Healing is the children’s bread.
TEXT: Isaiah 53: 4-5; Mark 7:24-30; James 5:13-18.
God revealed Himself to Israel as their Healer from the beginning, one of the divine names revealing God’s character and name is YAWEH (Jehovah) Repheka ‘the Lord your physician;’ which is translated in Exodus 15:26, ‘the Lord that health thee’ [Jehovah-Rapha]. The psalmist David saw Him as the One who as part of His benefits heals all our diseases, or more literally, the physician for all thy diseases(Psalm103:3). David first proclaimed the Lord the forgiver of all our iniquities and then the healer of all our diseases. Therefore, if we expect the Lord to meet our physical needs we must first permit Him to cure our spiritual ills.
In the ministry of the Lord Jesus, we see Him bringing both God’s forgiveness and God’s healing to all who came to Him believing. In fact, His ministry as savior and Healer are very closely tied together in the New Testament. At Calvary He fulfilled the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah which says he bore our griefs (literally, our sicknesses) and our sorrows (literally our physical pain). At the same time, He was wounded (pierced) for our transgressions (rebellious sins) and bruised for our iniquities (crushed for our guilty sins) and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53: 4-5) The concern about a healing pre-supposes the possibility of at least an ailment. Our Lord Jesus assured of this in John 16:33”. in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I expected, our response to affliction, including physical affliction is a real test of Christian maturity and character.
Unfortunately, the Christian at times appear ignorant of his rights and privileges in the Lord and unknowingly becomes subjected to Satan’s plays. The time has come for us to rightly appropriate our blessing and inheritance in the Lord on a daily basis with the case with which we consume physical bread.
|LESSON OBJECTIVESThe objectives of this study are:
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE TERMS SICKNESS, INFIRMITY AND DISEASE?
Sickness is a state of ill-health, unwell and illness. To be infirmed is to be weak physically and mentally, disability, often due to old age. Whereas, disease is to have an abnormal condition; literally it has to be out of ease, no longer at ease. There is a catalogue of sickness and diseases that plague mankind. As if these were not enough, new and hitherto unknown sickness and diseases are continually added to this never-ending list.
The origin of sickness and disease is traced back to the fall of man. Sin brought sickness and all other deteriorating phenomena. The opposite of sickness and disease is Health. Health according to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) is a state of complete physical mental and psychosocial wellbeing and not a mere absence of health is the inalienable and undisputable right of the regenerated man.
Q2. CAN GOD BE ASSOCIATED WITH SICKNESS/DISEASE/INFIRMITY?
God cannot be the cause of sickness/disease/infirmity. Gods wish above all that we be in good health (3John.2). he can only be associated to the extent to which He is the healer.
Gods plan for man from the beginning is for the good and not the evil as everything He made was adjusted very good (Gen.1:3). Sickness and disease are ill, evil and bad. God cannot be associated with evil.
After the fall of man that brought sickness into the world, God immediately provided a long-lasting remedy through “the seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) to redeem man from sin and its consequences. Jesus came to bring healing – divine cure for all the sickness that sin brought healing with it; for by his stripes (wounds) we have been healed. (Isaiah. 53: 4-5, 1Pet. 2:24; Luke 4: 16-21)
Q3. DISCUSS JAMES 5:13-18
Apostle James addressed his epistle to the twelve tribes who were dispersed among the nations, but his message also goes to all who are Christians. Thus verses 13 and 14 show he expects that some among Christians will be suffering misfortune, hardship, trouble and ill-health. Despite the wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes famines and the opposition of false prophets and teachers, the Lord Jesus sent His disciples out into the world. We need not to wait for ideal conditions before we begin to spread the gospel and build the church.
The Israelites in the wilderness murmured, blaming God and their leaders. Going to God in prayer will help keep us from following their example of unbelief and self-pity. Steadfast patience and fortitude in prayer will help us show courage and faith in the midst of their difficulties. God wants us to be cheerful, encouraged and thriving. Let us not forget God when things are going well. Then, is the time to sing Psalms, that is, praises to God and musical accompaniment. James may well mean here that we should find other believers and with open hearts worship the Lord. We can also apply it to singing in our homes or keeping a song in our hearts as we go about our work. When suffering affliction, some Christians bring more sickness upon themselves by their sour disposition, while there is victory in praise. Apostle James does not put any condemnation on those who are sick in the congregation. Our Lord Jesus recognized that sin is in the world because of Satan’s activity (Luke 13:16). Sometimes a person’s sin is the cause of his sickness (John 5: 14) but the Lord made it very clear that is not always the case (John 9: 2-3). Sometimes our Lord Himself dealt with a person’s sins before healing him (Matt 9:2), bus as we read the Gospels, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Generally, the God who heals the sick will forgive their sins if they came to Him. The word translated “sick” in James 5:14 used in Luke 7:2 and John 4: 46 of the centurion’s servant and the nobleman’s son, both of whom were so sick they were about to die. The purpose of those passages is to show that no case is too hard for the Lord. Actually, the basic meaning of the word is “to be weak” The use is often of sickness, but also of a variety of other weaknesses such as being weak in faith (Rom 14: 1-2), fearful (2Cor 11:29) or even being in financial need (Acts 20: 34-35).
Q4. HOW CAN A SICK BELIEVER RECEIVE DIVINE HEALING?
The ministry of our Lord on earth, comprised teaching, preaching and healing in no particular order. Our lord was and still is willing to heal anyone that puts his faith in Him. This could be by the sick receiving the word (Jesus), speaking the Word, praying for himself or being prayed for, with the laying on of hand and possibly anointing with oil by the other believers.
Q5. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS FOR DIVINE HEALING/HEALTH?
The gifts of God are not without conditions. If we will fulfill the under listed conditions, divine health/healing will become our inheritance.
A elieve in the Lord Jesus.
It is your acceptance of the Lord Jesus that gives you the status of a child whose bread is healing and divine health.
B. Search and hide the word in your heart.
‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye have eternal life…’(John 5:39). Search the scriptures to know your rights and privileges (Acts 17:110. Knowledge is needful as it brings faith and faith brings healing. (Prov. 4”:20-22
To know the promises of God is important but the blessing only comes when we obey the precepts and statues of God. Healing will come when we obey his voice. (Exo. 15:26,23:25;
Lev 26;3, 14-15).
D. Faith in God.
Having heard the word, it must be mixed with faith to produce result; divine healing and health from God. When you ask God for it in faith-believing you have as you ask for it, it will be yours. So, believe that nothing is impossible for God even divine healing. God is able. (Heb. 11:6)
E. Rest and Leisure
Rest is a source of renewal for the soul and body; it takes away the stress, wear and tear resulting from work. The sabbath Law is just not a spiritual law but also a medical requirement for man. God Himself rested (Gen2:2) to show us the importance of rest not because he was fatigued. Work without rest will rob one of the God given divine healing.
Leisure is more than rest and is what you do in your rest or spare time. Leisure therefore entails recreation. In your rest hour, engage in fruitful play purely for fun and enjoyment. Do some physical exercises to loosen up your muscles and nerves as well as your soul and emotions.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Healing and good health are our inalienable right and privilege in the lord. The scriptures clearly state that God’s intention for us is that we prosper and be in health. Sickness, disease, poverty etc. are intruders, thieves and robbers who come to steal our joy and peace. The Lord Jesus on the other hand came to die to redeem us from sin and its consequences. As believers in the Lord Jesus, as we search the scriptures daily with the intention to obey the Lord’s injunctions mixed with faith and observe adequate rest and leisure, divine health will be ours to inherit and enjoy.
Exodus 15:26 – ‘For I am the Lord that healeth thee’