A Christians approach to life situations part 7
Just about every Christian will have to deal with some form of illness in their life weather it be mild, severe, short or life long we need to learn how to deal with illness.
First, where did illness get its start? Who can we blame for it? Many try to blame God. Tell story about a Christian man who lost his son to cancer and how he studied the Bible for an answer and could find one that appeased him, so he blamed God and left the church.
Illness and death began in Gen. 3. The first person that caused illness was Satan. 2. The woman didnít have to heed is words but did. 3. Adam didnít have to eat the forbidden fruit, but did.
Illness can be very powerful and you can use it to grow closer to our farther away from God. Satan understood the power of Illness because after he had failed to get Job to sin after he took all his possession and his children he says this,
Job 2:4 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.† 5 "But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"† 6 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life."
However, we learn that not even this caused Job to sin because he loved God and he was going to use his affliction to grow closer to him. However, his illness did work on his wife.
Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"† 10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Many times during the Bible times people assumed that when someone had an illness that it was because they had sinned and God was punishing them. That was Jobís friends thought.
Job 4:7 Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?† 8 Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same.† 9 By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed.
While it true on certain occasions, God would give someone an illness for the sinful behavior this was the exception not the rule. While it certainly possible for God to bring about illness is someoneís life through his providence today, there would be no way for you and I could ever know or be able to say that someone was suffering an illness by the hand of God. Instead of concerning ourselves about things that are out of our control, we should look at what good come from illnesses.
1. Illness can become a humbling experience and make you appreciate life more and realize how important each day is.
2. It you use your illness right you can use it to grow closer and more dependent upon God. That what Paul did.
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.† 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.† 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.† 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Tell story about lady who had to stop working because of an illness and how she told me that was the best thing that happened to her and caused her to realize how important that she was serve God more.
3. We can use our illness to teach others. Tell story about Johnny and how He did this and touched many lives as he struggled in the hospital with cancer treatment.
4. Illness can also cause your friends and your loved one to start appreciating life and the blessing that God gives. This is illustrated in Mark 2 where these 4 men were determined to get the paralytic man to Jesus.
Now lets take a look at some of things we can focus in on to help us during our time of affliction.
1. God loves and he doesnít like to see anyone in pain. We can see how much compassion He has for the afflicted through His Son.
Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Matthew 20:29 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.† 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!"† 31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!"† 32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?"† 33 They said to Him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened."† 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.†
2. No matter how bad our illness may be, we need remind ourselves that God will be with us through it all.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,† 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. Sometimes our illness can seem like it lasting forever, but we need to realize just how temporary it is compared to life in eternity.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.† 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,† 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
While we may suffer now, we can always keep in mind that wonderful place called heaven.
Revelation 21:4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
Another important thing that will help us during our time of illness in our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, as Christians we should be following Jesus example and have compassion for those who are suffering both Christians and non-Christians and we should do what we can to help them, but especially those who belong to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:25† there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.† 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1. We need to encourage the sick to draw strength from God.
2. We need to visit the sick.
3. We can help them out by mowing the grass, or getting food for them etc..
4. We can pray for them. James 5:13 †Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
If we will apply all these methods the Bible teaches about dealing with illness, we will always be able to use illness to help us to grow closer to God and to each other. I would like to close this lesson with one of my favorite passages.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.