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Uncomfortable Protection

Protective wear—bullet proof vests, fire-proof jackets or just cloth face masks—can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Christians, however, have the most amazing and incredible ‘protective wear’ imaginable. Understandably, non-believers may think of Christian ‘protective wear’ as simply imaginary, and even some believers find the concept of ‘Christian protection’ a bit unrealistic; when face-to-face with the truth, it can be downright uncomfortable. It is surprising how many long-time Christians don’t really believe the Bible as a whole or even the ‘red letter’ parts in the gospels that are directly from Jesus. Yet isn’t that the whole basis for Christianity—adherence to Christ’s teachings? Can we really call ourselves Christians if we rationalize Biblical truths into cultural norms? We become uncomfortable when confronted with the clear, simple statements of what we are supposed to have or be able to do. Uncomfortable truths give way to comfortable rationalizations, justifying our reality of experience over God’s word and in doing so, discrediting the Bible and Jesus’ directives. It becomes easier to compromise God’s truth with our ideas, such as “Jesus was saying that to His disciples”; “that promise isn’t for us”; “He didn’t really mean we could have whatever we prayed for”. In a Bible discussion about the Syro-Phoenician woman who requested Jesus heal her daughter1, the question was asked, “To what is Jesus equating ‘the children’s bread’?” The answers were salvation, eternal life, right standing with God--all good things but none of which are mentioned in either Matthew or Mark’s account of this encounter. The woman requested physical healing for her daughter. It is a straight forward analogy, but somehow Christians are reluctant to believe that healing is as much a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ as forgiveness of sin. The communion sacraments are wine and bread. The woman in the story wasn’t even a Jew, yet she recognized Jesus, the Son of David,’ as the Christ who is a generous Healer. She understood Jesus’ use of ‘bread’ and she rightly saw the ‘crumbs’ – healing – as available to all, Jew or Gentile.

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” • • • Psalm 103:2-3 • • •

A while back I heard a young woman’s “testimony” of how she had been a Christian and attended a church for over a decade when she found a lump in her breast. Before she even got the tests back, she was crying out to God about the unfairness of getting cancer. Her testimonial conclusion was the peace she felt as she got the results—which were positive for breast cancer—and her acceptance of the possibility of death if that was God’s will. She wasn’t sure of God’s will, so she was following the traditionally prescribed treatments which had caused baldness among other unpleasant side effects. Her “testimony” was heart breaking and without hope, and all too common among ‘believers’. Yes, peace is good; but God’s word is God’s will, and we should not only know it but wholeheartedly believe it.

There are very few things that are more clearly and repeatedly stated in the Bible than God’s will for His children’s health and well-being. Just as John was defined by his baptisms of repentance, Jesus defined Himself as a healer of physical and mental afflictions.2 This should come as no surprise since God defined Himself as the God who heals, Jehovah Rapha.3 It was always part of God’s covenant with His people that He would protect them from sickness and disease prior to Jesus’ earthly ministry and even more so after. The people of Jesus’ day did not exercise their covenant rights, as there was no shortage of opportunities for Jesus to heal when He lived as a man on earth, a similar situation exists today even though the church has a better covenant based on better promises.4

This truth can make us uncomfortable. We all know devout, faith-filled Christians who have struggled with some disease or trauma and died. This is our reality. But it does not negate God’s word. If there is some lack of fulfillment, it is not on God’s part, it is on ours. We do not need to make excuses for God or mystify His purposes or rationalize His justice. Believing God’s promises does not mean we have to throw our devout Christian who died under the bus like Job’s friends did to him; each person’s faith walk is their own and not ours to judge. It means that regardless of what we see or hear, nothing diminishes God’s promise to us.5 The promises are to be our truth and reality.6

Walking in this truth is the only way to defeat fear, which is another well-documented Biblical directive. Fear is belief that the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy is stronger than the One who came to give life more abundantly.7 Faith isn’t what one does when a Covid 19 symptom appears, it is a way of life lived every moment of every day. God’s word tells us how to live this out and walk in faith by coming into agreement with God in our heart and words.8 Every person’s life-walk is determined by their words, not just in prayer, but in every word that comes out of their mouth.9 God even tells us exactly what to say—Let the weak say I am strong!10

Some people find this terribly uncomfortable, as if they are lying, denying reality. It is not denying the sickness exists, it is denying the sickness’ right to exist in the believer’s body. Your body has been bought with a price,11 in order to glorify God when you “bear much fruit” by letting Jesus’ “words remain in you, ask[ing] whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”12 Did you see that? Getting your prayers answered glorifies God! But it starts with Jesus’ words getting inside of you, rooted so firmly and deeply that belief in His word is no longer uncomfortable, all doubt and fear are gone and the assurance of His promise fills your heart and overflows out of your mouth. We condemn God to justify our lack of answered prayers, and God says that is showing contempt for Him and His promises.13 That is what should make us uncomfortable!

If you are fighting fear and sickness, get your Bible and study the following verses. Read them carefully. See God’s great love for you, His provision for every part of your being and life. Healing was part of the old covenant that looked forward to Jesus; healing is part of the Jesus’ gospel message—the church was sent to heal the sick and preach the gospel. Healing is part of the Lord’s Supper communion and given to the church elders to edify the body. These are just a few of the many, many scriptures that reveal God’s plan for you to be fear-free and healthy in spirit, soul AND body. Get comfortable with the promises and God’s protective covering, and leave uncomfortable for good.

“And the LORD will protect you from all sickness. He will not let you suffer from the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all your enemies!” • • • Deuteronomy 7:15 • • •


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