Summary: Let me ask you this question: Have you decided to live? Have you truly embraced your own life? Or have you lost hope? Life can be really hard sometimes. And crazy things happen. We wonder if we can keep going. But I’m telling you today that if you’re here, then it’s not over yet.
“The school system in a large city had a program to help children keep up with their school work during stays in the city's hospitals. One day a teacher who was assigned to the program received a routine call asking her to visit a particular child. She took the child's name and room number and talked briefly with the child's regular class teacher. "We're studying nouns and adverbs in his class now," the regular teacher said, "and I'd be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn't fall too far behind."
The hospital program teacher went to see the boy that afternoon. No one had mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upset at the sight of the boy, she stammered as she told him, "I've been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs." When she left she felt she hadn't accomplished much.
But the next day, a nurse asked her, "What did you do to that boy?" The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. "No, no," said the nurse. "You don't know what I mean. We've been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He's fighting back, responding to treatment. It's as though he's decided to live."
Two weeks later the boy explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way: "They wouldn't send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?" -Bits & Pieces, July 1991.
Let me ask you this question: Have you decided to live? Have you truly embraced your own life? Or have you lost hope? Life can be really hard sometimes. And crazy things happen. We wonder if we can keep going. But I’m telling you today that if you’re here, then it’s not over yet. You still have a chance. And you can still have hope.
Don’t give up. Believe that things can be different. Believe that God can change anything. Any addiction can be removed. Any pain can be healed. It’s not over yet. In fact you’re just getting started. Now is the time to have hope. And to embrace change.
Pray my friends. Cry out to God. Go into your quiet place, in the living, in the bedroom, and cry out to God. Let your tears speak your words. Our scripture today posed the question: Is anyone among you suffering? And it answers: Let him pray.
And then it says, “Is anyone among you cheerful?” Let them sing songs. Life isn’t always hard and painful either is it? There a good times too. There are happy times. There are joyous times. I remember growing up playing in the woods, and loving every minute of it.
Are you struggling? Then pray! Very simple. But how often do we forget to pray? We worry about it. We stress. We get angry. We complain about it to our friends. We go and try to force things to go our way. But we forget to pray! Prayer is powerful my friends. In fact the word of God says “pray at all times” and “pray without ceasing” and “don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything, making your requests known to God.”
Even Jesus our savior, when he was in the garden of Gethsemane, so afraid and miserable and stressed about going to the cross that he was sweating blood, what did he do in the garden? He prayed. If Jesus had to pray, how much more should we pray when we are in need?
Then verses 14 and 15 answer the question of sick and illness. It says, “ 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
That’s pretty powerful. If you are sick, you should have others pray for you. I often ask for prayer, sometimes I’ll ask people personally, text somebody, or I’ll even post on Facebook, here’s my prayer request, please pray! And tons of people will comment and pray for me.
But we also see this biblical practice of gathering the elders of the church, those who are in authority over the body, and then someone who is sick will gather with them, and they’ll anoint their head with oil, and pray for them, and they’ll be healed. And not only that, it says if they’ve committed sins, they’ll be forgiven. Something about the gathering of the body of Christ, brings about healing, which of course comes from the Lord himself, but God works through people. He works through us.