God wants to and does heal. How should we ask God to heal and what is our role in the healing process? Do we have a role in helping others to be healed?
These are the notes taken live during services as captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. This is not a word for word transcript. For the exact wording, please consult the audio recording.
Thank you for your prayers for 19-year-old Darrah Decker from Akron, Ohio. Since being struck by a car, Darrah has been through three surgeries and had her broken left leg, broken right arm, and cracked pelvis repaired. Each of these areas are healing nicely. The puncture in her lung has healed and her bruised liver has recovered. As the bones heal, the therapists will work with her so she can begin walking and using her right arm normally. Thank you very much for your prayers. It is always very encouraging to see God’s intervention. Your prayers are requested for Nettie Hotz, a member of the Grand Junction, Colorado, congregation. After [some] testing, Nettie was informed [just before the Feast] that she has cancer. Nettie is 80 years of age and… has asked for prayers on her behalf that God’s will in her life be done. Prayers are requested for Geneva Smith of Ackerman, Mississippi. After many medical tests, Geneva was informed by her doctor that she has Alzheimer’s.
Please pray that God’s will be done in this situation. Stephen Sumani, from Accra, Ghana, would like to thank everyone for [their] prayers and… he has been greatly encouraged by the cards he has received from congregations and individuals around the world, and since it is not possible for him to respond to them all, he wants you to know how much this means to him! His health has improved a great deal, and he was able to attend the Feast and attend services every day for which he was very grateful! While the digestive problems have improved, they have not gone away. Unless God decides to completely heal him, these are likely issues he will have to deal with permanently. Prayers are requested for Gale Valentine, the teenage daughter of Mr. Junior Valentine, a member in Jamaica. Gale suffers from frequent attacks of epilepsy and is being considered for surgery within a few months. Your prayers are requested for Carol Hirschman of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, congregation. She entered the St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa [three weeks ago this past] Wednesday and has been diagnosed with lung cancer. This is just a small sampling of the prayer requests we get from the Home Office.
The bulletin today is a double bulletin because of the prayer requests. Many of you are not well. Maybe you have issues and you don’t know what they are. Some are chronic. Some seem small. One gentleman has a ringing in his ears. It won’t take his life, but it is a constant annoyance. Others may suffer with chronic pain or with cancer. Physical ailments are the norm for the Church of God. You could take a survey; most would be suffering from something. Everyone wants to be healed. They want to feel like they did when they were 16. Today I want to begin a two part sermon on healing. Do we know what our responsibility is in healing? What does God expect of us? There are things we are expected to do. We also need to understand what to expect of God. We should not expect Him to do something He didn’t promise or is not ready to do. Whether you are sick or not, you have a part to play in healing. I want to look at your responsibility in healing. We all get sick at one time or another. It may be something for life; it may just be a cold. First, recognize we can’t go it alone. We need God’s help. God created our bodies. He knows how they work. He designed our bodies to work perfectly within ourselves. We can’t go it alone. We can’t self heal ourselves. God is the absolute source of healing.
Psalm 103:1-3 Vs. 3 – “Iniquities” means sin. God is the only one capable of removing the penalty of sin from our life. H5771 עוון עון ‛avon ‛avon aw-vone', aw-vone' From H5753; perversity, that is, (moral) evil: - fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin. Vs. 3 – “Diseases” is sicknesses. Those issues that go on in our bodies. H8463 תּחלא תּחלוּא tachalu' tachalu' takh-al-oo', takh-al-oo' From H2456; a malady: - disease, X grievous, (that are) sick (-ness). God created our bodies. He knows what is wrong before we do. God can heal the issues in our bodies. But God is more interested in our spiritual health. He wants to heal that part of us. He wants us to grow and overcome. After we recognize we need help, what is the next step? Here is a command of what we should do when we are sick: James 5:13-14 “Suffering” means to undergo hardship. To endure affliction. G2553 κακοπαθέω kakopatheo kak-op-ath-eh'-o From the same as G2552; to undergo hardship: - be afflicted, endure afflictions (hardness), suffer trouble.
Thayer Definition: 1) to suffer (endure) evils (hardships, troubles) 2) to be afflicted Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from the same as G2552 Citing in TDNT: 5:936, 798 We are commanded to pray and ask God to help clear the road and show us which way we should go. Vs. 13 – If some great blessing comes along, we are command to sing songs. To praise God. To thank God for that situation. Vs. 14 – “Sick” means to be feeble or to be diseased or without strength. G770 ἀσθενέω astheneō as-then-eh'-o From G772; to be feeble (in any sense): - be diseased, impotent folk (man), (be) sick, (be, be made) weak. Thayer Definition: 1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless 2) to be weak in means, needy, poor 3) to be feeble, sick Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G772 Citing in TDNT: 1:490, 83 At some point, we have been able to give ourselves one of these attributes. The command is to call on the elders of the Church. To be anointed. “Elders” means a person in an office. It doesn’t mean to call Mr. Kilough, the president of the Church. It is not a matter of contacting the most important elder. Trophimus was a good friend of Paul. If Paul was a good friend, who would you call for an anointing? Paul! He did; God chose not to heal him. So it is not important how important the elder is. The important thing is to contact an elder. Anointing is a duty of the elders. Mr. Woodbridge and I have this duty.
You will see one of these little bottles of olive oil. The minister will take a drop and anoint your head with it. It is not the amount of oil. It is symbolic of the spirit living in us. We pray and anoint you with that oil. God intervenes for us. Don’t go it alone. Sometimes, we think, I won’t bother Mr. Dowd or Mr. Woodbridge with that. My feeling is that we are saying to God, “James 5:14 doesn’t apply to me in this case. I know it says I need an elder to anoint me, but I will be fine.” I would be very careful with that kind of statement. If we are sick, we ask for anointing. Don’t think your ailment is too small. You are not bothering God. God wants to hear from you. He has extended the opportunity for eternal life; is there anything too small for God? YOU ARE NOT BOTHERING ME! This is one of the fun parts of being a minister. You get to go to God and we get to be there and help. That is a great aspect of our job. If you are not feeling well, your job is to ask for an anointing. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Another translation says humble yourselves and cast all your distractions on Him. We are to put all these things on God. We say to God, “Here. I’m going to forget about it and live my life to the best of my ability, following You.” Vs. 7 – “Care” means showing interest and concern for you. G3308 μέριμνα merimna mer'-im-nah From G3307 (through the idea of distraction); solicitude: - care. Thayer Definition: 1) care, anxiety Part of Speech: noun feminine A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3307 (through the idea of distraction) Citing in TDNT: 4:589, 584 God cares for us. He is interested in us. When we hurt, He hurts. One of the reasons Christ came was so He could know what it is like to be human. He is the intercessor between us and the Father. He can explain the human oriented feelings to the Father. God wants us to be happy and well. If we can’t come in person, what happens then?
Acts 19:11-12 Here we see the use of the little handkerchiefs. If you call for an anointed cloth, you will get a piece of fabric with a drop of oil on it. We will send a letter with instructions with it. We get that from this scripture. Paul was one man; lots of people needed to be anointed. These cloths were sent out for healing. Vs. 12 – These were not only used for physical healing, but for healing of attitudes. Will God heal you? Yes. 100% guaranteed. The question is when. That is where as humans we get anxious. It has been two days. I’m still sick. It has been two years. I’m still sick. I challenge you to find anything in the Bible where God promises to do something and He didn’t do it. You won’t find it. We have to ask to be anointed and put it in God’s hands. It may not come in this life, but it will when Christ returns. Gary Moore, a member from Oklahoma City congregation died Sabbath morning. He rallied some on Friday and it appeared that he might survive this recent heart attack. But, he got much worse on the Sabbath and God has given him rest from his many physical ailments. Gary’s health issues for the past several years helped him to focus on the Kingdom of God and the deliverance that God’s Kingdom will bring from all the pain and suffering on the earth today. God will decide when to heal us. Our responsibility is to acknowledge the faith and ask for an anointing. Don’t ask for repeat anointing. If you hip hurts again next week, don’t ask for both me and Mr. Woodbridge to anoint you. “Sorry God. Maybe you were busy last Sabbath; can we do this again?” No, you can’t. You’ve already followed through on the command. Here are three examples of healing in God’s time.
Matthew 8:1-3 God can choose to heal you immediately. I’ve heard numerous stories about people calling for a cloth for a sick child; the pastor is not home; they leave a message on their machine. From the time they left the message, the child is up and around and bouncing around. God does not need the minister to heal. He can heal whenever He wants. God wants to see how much faith you have and how you will exercise that faith. Matthew 9:18-22 Here is a healing that didn’t take place immediately, but it was fairly soon thereafter. 2 Timothy 4:19-20 Vs. 20 – Trophimus one of Paul’s friends. No doubt he asked for anointing. No doubt Paul did. But he was sick enough he couldn’t continue the trip with Paul. He was an Ephesian Christian. “Sick” is the same word James used. It means to be sick or diseased. Acts 21:29 Don’t repeat the anointing for the same situation. We should not use the anointing process as an appeal or a way to beg. We should not demand healing of God. What if we are not sick? We still have a responsibility. The family of, Denise Fekete requests your prayers. Mrs. Fekete learned that she has intestinal cancer. About two weeks ago she had the stitches removed from the surgery, but shortly thereafter the incision began to reopen to a length of over 4”. Prayers were requested that no infection set in and that the incision would heal properly.
Mr. & Mrs. Fekete appreciate the many kind expressions of support they have received. It has been very encouraging for them to know that they are not alone in this trial. I think that phrase the Mr. Fekete writes, “not alone”, is right. We are all in this together. Godly love is all about compassion for each other. It is deliberately applied concern for one another. You deliberately come over and help. You deliberately call them. You deliberately drop a card in the mail. John 5:2-8 Here you have a miracle healing pool. For the purposes of magnifying and showing who Christ was, this angel would go down and heal the first person that stepped in the pool. Vs. 6 – He had been sick 38 years. Do you think Christ knew the answer to that question? Vs. 7 – He had some infirmity that caused him to be slow to move. He started getting up and someone else always beat him to the pool. Vs. 8 – This healing process took help. He didn’t have any help. We are all in this together. Those who are sick should not be in it alone. Mark 2:1-5 Vs. 1 – Capernaum became Jesus’ home base. Some commentaries say this was Jesus’ house. It was a house He had built. Vs. 3 – This man could not come near Christ by himself. But he had good friends to help him. Vs. 4 – We read this in our modern context. They destroyed the house! They took off the roof. Actually the houses had a removable roof. Some sort of tarp. When the sun wasn’t blaring down, you could remove it and increase the air flow. They rolled back the tarp.
Vs. 5 – It is interesting that is says, “When Jesus saw their faith” – it was not a one on one battle. It was not just the faith of the paralytic. It was not just the faith of the men. It was their collective faith they showed. Whatever it takes to gain presence to God the Father and Jesus Christ, you should do it. If it involves taking off the roof and letting your friend down, we should do it. We should pray for others; they should pray for us. This man couldn’t walk. But because of the friends he had he was healed. We need to think about others and pray on their behalf. In part 2, we will discuss whether if we are not healed, does it indicate a lack of faith? Does it mean when we are sick that it is because we have sinned? We will talk about miraculous healings, and why we don’t see as many as in the first century. You have a part to play in the healing process. We must recognize who our true Healer is. We are to call on the elders. It is not wrong to call on the medical field, but we must remember who our Healer is. God is concerned about minds. When Christ returns, these physical bodies will fall away. God is interested in our spiritual healing; turning away from our old self. We must exercise deliberate, applied concern for others.