My mom and I have been listening a lot to Dan Mohler together recently. One of his main themes is not letting life speak louder than truth. Or, put a different way, choosing to believe what the Word of God says over what you feel, experience, or rationalize. For example, choosing to believe that we have the peace, love, and joy that God has promised us, even when we don’t necessarily “feel” particularly peaceful, loved, or joyful. Or, for me most recently, choosing to believe that I am healthy and well even when dealing with a cold.
I decided recently that I wasn’t going to stand for such silly things as allergies and motion sickness, not to mention other sickness, in my life anymore. There’s no reason to. My health has been paid for. Two verses (among others, these are the two that stick out to me) assure me of this:
14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise.
1 Peter 2:24
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Well, there it is. Jeremiah says if the Lord heals me, then I will absolutely be healed, and 1 Peter says that I’ve already been healed by the wounds of Jesus Christ. My perfect health has been bought and paid for, and it’s really silly to allow the enemy to convince me that “sickness is just a part of life,” or “I’ll just take allergy medication.” Nah. I’m tired of all that.
But…faith, or believing, or whatever you want to call it, can be a tricky thing. Even though I believe all of the above to be completely true, I have still been dealing with allergy symptoms. And, Sunday evening, right after arriving at my brother and sister-in-law’s house to meet my baby nephew, I came down with a cold. (Terrible timing – all I want to do is hug little Luke!) But I continued to recite my verses, hold onto them, and refuse to believe that this is just a normal part of life, something we all deal with from time to time. A day went by, then two…and by last night I was annoyed. “How long am I going to have to keep confessing this until I actually start seeing fruit?! How many more colds do I need to hang onto your truth through??” The answer was swift, and somewhat obvious. “Well…one is a decent start.”
Here I am, shiny new resolution to be healthy all brand new and held high…and very nearly derailed by a tiny cold after two days. The real answer, the long-term answer is, of course, all of them. Every time. As long as it takes. Each and every day I’m dealing with allergies, I must continue to confess and thank God that they are not mine and not part of my life, even as I sneeze. Every single time I get a cold, I must hold onto the fact that, whether or not I have the symptoms, it doesn’t make the Word of God untrue and I will see the victory, whether it’s today, tomorrow, or in 40 years. I will see it. The test of believing doesn’t come when everything is hunky dory, it comes when according to “reality,” according to your senses, God has failed you. That’s a real test of faith. Do I still believe God has done what He says He’s done, even if what I’m experiencing tells me otherwise? What do I trust more, God, or “facts?” It’s a tough test. It’s illogical, irrational. Science, common sense, rationality teach us to test everything, trust only what we can prove with evidence to be true. But a life of faith tells us that truth is truth, even when the evidence doesn’t support it.
Todd White says that when he first started praying for people to be healed, he prayed for about 500 people before he ever saw his first miraculous healing. Why? I don’t know. I doubt he knows, it’s not really important. What’s important is that even after 500 apparent failures, he continued to believe that praying for healing was worthwhile and would be fruitful. He now regularly sees miraculous healings. If we can continue to maintain our confidence in God even in the face of apparent failure, then it’s a guarantee that we will see the tangible results. But if we allow each “failure” to dishearten us, shake our resolve, erode our confidence, then the enemy’s evil plan works. We become convinced that we’re doing something wrong, or perhaps we misunderstood what God was saying, or we make excuses, or justify or… We let a few circumstances define our life and our God.
Now I know that this is a hot-button issue for many people, so I want to be clear that THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS. I am, after all, currently sitting next to a huge pile of dirty tissues. Did I do something wrong? Am I not believing hard enough?!? Doesn’t matter. It’s life. The point is that even now, even with my pile of tissues, I choose to believe, “You have healed me, O Lord, so I AM HEALED.”