who He is and see Him for ourselves. His form, His face, His human body with the radiance of glory streaming out from His person.

We will see the scars, caused by human sin and see His as our Saviour and Deliverer. We shall worship Him and rejoice in a joy not able to be expressed by human words. And yet will will express our love and devotion. Heaven will

be filled with praises far beyond human thought or invention. As we see Him, all loves will acquiesce and all sorrows will fall away. As we see Him in all His glory, we also will shine like the heavens and this will be our reward. Everything we do in that kingdom will be glory-filled and every power and ability we possess will be shed as pure light, out across eternity.

Can you say this small phrase?

If you have no appetite for this heavenly life, you do not know life in God at all. This view of Jesus and His kingdom is for all those who believe.

Recovery of mind

One day, my Bi Polar will come to full fruition. All the abilities I have been given will be seen in all their glory. I will not need to be afraid of them because they are gifts from God. Never again will they be regarded as a disability.

I have heard Autistic people say similar things. The suffering of the mind is not what non-sufferers think. We are not being punished, or rejected by God, or possessed by the devil and his demons. We have abilities that other people don’t have. It is easy to be afraid of mind sufferers, because of these abilities, to know the mind and understand it.

When society in general doesn’t recognise certain abilities, it is made a problem for the sufferer. In some circles, mind sufferers are so rejected and isolated, it triggers episodes. Episodes don’t happen on their own, and nothing is an accident. To analyse and understand what is happening, is left to the sufferer. As time goes on, the sufferer becomes strong and able to process things that “normal” people can not.

The negative prejudice is enhanced by the media and reporting of crimes. This affects the sufferer and psychologically engenders a particular view of themselves and the attitudes of other people.

Some try to balance up the stigma, but it is difficult to do. Psychiatric hospital is unknown and unexplored by people in general. It is a place not talked about and a place of shame and blame. This is a difficult stigma to break open and let people see it as a place of refuge for people who are so hurt by “normal” life. Psychiatric hospital is a place of help and healing for people who’s mind is troubled and in confusion. This is the last big stigma for society to face.

The person suffering in mind and emotion, has to find healing for their illness and also carry the burdens of family, friends and society who don’t understand and just see the problem as something to be contained. The problem comes from the sufferer and the situation the person is living in and issues they are facing, are not considered relevant. Non-sufferers do not usually follow up support for themselves or to pursue understanding of what the sufferer has gone through.

I would ask people everywhere to seek to know the cause, pain and ways to recovery that mind sufferers go through. There is life after illness and families can be strengthened as they all face up to what is happening. Sufferers are not victims or feeble minded people, but people who have been chosen to be strong and to bear burdens for other people.

I rejoice to have such a privilege to suffer for others, as Christ suffered for me, and I will fight with everything I have to uphold my family and keep them all on board. I would love them to understand and see that we are all crucial to each other and we should be helping each other and reaching out to support and love each other. I leave this outcome with God as I know that He is able to keep us all.

Women who glorify God