Even the most optimistic person, with the sunniest disposition, recognizes that there are millions who live with pain, who are abused by powerful people, who struggle to survive. Health care in America this year will top $3 trillion, about 18% of our total economy! Even accounting for unnecessary procedures, we can see that sickness and disease remains a real issue even in this developed nation. Eventually everyone encounters the limits in life that come with advancing years. Franklin wryly observed, along with taxes, the other certainty is death. Is there hope for healing?

Matthew tells us that “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.” (Matthew 4:23-25, NIV)

Let’s consider that word – healing – which causes so much controversy among Christians. Should we pray for healing? Does God still heal people today? Yes, we should, and yes, He does. Sickness and suffering are part of sin’s curse in this world and we know that Jesus came to defeat Satan, to forgive sin, and to invite us into God’s kingdom.  The restoration of health in body and spirit are benefits available to the Believer. That said, I take issue with those who declare that with enough faith we can enjoy miraculous healing of every disease, healing on demand. God allows some Christians to suffer, many become sick, and eventually we all die. However, we can experience the power of Jesus and find, in Him, a life that knows His touch and wholeness and hope in every situation.

One of the errors about healing is that is often seen as an event rather than a lifestyle. Jesus calls us into a relationship with Him. When we are obedient disciples, living as He desires – forgiving, loving, treating our bodies with respect, avoiding the sins of the flesh, finding a balance in worship and work, refusing to let anxiety own us – we generally find ourselves healthier in every way; healed. Healing is also a word about our spiritual state. Without Christ, we have no hope of eternal life. In Him, we are fully assured that when the body wears out we will leave behind what C. S. Lewis called the ‘shadowland,’ and fully become the glorious children of God in His Presence.

Here’s a pointed question – are you living a whole life in the fullness of the Spirit?
Or, are you defying God, refusing His gracious offer of healthy living and then expecting Him to miraculously step in and make it all better?

The word from the Word comes to us from the Psalms today. It is a celebration of the whole life that we find when we turn to our God. The entire Psalm is beautiful but for the sake of brevity, here is a part for your meditation today. May it point us towards a life that is whole, that knows the goodness of our Father.

“Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.” (Psalm 107:17-22, NIV)

Living Hope
(a song about the healing we find in Him)

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night

Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope 

Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own

Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

 Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Jesus Yours is the victory whoa
Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham © 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

CCLI License # 810055

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