Last week I looked at my healing journey from the physical perspective. My experience is that illness, disease, or physical affliction is always a doorway into God’s grace and an opportunity for healing not only of body, but also mind, heart, and spirit. As I have written before, God has created us in His triune image and He wants to heal all of us, not just part of us. I discovered that as God is healing my body, He is also dealing with blocked emotions, negative beliefs, unhealthy habits, and spiritual roadblocks.
I am experiencing the truth of James 1:2-4 (trials and adversity test my faith, produce perseverance, and result in spiritual maturity), 1 Peter 1:6-7 (being grieved by various trials tests the genuineness of my faith), Romans 5:3-4 (suffering produces perseverance, perseverance builds character, and character yields hope), and Romans 12:2 (I am to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer.)
I have learned to avoid making important decisions when I am tired, anxious, worried, or fearful. I am more aware than ever of my lack of control, so I turn to the One who is All Powerful and All Knowing for guidance, direction, and wisdom. Having peace of mind about an issue or situation signals for me alignment to His Will. I experience “being led forth in peace” (Isaiah 55:12), “the peace of God that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and the “peace I (Jesus) leave with you” (John 14;27).
I am learning the value and necessity of walking by faith and not by sight. As the months go by and I am not seeing some of the healing outcomes I desire or have prayed for, I need to remember the spiritual realm generates and maintains the physical realm. Outcomes manifest first in the unseen sphere before they appear in physical reality. When I become impatient, discouraged, or disheartened by what I perceive as a “lack of progress”, here is what Holy Spirit reminds me:
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask for in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So, the challenge becomes do I believe what I see (or don’t see) or what God says? I found answers not only in scripture, but in several books about faith healing that the Holy Spirit sent my way. Here is what the late evangelist Smith Wigglesworth had to say in Ever Increasing Faith:
P 41 – “God can work mightily when you persist in believing Him despite discouragement from the human standpoint. I am not moved by what I see. I am moved only by what I believe. I know this: no man looks at the circumstances if he believes. No man relies on feelings if he believes. The man who believes God has his request.” I also recommend reading Tom Marshall’s book Foundations for a Healing Ministry and Christ the Healer by F.F. Bosworth.
One of the first things I did back in July 2020 was ask the CCF Board of Elders to pray for my healing according to James 5:14, “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.”
I also reached out to my brothers and sisters in Christ and asked them to intercede for my complete healing from cancer. Holy Spirit brought to my attention the importance of examining the underlying assumption of my prayers. Was I praying with confident expectation or half-hearted hope? Chris Tiegreen’s devotional Confident Prayers describes it this way: “The expectation assumption says, ‘This is accomplishing something, even if I don’t see it right now – or ever.’ It’s a prayer anchored in the confident hope that God will move – because He promised, because He’s good, because this is just what He does. … Our thoughts color our prayers and they can lead to remarkable breakthroughs.” James 1:6-7 reminds us that a double-minded person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. So, I am following Chris’ advice: “Pray with confidence. Regardless of what you see with your eyes. God is responding somehow. He said He would. Believe, and you’ll eventually see.”
Os Hillman stated in Listening to the Father’s Heart – “Son, real faith means you believe a thing has already happened in heaven; you are simply waiting for the manifestation on earth. Real faith requires you to be single-minded. . . You must believe my intentions for you are good, even though I may require you to trust at a level you never thought possible.” For me, this meant I needed to place my total trust in “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” (Romans 4:17)
Having a serious disease has ignited my interest in faith healing. The gospels record Jesus healed everyone that came to Him and no condition, affliction, or disease was beyond His power to repair, restore, or redeem. Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), it makes sense He can still do today what He did then. The question for us is in Luke 18:8 “. . . Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” Will He find you and me with absolute faith in not only His power to heal, but also His willingness?
In my research, I learned there is a difference between the spiritual gifts of healing and miracles. Miracles are supernatural events that manifest immediately. Healing can be accomplished instantaneously, like signs and wonders God worked through Jesus and the apostles, or it can be accomplished through more “natural” processes that take time. Many believe that faith healing is limited to the past and restricted to the early church. However, faith healing has been a key manifestation of God’s power during major spiritual revivals. I have been encouraged by the healing testimonies in Christ the Healer and Ever Increasing Faith.
Holy Spirit reminds me to avoid making idols of practitioners, prescriptions, or procedures. These are methods that God may utilize in the healing process, but only He is the Great Physician and the source of healing. I am to put my trust in Him and Him alone. Keeping this focus makes it easier when changes to my treatment plan or protocol need to be made and ensures all glory goes to God.
An unexpected blessing from my affliction is the creation of the Hope and Healing Group. Several months into my cancer diagnosis I realized that most of my close friends were dealing with serious health issues – some like me with active cancer, some battling side effects of traditional oncology treatment, others with chronic illness. Holy Spirit put on my heart to get us all together and now we meet weekly via Zoom. We check in, share experiences and resources, pray for each other, offer support through the tough times, celebrate successes, and study the Word.
When I feel discouraged or become impatient and frustrated because I am not yet completely cancer free, God reminds me that He is not finished with His work, my illness is not the end of the story, and I need to keep the faith, stay on course, and persevere in prayer. Finish the race. Don’t give up. It still works. Expect to see the breakthrough and reap the harvest. Don’t be afraid even when He leads me into challenging, uncomfortable, and unknown experiences. Wherever He is leading is good. By faith, I need to let Him take me there. The work He is doing in me is for my present and future good and to reveal His glory (Romans 8:28).