There were many diseases during Jesus’ time on earth. One of the most well-known of examples of debilitating disease that was discussed quite often in the Bible was leprosy. For many centuries, to have leprosy was considered a curse of God, often believed to be connected with sin. The amount of need in Jesus’ day and our own can’t be overstated. There are many passages in the Bible that address diseases and other forms of sickness. There are times in the Bible where we see disease as a result of sin. Psalm 107:17-18 says, "Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; And they draw near unto the gates of death.” However, diseases weren’t always a result of sin. Often, this isn’t the case. Many people are afflicted with diseases as a result of a plan God has that we may not understand. We see this in countless biblical examples.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He eliminated a great deal of suffering. The Bible tells us “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Him, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.’” Our Savior not only healed all kinds of diseases, He healed the possessed.
When we are suffering with a disease or going through a period of declining health, it may seem as if God isn’t present. Despite our beliefs, God waits. The Bible tells us “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18). In our unrest, we try everything in a power to solve the problem or figure out the answer, not realizing that doing so gets us farther away from God. Despite what you think, our God longs to bless us. He wants our undivided trust so that He can be gracious to us and too often we don’t give this to Him because we are impatient. God waits and we too must wait. Want to know the beautiful part? He is ready and wants to be merciful to us.
The Lord wants our hearts. The Bible tells us “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways” (Proverbs 23:26). God’s grace is always present to a heart that seeks Him. When this relief comes to us, our hearts are flooded with love. We feel liberated from everything that binds us. When we truly give our hearts to God, we will be able to freely give whatever is required by the Spirit. The beautiful thing about giving our hearts to Him is that we can give them anew to God each day. When we do this, things no longer seem strange and unpleasing.
The Bible tells us, “Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever” (Jeremiah 33:11). With His help, there is nothing we can’t handle, even when there is so much that is not good that is also present in this world. Despite the adversity that may be there, God’s goodness shines on us again and again and again. It is important that we thank the Lord, for He is good.
It’s important that during the trials of our life we take refuge in God who guards our lives. Psalm 86:2 says, “Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in You. You are my God.” When we are sick, matters can get so hopeless that we feel like giving up. In our weariness and helplessness, we think that God doesn’t want to help us. But God is the guardian of our lives. We must hold onto our faith, firmly. We know from Scripture the importance of taking refuge in Him.
The Bible says “Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. Sickness should not separate us from God, but turn us to God and the cross. Through physical illness, God often shows us His grace and even turns us around from a life of sin. It’s important that we allow God to use our illness to conquer sin for good. It’s also important that we are prepared for anything. Sometimes God takes a path that is different than we expect or hope for. Be still in times of sickness. In turn, you will gain something coming directly from God that will enable you to serve His kingdom. Allow His cross to rule in your heart. Then, the true healing can begin.
Life can be difficult. Despite our setbacks, including illnesses and ailments, we are loved by God. The Bible tells us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).He sent His son to us so that the world might be saved through Him. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what love is. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of how mighty and wonderful God’s love is, particularly during times of sickness. Here are six words of hope for times of sickness. Whatever circumstances you’re facing right now, soak in these words of hope and find healing strength for your soul. God is the great physician and can heal anyone of any affliction.
No matter what sickness or trial you face today, remember that God is the number one healer and cares about your well-being. Our afflictions may be a way for God to pull us closer to Him. First John 5:14 reminds us that the confidence we have in approaching God is that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us.