Friday, June 1, 2012

Pain and Faith

My wife and I recently had lunch with a friend whose daughter (16) suffered from a severe form of arthritis. When we asked how that was going we were told that she had been healed. Not by medicine, but by prayer. A very specific form of prayer.

At first we were skeptical but our friend recommended a book. We read it and though we found some parts to be dubious, the references were sound. Faith healing is indeed scriptural.

Apparently this is one of the gifts and blessings bestowed upon us by the crucifixion of Christ. Few churches discuss it and it is an area that has become filled with charlatans. I don't know of any other Christian belief that is more mocked or made fun of, probably due to the presence of those obvious charlatans.

Yet it is scriptural. There are many, many references to this. Christ himself spoke of giving this gift to us. We don't have to pray away our pain and infirmities, but rather command them to go in the name of Jesus Christ. We have that power. In most of us, however, our faith struggles with our lack of faith. As the book describes it, imagine two horses hitched to both ends of the wagon and pulling in opposite directions.

At first I was very strong in this healing and able to remove some limited conditions that I suffered from. Minor aches and pains were banished. I have no real long term infirmities (praise God) so bruises and aches were all to work upon. I was able to draw upon the healing power of Christ quite easily.

Then I lost it. I started doubting. My lack of faith blossomed and grew with each failure. Suddenly I found I was beset by all manner of aches and pains. More than before. So I worked on it and prayed about it and I'm just now beginning to have faith in this area again. It is supernatural and weird and my wordly mind rebels against it, but is that not exactly the same as the Resurrection? A supernatural event? How can I believe in one and not believe in the other?

I'm getting better. Christ said that if a man had the faith of a mustard seed he could tell a mountain to cast itself into the sea and it would. It has been disturbing and humbling to discover I did not even have the faith of a mustard seed, the smallest of things.

So I'm working on this. A lot. From my reading of scripture, I believe this belief in healing is sound doctrine and is a gift given to every Christian. You don't have to be a tv evangelist with bad hair in order to practice it. However my natural mind struggles with faith still.

The battle continues.


Gorges Smythe said...

Faith in what God CAN do is easy. Faith in what God WILL do is where most of us come up short.

Ernest said...

Praise God, but that's the best quote I've heard on faith my entire life.