Fearless Q – Write Back ‘Atcha on Healing
Here are some of the questions that congregation members asked after the sermon this past Sunday on whether God heals today.
One person asks how we are to understand Jesus’ words that we will receive what we ask in faith, in light of unanswered prayer. For instance, when parents pray for a child who is sick and eventually dies.
Jesus understands our pain. Jesus’ willingness to go to the cross exemplifies his identification with our pain and suffering. Jesus’ suffering pain was completely undeserved. People experience tragedies in life that are completely undeserved, and Jesus can identify with our pain. When that type of tragedy happens we can choose to draw close to God or we can move away from God. James reminds us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) No one can comfort us like the Holy Spirit. And the pain we receive through unexplainable loss and hardship, God can use so we can comfort others. (2 Cor. 1:3-6) My experience is that those who have experienced great loss and tragedy who have chosen to draw closer to God through this experience are some of the most gracious and compassionate people in the world who can help others deal with their grief.
How are we to pray when we have experienced extreme heartache and there is a sort of “fear” to pray for healing with expectant faith, for the sake of wanting to protect ourselves from having our hopes crushed once again? (Should we pray for healing or should we pray for God’s will?)
One of George Mueller’s teachings about prayer is to come to that place of utter dependency on God where we’ve let go of our will in a given matter and completely surrendered it to God. This then helps us in our praying, because our will is moldable by the Spirit of God. When we are moldable then God’s Spirit can guide and direct our praying. I’m reminded of Romans 8:26-28:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
One of faith’s great challenges is to truly believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him….” Believing this when you’ve experienced tragedy requires great faith but can unlock waves of God’s love, peace and grace in a person’s heart.
One person says they don’t feel forgiven despite knowing Jesus died for my sins. How do I let this go?
Not forgiving ourselves for our past sins is tantamount to saying that we don’t believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for my sin! This is the sin of pride – believing that God’s grace isn’t sufficient for you. If you do not feel forgiven from your past sins, there may be other issues going on that keep you shackled by your former life. Professional counseling or Celebrate Recovery can heal emotional wounds that can keep you in a state of perpetual guilt.