Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Healing Grace: Father knows best?

 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing. Ephesians 2:8-9 Voice

 We've begun a new series of study on God's healing Grace. For by His Grace we've been saved, not our efforts. This word saved from the original Greek is the word Sozo. This word is defined as to save, to deliver, to protect, to heal and make whole. It is His Grace that brings us healing, not our striving or efforts.

 Whenever we mention the healing power of Jesus inevitably so many are quick to point out that God is sovereign and in control of all situations. I suppose this is some form of objection to believing that God is able and willing to heal His people. Apparently we are supposed to derive some comfort in suffering or loss knowing that somehow God was designing the circumstances.

Father God knows best?

 The narrative we are supposed to follow in dealing with tragedy is that God knows best. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. When one experiences being laid off from work, being involved in an automobile accident, a debilitating disease, or suffering the loss of a loved one,  many persevere to understand the circumstances or search for a cause as to why they had to experience it. 

 Traditional Christianity teaches that God is sovereign, and in charge and He knows what He is doing by taking away your loved one, or bringing this illness to you. God knows what's best so just trust Him. For me, this narrative offers little comfort and exacerbates the feelings of hopelessness. 

 The truth that is established from God's Word is that Father God does know what is best. That is why He sent His only Son to be the propitiation for all our sins, and transgressions. He took our place and paid the ultimate price. Christ secured our eternal salvation. He made a new and living way for us to be in a relationship with the Father. He took all the curse upon Himself in the Finished Work and exchanged our death sentence with His eternal life. We were made fully alive in the Finished Work.

 In this Finished Work, He exchanged our unrighteousness, our sinful nature, our pains, our sicknesses, infirmities, our lack and insufficiency for His very righteousness and new life and wholeness and abundance. There is nothing that the fall and subsequent curse polluted and corrupted that wasn't made new in His redemptive work on our behalf. In Him, we find the full expression of abundant living.

 Yes, brother God did a great work for us, but what about Paul's thorn or Trophimus being left because he was sick (here)? Well, I'd have to respond what about Jesus and what He accomplished in the Finished Work?
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 NKJV

 Here we see clearly recorded by the Apostle Peter under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, what exactly Jesus went about doing under the influence, leading, and direction of Father God. Take note that Jesus wasn't sending tragic circumstances, or plagues or famine or "natural" disasters. If God is the source of our tragedy or pain or suffering, how can one come to Him and find comfort?

 How can we take rest from our weariness, or find peace in the midst of adversity if our Father God is the one causing the distresses or ordaining the destruction of our lives? No God is never the source of our suffering or tribulation, He is the source of our salvation and deliverance. 
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 NKJV
Receive even more comfort reading this same passage from another translation
Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous— they may often seem overwhelmed— but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them. Psalm 34:19 Voice

 Am I teaching that if we have enough faith we will never experience adversity? Of course not. I am just revealing that the source of our affliction is never God. That God has made a way for us to receive deliverance and help in time of distress. As I have stated in the past, we live in a broken, fallen and fractured creation. This is the reason we there is so much anguish and destruction and disaster and disease. 

 Truly, God does know best. He brought to us this amazing plan of redemption. His Grace provided a way of escape, a way for us to receive new life and complete peace. God is sovereign. This simply means He is the only One. He is the supreme judge and ruler over all creation. He certainly has the capability to send death and famine and destruction. He is God and He can do what He wills. However, death, destruction, despair are not in His nature. God can't send or ordain what He doesn't have. 

 We can run to our Father God when the adversity and evils of this World system seem to overwhelm us. We can always find healing, peace, freedom and deliverance in His hands. Even when we are experiencing the collapse of all we know due to our own failures or misdeeds we can still find shelter in His arms of Grace. In Christ is are our healing, our deliverance, and wholeness.

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