Summary: How sickness can be good
Intro: We have been talking for the last few weeks about things that are common to all of us. Things that often look like failures in the eyes of the world, often can turn out to be successes in the eyes of God. This morning we want to look at one of these: Sickness. I’m sure sickness is something we can all relate to. There’s not a one of us who doesn’t get sick. Yet, often we look at our sickness only as a physical malady. This morning, realizing that everything about our life is spiritual, let’s look at the spiritual side of sickness. Shall we pray . . .
I’ll be the first to admit: sickness can be nasty. It can bring out the worst in us. Did you ever go up to someone who has a migraine headache? The least little disruption can bring out a vehement tongue-lashing. I’ll be the first to admit, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of a migraine, and I’m thankful for that. Please, no one pray that I get one so I can empathize. Ronda was very sick when she was pregnant: the least little movement would get her gagging, nauseous, and about to regurgitate. Yet, these are trivial sicknesses, because we know they are short-term. Many people live in daily pain, knowing the pain will never be eased or go away until they are freed from their earthly body. These are the saints who truly know what it means to trust in the grace of God. Yet, in all of our sickness, let’s remember that there are lessons we can learn: we can see God turn our sickness into a great success in our life.
I. Sickness is a success when God provides healing: When God says YES
Did you ever know anyone who was really sick, and God worked in a miraculous way? I’m not talking just a headache, but a visible, tangible miracle of his healing power? I believe God can still work miracles of healing today. Yet, so often those who look for the miracles of healing are looking for them in the wrong places. So often those who need healing go out to some special “Holy Ghost Anointed Messenger Healing Service” and listen to someone plead for their money and heal just a few people of internal diseases that can’t be verified. There are a lot of charlatans and quacks out there, going from city to city and on TV who make it look like multitudes are healed, but when asked, they can’t give out the name or address of anyone who was healed.
Yet, God does heal. Growing up, there was a family who would visit our church from time to time. The husband lost his sight in one eye. He ended up getting a glass eye. God did a miracle and restored his sight in his eye.
Barbara Johnson tells the story of her husband. He was declared blind, I think, or some major problem, and God restored his sight.
In college, a guy I had some classes with developed terminal cancer. He was given 6 months to live. The whole school made his healing a matter of prayer. He had dropped out of school for a semester. The next year he returned with the report: the cancer was completely gone. God is a God of healing. Look with me at 2 Kings 5.
Read 2 Kings 5:1-8, 14-17
Here is just one example, and we could give many, how God takes sickness and uses it as a testimony of the power of God. When you get sick, really sick, and God intervenes--what a wonderful opportunity to testify of the power of God. But, it is up to you to give the testimony of the healing to God. When we get sick, let’s look to God first. We realize that God uses medicine-- in the parable of the Good Samaritan, he rubs oil and wine into his wounds. Let’s not go to the extreme of saying “God will provide” and refusing medicine or treatment. The Bible talks about a fool in his folly. But let’s not trust alone in medicine. We pray for God to work, and take all the help doctors can give us. But when healing comes, let’s give praise to God.
Most of us will probably not experience miraculous healing, but we will see God provide his help in the times of our sickness. Let’s look to him for his healing power. But there is another time when we see our sickness as a success.
II. Sickness is a success when our healing takes time: when God says WAIT!
We know that all sickness is not healed instantaneously. There are some who would tell us that if you are not healed there is sin in your life. I have heard well-known televangelists teach this. There are some who say that Christ healed all your diseases. Yet, in Isaiah 53 we see the disease we are healed from is the sickness of sin in our lives. Good men of God get sick. In 2 Kings 13:14 we see Elisha, the man who had twice the power of the Spirit that Elijah did - the man who healed Namaan the leper - yet he has a sickness and dies. God does not always choose to heal. Sometimes we know that we need to be patient in waiting for God’s healing to come. Sometimes it comes in stages.