Monday, February 18, 2008
If You are Suffering From Sickness, READ THIS!
If you are a Christian and you are suffering with an illness of some kind be encouraged. God has not forsaken you. I know it may feel like it but He hasn’t. I have received great comfort from Psalm 13, a Psalm of David. This Psalm has taught me that one of the major problems with suffering is dealing with anger and bitter feelings towards God Himself. We have been taught the new wave message of “positive confession”, but what God really desires from us is an honest confession. Out of all the books in the Bible, the one that has delivered me the most is the Psalms. To many believers Psalms is just a collection of praise song. Many theologians look at Psalms, Proverbs, and especially Ecclesiastes as books without much doctrinal weight or value. How wrong they are! Through all of my trials and tribulations, I have been able to find a point of contact and understanding by reading Psalms. My favorite Psalm is Psalm 13.
After you read it you may wonder, “How can this depressing psalm be someone’s favorite?” This is the most honest prayer in the scriptures. David asked God a question, “How long will you forget me Lord?” This honesty in prayer helped me realize that God wants to hear everything we have to say, the good and the bad. David felt abandoned by God. I can identify with this feeling. For the last three years I have been battling sickness. I have been poked, prodded, and examined. I have had Scarlet Fever. I have been misdiagnosed with Osteomylitis (bone infection). I was on an IV for 8 weeks; my lungs were scanned and X-rayed to find growths. I have granulomas (lesions) in different parts of my body that causes severe pain in my joints and my eyes, and the cause of all of this is an incurable illness called Sarcoidosis. I began to recite Psalm 13 as though I wrote it. The good news is found in the 5th and 6th verses. David obviously recalled how the Lord had been merciful and kind to him in the past. David’s was to continue to trust in the mercy of God and hope in the loving-kindness of the Lord. I feel that many of our prayers go unanswered because we are not honest with God. However David felt, that what he expressed to the Master. This is one of the keys to being a man after God’s own heart.”
13:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? (David felt like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had forsaken him. At times if we are honest, we feel the same way.)
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? (David was going through extreme emotional distress. Chronic illness can cause this kind of emotional trauma in ones life.)
3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; (David is not afraid to let the Lord know how distraught he is, and at the same time he makes his supplications known to God. I believe God honors an honest confession more than a positive one.)
4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. (David was able to trust in the Lord’s mercy because he had a relationship with Him. David although discouraged was able to rebound because of his love for the Lord)
5 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (One of the keys to getting through a stressful season is to give God praise through it all)
This Psalm has helped me get through my most painful moments because it reminds me that God has and will continue to deliver me. We must trust in God’s sovereignty as well as His power. Trusting in His ability to know what is best for us takes more faith than running around “naming and claiming” everything. I was at a revival and someone asked me, “Have I claimed my healing yet?” I was really disturbed at this question; I realized that this person really did not know the Lord or me very well. If they knew me they would know I love the Lord with all my heart and whether I am healed or not I still love Him. If they really knew me they would know that I believe in the healing power of God but I also trust in His timetable and sovereignty. Don’t be discouraged saints of God; the Lord is on your case. The grace of God can keep us through all of our trials and tribulations no matter how severe they might be.