Grace For Healing

'I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the Lord.

grow in adversity
Today’s post we’re looking at how to grow in adversity. We’ve all heard Nietzsche’s expression ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ This is cliché but in essence completely in line with the Word of God. If you’re British, you’ll know the story of Katie Piper. Katie was a model and TV presenter when she became a victim of a horrific acid attack, scaring her for the rest of her life and causing her to spend the rest of her days having skin grafts and operations. Her injuries were life threatening and left her broken and destroyed from the inside out. Katie could have locked herself away for the rest of her life, hiding her scars form the world but instead she allowed God to turn what was meant for her harm into something good. Fast forward many years, Katie is now the founder of a successful charity helping other burns victims, has hosted various TV shows and has written an incredible book inspiring others to never give up hope. What caused Katie to grow in adversity when so many others are unable to?  (more…)

We will always have a choice. We can allow our suffering to destroy us or we can let God do what only He can do, and use it for the better. The spies went into the land. The 2 that said ‘these giants are food for us’ lived a long and successful life, the 10 that said ‘these giants will devour us’ died before entering the Promised Land. How do you see your problems? Do you see your illness as something that you can feed from or as something that will devour you?

When hearing sermons about the 12 spies, we often hear about the ‘grasshopper mentality’ or the importance of seeing the greatness of God over the size of our problems. Both these teachings are great but we rarely hear of how Joshua and Caleb’s viewpoint, meant they knew they would be made better off as a result of ‘fighting’ the giants. The 2 spies said that ‘giants are like bread to us’. I love how The Message puts it ‘And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch!

Joshua and Caleb saw their enemies as their lunch; almost as though it was a need to see them through the day. They saw his opposition as an opportunity for them to grow. I think if most of us had a choice we would never choose suffering despite any benefits it brings but this just isn’t the viewpoint the two spies had. They wanted to grow in adversity. They thrived on the idea of their obstacle causing them to flourish. These 2 spies had a growth mindset. The 10 negative spies had a fixed mindset, they couldn’t see themselves developing any further.

Food is a necessity. It’s where we get our physical strength, energy and nourishment from. Food is essential to our growth. I love what Joel Osteen says: ‘Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you’. I think Joshua and Caleb knew the giants in the land were there for them. When you know that ‘in all things, God works for the good’ then you’re confident that the pain you’re suffering with, will never be wasted. You can keep a peace. Getting stressed and worrying won’t change anything and could make symptoms appear worse. God will use it to your advantage, you need only be patient. This growth doesn’t automatically fall into our laps though; it’s not inevitable. We must choose to allow God to work in us whilst we’re on the journey.

So how do we grow in adversity?:

  1. You see things you would never have seen before the trial so looking out for those things is key. Think of climbing a mountain. The higher you climb, the greater your vision. What can you see now, that you couldn’t before?
  2. Choose to see your problem as an opportunity for God to move in a greater way. The 10 spies who saw the giants as bigger than God all died with none of them entering the Promised land. Joshua and Caleb knew the giants were nothing compared to the size of their God.
  3. Refuse to be a victim and allow God to turn the situation into your turning point. You have an inner strength, a resolve, that you’re probably unaware of. If you want to grow in adversity have a different spirit like Joshua and Caleb.
  4. Give God the glory in advance of the elimination of symptoms. It’s easy to praise when everything is going well but praising throughout the journey shows how your love for the Lord is unconditional and that you completely trust He will do as He has promised.
  5. Meditating on Scripture, listening to sermons, basking in His presence will set your mind in the right direction and help you to overcome self-pity, negativity and fear. Its so easy to allow our emotions to get the better of us especially when we’ve been unwell for a long time or the diagnosis is particularly grueling. Focusing on what God says will act as the anti-dote to these as His words will drown out all the negative voices.
  6. Be grateful and appreciate all those things you may have missed or were too busy to notice before: the gift of time, the strength to get dressed in the morning, the ability to breathe. Have you thanked God today for all the parts of your body which are healthy? Some days I go through my body parts thanking God that they work and are pain-free. It’s so easy for our minds to be on the one part of our body that’s suffering.
  7. Start ministering to others in your suffering. It will get your mind off yourself if nothing else and you may be surprised how God will use you. In Job we read of how Job saw release from his suffering after he began praying for others. As you reach out to others, God’ll cause your ability to be compassionate or even empathic towards others to increase. Compassion is a seed. The more you water it, the more it will develop in you. If you want to grow in adversity, then start putting this into practice.

See your sickness as something that has the potential to advance you. Like food it makes you stronger, healthier and even more beautiful. God wants us to rise higher and flourish in our problems. Joshua and Caleb had a growth mindset, believing that everything is subject to change, even themselves. We cannot, in and of ourselves, handle our adverse circumstances. Jesus said ‘without me you can do nothing’, our focus always has to be Him.

Do you see your adversity as something that you can feed from?

 

 

 

can healing be earned?We’re living in a world where unless you do something good, you won’t receive a reward: You have to come first in sports in order to win a medal or you need to get good grades at school in order to get into the right college. Some parents have these types of conditions on their children. ‘You have to be good or Santa won’t bring you any toys.’ But can healing be earned? We know that not everyone receives their healing so how does God decide?  (more…)

One of the most well known New Testament verses is

The Law came from Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:4-17

We need to be careful however that we don’t translate the world’s ways into our relationship with God. When we mess up, God doesn’t stop speaking to us as some Christians think. He doesn’t turn his back on us, waiting for us to apologise. That’s the sort of immature behaviour you’d expect from a child. Think of the father in the story of The Prodigal Son. He ran to his son, before his son repented.  And so God does with us when we fail. His arms are open wide, wanting us to turn to Him, not away from Him.

The number of people I’ve heard say that they don’t expect God to heal them because they know they don’t deserve it. Or they up the serving in Church thinking that God is more likely to heal because of it. They haven’t understood that healing is part of grace, ‘unearned, undeserved favour’.

If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise works is no more works Rom 11:6

Grace is a gift, all we can do is receive it. If we earned or deserved it, it wouldn’t be grace. If you remember the Pharisees tried to earn from God, their self-righteousness prevented them from receiving.

When the father of the prodigal son gave his son the ring, robe and sandals, the other brother was jealous. He was annoyed that his younger brother was forgiven and resented him being celebrated with the fatted calf.

‘All I have is yours…’

The older son failed to understand that all these things were already his. He thought he had to earn his father’s love and blessings. And so some believers are with God. Healing belongs to you, a gift of God’s grace. It has nothing to do with being deserving. It has nothing to do with earning. It’s God’s unearned, underserved favour. All we need do is receive.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 2 Cor 9:8

In the Greek, the verse declares that God ‘is continually making all grace abound to us…’ God’s grace is continuous. The Bible talks of ‘grace upon grace upon grace…’. It never grows old and never stops. If you’ve had a bad medical report, God’s grace for healing, endurance and strength, is abounding to you (right now!). We don’t have to wait for it, it’s happening now. God is continually supplying whatever you need during this season. The problem we can sometimes have is expecting the end result instantly.

Think of the man with the withered hand. Jesus didn’t see what everyone else could see. He saw God making all grace abound towards the man. He called it forth.

What do you need from God right now? Ask God to give you the eyes to see the grace that surrounds you. He’s supplying to you right now.

A good prayer to pray each morning is ‘Lord, I receive the abundance of your grace today.’ Then receive it by faith. God’s grace empowers you to do what you could not do in your own strength. This helped me massively when I was unwell. I would pray this prayer first thing in the morning. I would hold out my hands and by faith see God’s grace abounding to me. As I would get out of bed and put my foot on the ground, I would ‘see’ a golden floor. (Remember the yellow brick road?!). As I spent the rest of the day walking on the golden road, I knew I would have everything I needed.

During your season of illness, God is gracing you with joy despite the affliction. He graces you with patience whilst you endure. He graces you with the ability to rise above the storm. He graces you with the ability to maintain a good attitude despite the suffering. God’s grace will cause you to stand out against the other people who are living with illnesses.

 

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