When I was 28 years old, only weeks away from my marriage to Brenda, I was playing basket ball and I tore the ligaments in my left ankle. The doctor took a look at my xray and said "you began spraining your ankle 14 years ago. It looks like you have the ankle of an 80 year old woman. You won't run again." He was spot on! I did begin spraining my ankle 14 years before as I played football and basketball. In fact, my ankles were so bad I would sometimes even use crutches during the week and tape my ankles up to play on Friday night or that weekend. I had abused my body and I was now suffering the consequences.
However, I had become a Christian and knew the Bible taught that Jesus heals. I had a choice to make. Would I believe the doctor or would I believe the Word of God? The bible says;
1 Peter 2:24 - who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. NKJV
I chose to believe what God said. More than 26 years later on July 11, 2012, I jogged 10K.
That does not mean I did not experience some challenges! I experienced some truly discouraging ones a time or two. Would you like to know what I learned?
What I've Learned About Health and Healing in Christ
Faith Requires Action
James 2:26 - For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. NKJV
Faith Requires Speaking and we Create Our World with our Words
Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. NKJV
Matthew 17:20 - So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. NKJV
We Need to Meditate Upon God's Word to Get His Word from Our Head to our Heart
Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
Luke 6:45 - A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. NKJV
Get Help - Repent and Confess your Sins and Have Others Pray for and With You
(Note: Sin separates us from God so He cannot hear our prayers. By using the gift of righteousness Jesus provided we can repent, confess our sins and receive forgiveness so that God can hear and will respond in accordance with His covenant promises.)
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. NKJV
Patience + Faith in Action
A study of healing reveals that some were healed instantly, some were healed within the same hour and others took longer. The key is faith in action with wisdom and patience.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. KJV
What God's Word Says about Healing (sample - there are many more)
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. NKJV
19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.NKJV
3 John 2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. NKJV
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. NKJV
19 "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," Says the Lord, "And I will heal him." NKJV
27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them."' NKJV
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
What Do I Think About Doctors?
I am very thankful for doctors. They are a gift of God. Let me use an illustration to demonstrate what I believe. Let's say someone has a heart attack in my presence. My first response is to pray. If I do not see immediate response I then begin to offer first aid and we call the medics to take them to a doctor. If there is immediate healing, I'd still recommend they go to a doctor and get checked out. Let them confirm what God did.
If you are taking medication, keep taking it while you exercise your faith. Recognize that medication does not really heal you. It helps you manage symptoms. God designed the body to heal itself. He also heals supernaturally. It is not a lack of faith to allow the doctor to confirm changes before you stop taking your medication.
Nutrition, Exercise and Stewardship
God designed our bodies to function a certain way. If we give our body the right fuel and exercise it properly it works remarkably well. I had a friend of mine whom Brenda and I loved dearly many years ago. She had a gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12) that was powerful and well developed. Many many people were healed when she prayed for them. In fact, when she was hospitalized she prayed for and saw a number of sick people healed ...... IN THE HOSPITAL. Yet, she died early (early 60s)! Why? She was extremely overweight. She did not control her appetite and the excess food over loaded her system until that body could no longer live. I sincerely believe that she went home to be with the Lord before her time and we suffered the loss of her gifts and the destiny that she carried in Christ. We miss her.
She had a gift of healing, however, we cannot expect to violate God's eternal laws continually and expect a gift He gave us to bail us out. God is very merciful, kind and forgiving, but eventually there is a reaping of what we have sown.
Exercising our faith also includes discipline, practical stewardship and wisdom.