Part 6: Hope That Brings Us Healing
I finished last Sunday, with three talking points that I need to use to continue the conversation regarding “a healing that brings hope and a hope that brings healing.” This week I want us to narrow our conversation to just include the biblical truth of Hope that Brings us Healing.
Because of the continued advance of modern medicine and medical breakthroughs in digital transplant technology, internal medicine, surgical procedures and prosthetics, and advanced physical and psychiatric therapy we have had the privileged blessing of access and availability to the finest medical healing practices in the world.
In spite of high premiums, high deductibles, encrypted coding, embedded billing classifications, and pre-existing conditions mainstream America has had access to our needed medical coverages hospitals and preferred resources. Even people who do not pay for insurance get insurance and get treated. So… we just do not have a sense of hopelessness or the conscious need for believing in or praying a prayer of faith to someone we cannot physically see receive treatment from.
From the convenience of our homes through online access we can secure a prescription treatment protocol for almost any physical or mental illness. According to data received from CDC and National Center for Health Statistics, Medscape.com reports that 44% of all Americans take at least 1 prescription medication, and 17% take 3 or more medications.
We have a plan for managing our pain, our illness, our disease. We also can self-research; create our own natural, organic or holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle and naturopathic remedies. The point is that we can find almost endless options for sickness, disease, and illness.
I’d like today begin with these verses of hope from Paul to Titus.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
In last week’s process the question surfaced, “why not more miraculous healings, supernatural interventions, and churches who pray prayers of faith for those kinds of healings?”
Great question, and I believe I have an answer, and it is not simply that evil and sin are overtaking us, or that churches now pray those prayers behind the scenes away from the public eye, or even that we took God and prayer out of government and education, spiraling our nation into a moral decline and decadence to become a narcissistic, hedonistic generation without faith in God or value for Creation.
Now, not that all of that is not true, but let’s just say, “the genie is out of the bottle and is not going back in.”
And besides, if that were solely the case, there would not be millions upon millions of people in the Middle East, China and India coming for the first time to their hope and faith in Christ. And believe me they are coming – under the threat of death, prison, loss of income, beatings, and disease. They have found hope in Christ and they are coming.
We need to understand that Biblical truth reveals something there – it reveals to us that when sin increases, grace increases even more.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, let’s be clear – the lack of miraculous and supernatural healing is not JUST a rebellious sin thing. I believe it is ALSO a hope thing.
In thirty-eight years of full-time ministry, I have witnessed a true spiritual cultural digression in our great nation’s shifting appetite and tastes.
We have developed a huge appetite for getting what we want and have little to no taste for just simply receiving what we need.
In the miraculous reality and blessed affluence of our great nation settling for what we need is boring, irrelevant, and mocked by the modern secular ideology.
What was once good for us and what was once needed by us, no longer interests or stimulates our palate – in fact it’s no longer on the menu.
As a result, the craving for what we want has become relentless, and even more so is the constant devising of how we are going to get what we want – because what we want now is somehow never enough.
It’s a strange thing… but it is a thing.
2 Timothy 4:1-14
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
That type of digression nearly makes conversations about supernatural healing and Jesus-like miracles almost unnecessary and unwanted in our day.
But this American Christian and cultural digression was not just the result of people turning their backs on God in rebellious sin.
It has also in been in large part the replacing or transferring of our hope regarding health, wealth and well-being almost exclusively into the resources and availability of things we believed to be the miraculous realities of a nation and a culture that was blessed and highly favored by God.
God has blessed us, and He has truly favored us. He did supply our every need according to His riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19)
The transfer of hope was confusing and difficult to recognize because the digression came while those blessings came. But was made possible as we all began to put our hope in the rich resources and capabilities our blessings instead of the Source or Giver of those blessings.
Focus was transferred to the blessing and the healing, and not the Hope that gives or brings it.
And with that comes a flawed sense of entitlement – and a complete transference of Hope.
This changed our appetite from believing in our blessed hope that meets our needs, to devising a man-made ideology that God is obligated to bless us with what we want. Hope went from being need-based to being solely based on what we want when we want it.
Real blessing now meant that God was just sitting by waiting to give you here and now your heart’s every little desire. of your heart. Transferring our hope and trust in God to hoping and trusting in what we have and what was available – the Gift and not the Giver.
We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
It seems a bitter irony, that the very God who gives us the blessing of a miraculous reality is also the God whose great expectation is that all our hope remains steadfast in Him. We sing it… “All our hope is in you Lord; You’re the Light of the World”
Listen to Paul the Apostle, as he quotes Isaiah the Messianic Prophet to the persecuted Christians in Rome.
The heir to David’s throne will come (Jesus), and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Before going any further we should look at a couple of significant passages of biblical truth that in context, should lead us directly to placing our hope firmly in who God is for us and not what God gives to us. Yet, that has not always been the case.
Warning: these verses have been used, misused and abused over the last forty years in American Christianity causing much of the deception and stumbling that has us right where we are today. Replacing and Transferring Hope.
Spiritually entitled, now firmly planted into the expectations of our miraculous realities and highly favored blessings. Sounding pretty convincing while demanding from God what we want from Him, and not trusting in God for what we need from Him.
Hope that brings us healing.
None of it seemed bad or wrong really…. Doesn’t God love us like children? Doesn’t He want to give us good things? Doesn’t He say he will give me the desires of my heart?
Sure, He does, but not at the expense of transferring our hope from that which brings us healing.
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. 5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. 12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
1 John 5:13-15
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
Forty years ago, we were not as affluent, the blessings of our miraculous reality did not yet include digital imaging, laser technology, stem-cell research and advanced medical protocols – and we had less information and less access to the information that we did have.
Urgent Care was a 3rd generation Family Practice Doc; Naturopathic Medicine was just “old fashioned home remedies.”
In that limited environment our hope had not wholly transferred from being God-Blessed to becoming the Blessed-man. Our hope still reflected hope in the God we trusted.
At that point, we were still able to value and be grateful when our needs were being met. Commanding that God give us what we want wasn’t even on our radar yet – but sadly, it was coming. There is a heavy price to pay for getting what we want, when we want it. The price is too often that we do – get what we want. And most often it isn’t even close to what we needed. We need hope that brings healing.
Fast-forward, as an everyday reality we have the technology to make people hear and see better – we can transplant hearts, livers and kidneys, build new joints, ligaments and prosthetic limbs. That probably covers about two-thirds of the miracles of Jesus, right?
We can have church anywhere anytime now; virtual, replay, live stream, Facebook, YouTube, Google and a few others. Watching at from the comfort and safety of our home or work on our smart tv, phone, tablet, or computer has been a huge blessing and a lifeline to many.
It is one of those miraculous realities! But that is not where we put our hope.
Reunion family and friends please be careful and prayerful about where and who you put your hope – especially now.
Don’t transfer your hope away from the biblical Jesus – it may feel good but it will not lead to healing.
Sometimes, getting what we want keeps us from getting what we need. Right now, in the moment we need hope – He is our hope that brings us healing.
We need this hope because we now all know, just how quickly our life of miraculous reality and blessing entitlement can disappear.
Let’s Pray… for Hope that brings us healing.
The talking points from last week can direct us back to the origin of our transfer of hope and gives us our answer as to why the indifference and lack of interest and belief in supernatural healing and hope for physical and mental/emotional sickness and disease. Why the loss of Hope that brings us healing?
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