Last night we focused on trust and we committed to trust God with everything we have this week. We committed to listen to God and to dive into the ocean of grace He has for us. This evening I only want to ask one simple question: Are you suffering from any ailment at all? Are you hurting emotionally? Are you sick physically? Are you hurting mentally? I’m here this evening to tell you that God has power over whatever sufferings you endure on this earth.
“After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five colonnades. Within these lay a large number of the sick — blind, lame, and paralyzed [— waiting for the moving of the water, because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had]. One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the sick man answered, ‘I don’t have a man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.’ ‘Get up,’ Jesus told him, ‘pick up your mat and walk!’ Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, ‘This is the Sabbath! Its illegal for you to pick up your mat.’ He replied, ‘The man who made me well told me, Pick up your mat and walk.’ ‘Who is this man who told you, Pick up your mat and walk?’ they asked. But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. After this, Jesus found him in the temple complex and said to him, ‘See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.’ The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.”
In American culture, we are told that medical science holds the answers to virtually every cure. When someone is feeling down, doctors are quick to diagnose him or her with clinical depression and offer a prescription that often has worse side affects than actual healing ability. We are eager to ease pain with any variety of medicines (including Tylenol or Advil) when those medicines do not fix the problem our pain is warning us of. Much like the man who waited for thirty-eight years to enter the healing waters of Bethesda, we are guilty of waiting and waiting for emotional, physical or mental healing that may or may not take place. We pray and ask God for healing while never really trusting Him to heal us. We wonder why we never receive healing. We ask God while still trying to heal ourselves.
This man at the pool wanted to be well and yearned for healing. The only hope he had was in a pool that may or may not have had the power to heal. When Jesus saw this man, he asked if the man would like to get well. The man answered, telling Jesus that no one would help him get into the healing waters. The man wanted to be healed and Jesus offered healing that did not require the waters from the pool at Bethesda.
Power of God’s healing
God’s healing power is so great that it does not depend on our situations, circumstances, technology or even our faith.
When I was a youth age student at Cameron Baptist Church in Lawton, OK. A man name Billy White came to lead worship for a disciple now weekend we had. On the last night, he asked that everyone struggling with both asthma and back problems stand so that he could pray over us, specifically for our healing. I did not have faith that God would heal me, yet I woke up the next morning and have not had problems with asthma since. Just as the man waiting by the pool only had faith in something physical, so I only had faith in what I had witnessed to be true. Despite my lack of faith and despite the paralytic’s lack of knowledge, God chose to heal both of us and He offers that healing to you as well. He does not depend on us, and He has power to heal any ailment!
Purpose for God’s healing
Jesus later finds the former paralytic and shows His excitement about the man’s healing warning him to sin no more, lest something worse befall him. When God heals, no matter the ailment being healed, it is always to bring that person closer to Himself. After all, the entire reason for man’s existence is to be in relationship with God. It was the introduction of sin into humanity that caused sufferings in any capacity to hinder mankind. Thus, as we sin more and more, the more vulnerable we are to these ailments. One of the greatest ways to stay healthy is to follow God and to stay away from sinful action. When God heals individuals, it not only is a picture of the salvation He offers, it is a portion of that salvation because it relieves some affects of sin in our lives! Our God is a healing God!
There is unlimited healing power in Christ and He desires to make us well. The challenge for tonight, just as the challenge for last night, revolves completely around the idea of trust. What are you suffering from? Is it a physical ailment? Is it a mental instability? Is it an emotional imbalance? I do not think that medicines are necessarily evil, but I do know that God has more power than medical drugs. Are you suffering?
“I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
Ask God for healing. Here is the reality: even if we don’t trust completely that God will heal us, His power does not depend on where our trust is. Anything we ask in Christ’s name will be done to God’s glory! Ask and receive healing. Give glory and praise to God for what He will do! Receive salvation and sin no more.