Grace For Healing
God wants you well
patient in affliction

If you’ve been chronically ill for many years you probably already know how to be patient in affliction.

Patience is often an unpopular word and experience. When I was a child, before the days of iPads, I would plague my parents during car journeys by asking ‘are we nearly there yet?’.

Children wait well when they are occupied.

With God, how you wait matters and how you occupy this waiting time is significant.

Living with a chronic illness involves being patient for the long haul which is painfully tough during those years of affliction. It’s easy to think what we’re waiting for will never arrive. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Rom 12:12

PATIENT IN AFFLICTION

 

I’ve shared before the story of Admiral John Stockdale, a Vietnam prisoner of war who survived years of brutal tortue. When he was asked in an interview why he survived and 100’s of others didn’t he said this:

“the way I survived was this; I realised I had to retain a fundamental belief that I would prevail in the end. But I also had to confront daily the brutal facts of my current reality.”

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Are you confronting a daily battle of symptoms whilst trusting God for breakthrough? Admiral Stockdale knew how to be patient in affliction.

Hebrews 6:12 says we’re to ‘imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.’ 

 

1. MEDITATE ON GOD’S PROMISES

 

God’s Word is medicine, reaching parts of us that physical medicine cannot reach. See FAITH COMES BY HEARING (THEN HEALING FOLLOWS)

This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.

Ps 119:50

God’s Word will

  • give you life: energy, strength, breath, substance, motivation…all the things you need to feel alive. 

 

 

  • become your belief system. Admiral Stockdale had a belief system that caused him to stay the course. When your belief system is rooted in God’s Word, you’ll keep on going.

The woman with the issue of Blood, suffered for many years still had faith for healing.  Her symptoms were persistent, doctors had disappointed her, the emotional grief was massive. But she took hold of the word and spent time meditating on it. 

 

2. RECEIVE GOD’S COMFORT

 

2 Cor 1:3-4 tells us that God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…

At the beginning of my journey, I would often turn to my family members or faith filled friends for support, not realising that I was hindering the work God wanted to do in me.

When we turn to the external for comfort – alcohol, other people, social media and the internet etc, it only soothes temporarily, then we need to do it again. We don’t grow or move forward. 

I believe God is asking us to turn to Him directly. The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead is inside you, comforting you.

 

3. CONSIDER NOT YOUR OWN BODY

 

God gave Abraham the promise he would be ‘Father of many nations’ but it was 20 years until the fulfillment of the promise. So how was he patient in his affliction? 

And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body. Rom 4:19 

I think this is a challenge for anyone who is confronting symptoms each day. Taking our eyes off the problem and onto God’s promises. Or, doing exactly what the Israelites were asked to do when they were bitten by snakes. See MOSES AND THE BRONZE SERPENT. HOW NOT TO PRAY

So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Num 21:9

This is a shadow of the cross. When we see Jesus, carrying our sickness on the cross, we live. 

 

4. KEEP A GRATITUDE DIARY

 

What are you grateful for today? I don’t mean the big things, but those small things that you probably have filtered out. A smile from someone? The scent of an orange, the blossom on the tree….

I call them glimmers. Those tiny snapshot moments that, if we were to savour them, would help our nervous systems come back into regulation. It’s so easy to focus on our symptoms all day long because we have a negativity bias, which reinforces it.

Recognising glimmers helps us to reset our brains to notice the light in the darkness, no matter how small. 

 

5. BE OUTCOME INDEPENDENT

 

Of course the one thing we all want is healing asap but if this is the goal then we’ll get frustrated and disappointed. This releases cortisol into the body which only amplifies our symptoms. 

I’m trying to have the attitude ‘What is going well for me today?….. how can I enjoy today?…..And of course a daily walk with Jesus is the priority.

It’s a way of getting my eyes of the pain, the loss and grief and onto the ‘light’.

I love working with my clients, spending time with friends, being in nature, forests, the sea, bright colours, pastoral work at church and of course being with the Lord. 

What do you love despite your present limitations? It’s really learning to be in the present. See HOW TO REJOICE IN OUR SUFFERINGS. HERE’S MY TAKE!

How would your life be different if you focused on other things instead of the pain? If you learnt how to make Jesus the goal and not healing?

If you feel this isn’t possible that’s ok. It’s taken many many years for me to be in this place. This is what patience in affliction means in practise in my life. How about you?

The fact you’re reading this, means that there is something in you that is still believing in God for healing. You haven’t given up! 

Well done, good and faithful servant! KEEP ON GOING. 

Lorna x

If you benefitted from this post, please read

WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING? 5 REASONS FOR PAIN

THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS (SO WHY FIGHT?)

 

 

In categories: The Healing Journey