Friday, November 9, 2012

You can be sick and be in the will of God.















Hunted by sickness

I have been sick a number of times in my life.  I had kidney stones in my early twenties.  I became very sick at age twenty nine.  This time it was a clinical depression which affected my whole body. I could not sleep, nor eat and I had no sex drive.  My mood was very depressed. We had to go on Food Stamps and Medicaid and our family had to move into the basement of our relatives. Even now I am on medication which has arrested the illness but not cured it.  Mental illness for me has meant many episodes of depression. In my thirties I was hospitalized for electro-convulsive therapy, in my forties I was hospitalized again for ECT and in then later in my forties, I almost died as a result of Lithium toxicity.  With this toxicity came days and weeks of being unable to walk, I could not hold any food down and I was admitted into the hospital for a week.  It took the health care professionals almost a month to diagnose me and get me off the drug that was killing me.

You need to exorcise the demon!

I remember once when I was depressed a woman asked me why I did not try to exorcise the demon of depression.  I said that I did not believe that was possible;  later I responded to biological treatment. I knew that demons don't respond to medication.  Later I saw that same woman in a psychiatric hospital. She was admitted after she tried to harm herself.  Her doctrine affected her life. The devil when he attacks is some time like a serpent in the grass. He uses our incorrect
doctrine against us.

Many Trials

Robyn and I have had our share of trials.  We lost a church after we had spent our savings so that we could minister to it.  I grieved the loss of not being a pastor.  We lost our daughter and unborn grand daughter on September 11, 2001. They were killed by a man on cocaine, marijuana and heroin.  We have had to obey the Scripture to: rejoice in hopepersevere in tribulation and  be devoted to prayer, (Romans 12:12).

Job's friends
Some Christians told me that God was not pleased with me and therefore my life was a pile of troubles. Of course that is not true. I have read the book of Job many times and realized that there is nothing new under the sun. Job answered and said, I have heard many such things; sorry comforters are you all (Job 16:1,2).
  
Walking by faith not by sight
The Bible tells us that  we walk by faith not by sight.  Robyn and I, by the grace of God, have been plodders.  We have found grace in the center of our afflictions.  We know for sure that we are children of God.  Recently, a close friend confided in me that he has cancer and that he hoped he would still have time to do some things for the Lord. But more bad news has come; the cancer is everywhere in his body. No one worthy of being called a friend would asault him with platitudes.

Don't scold the small souled!

If you know someone who is sick or having deep trials, don't try to rebuke them for it.
It only makes them feel worse.  The health, wealth, prosperity gospel is unbiblical and mocks believers.  My friend mentioned above is leaving this world to go to heaven where he will receive his rewards.  Hebrews 6:10 says, For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
But we have no human way to understand these things.

The Sick Man Left Behind









I am going to  share a portion of the great sermon, The Sick Man Left Behind by the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon. He was no stranger to affliction I will also attach a link to the sermon. Here is the text from which Spurgeon preached. Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20).
Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20).

Spurgeon said, From the fact that Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum we learn that, IT IS THE WILL OF GOD THAT SOME GOOD MEN SHOULD BE IN ILL HEALTH. Whatever the malady may have been which affected Trophimus, Paul could certainly have healed him if the Divine Spirit had permitted the use of his miraculous powers to that end. He had raised up Eutychus from death and he had given back the use of his limbs to the cripple at Lystra. We feel, therefore, fully assured that had God allowed the Apostle so to use his healing energy, Trophimus would have left his bed and continued his journey to Rome.
 
Holy reasons and ends for why Trophimus must be left sick


 We are not wounded by arrows shot at a venture, but we smart by the determinate counsel of Heaven! An overruling hand is everywhere present, preventing or permitting ill and no one shaft of disease is ever let fly by stealth  If someone must be ill, it was a wise Providence which selected Trophimus,for it was better for him to be ill than Titus, or Tychicus, or Timothy.Not so, however, had the Lord willed. The good fruit-bearing vine must be pruned and Trophimus must suffer—there were ends to be answered by his weakness which could not be compassed by his health. Instantaneous restoration could have been given, but it was withheld under Divine direction. This doctrine leads us away from the
 
This also delivers us from regarding affliction as being always brought upon men by their personal sin.   Many a sickness has been the direct result of intemperance, or some other form of wickedness—but here is a worthy, well approved Brother laid aside and left on the road through a malady for which he is not blamed in any measure. It is too common, nowadays, for men to be of a hard and cruel spirit and ascribe the illnesses, even, of those who are true children of God to some fault in their habits of life. We wonder how they would like to be dealt with in this manner if they were suffering and could wash their hands in innocence in reference to their daily lives?

Lord, he whom you love is sick
In our Lord’s day they told Him, “Lord, he whom You love is sick.” And Solomon, long before that time, wrote, Whom the Lord loves He corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. This was a much better, more humane and more truthful speech than the frozen philosophy of modern times which traces each man’s sickness to his own violation of natural law and, instead of pouring in the balm of consolation, pours out the sulfuric acid of slanderous insinuation! Let the afflicted
examine himself to see if the rod is not sent to correct some secret evil and let him diligently
consider where he may amend—but far be it from us to stand at his bedside like judges or lictors and look upon our friend as an offender as well as a sufferer!  Such brutality may be left to the philosophers, but it would ill become the sons of God!
Please go the link below and scroll down to  the link and then to sermon 1452 for the rest of the story.

If you would like to learn more about trials and difficulties that Robyn and I have experienced,
please read about our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0825421187/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=1464974030&ref=pd_sl_6ooxcpjb36_e