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.

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