If the Bible doesn’t tell us that it’s always God’s will to heal us right now, what hope does it give me?
That’s question number 6.
And to understand, the answer to that question, you are going to have to understand there is a bigger problem in this universe than even, physical suffering.
And obviously, I know that while you are sick, that it’s sometimes hard to believe there is anything more serious, but sickness, no matter how bad it seems, isn’t the fundamental problem.
The fundamental problem, is sin.
Our personal, disobedience to God.
Our nature, being anti-God.
If we go back all the way to the beginning of the world, we see there was no sickness, there was no pain, there was no death, until man sinned against God, and he brought all those problems into the world, and worse, made himself an enemy of Go, who deserves the wrath of God.
And, so, of course, as we look out at the world, we want all these physical problems to be dealt with, but the reality is, that for any of those other, problems to be dealt with, that fundamental problem, of sin, has to be dealt with first.
Which of course we can’t do.
Which is why Jesus came.
I love how Isaiah puts it.
Isaiah begins with this huge problem, and that’s, that people are so wicked, and it ends, with this complete transformation, with the whole world being exactly as it should be, and as you read Isaiah, you are supposed to be asking how does God take us from here to there, from this world to the new world, and the answer, ultimately, is the Messiah.
He’s sending Jesus.
The surprise of Isaiah really.
Is how God’s going to use Jesus, to be able to fix what’s wrong with this world.
Because Isaiah tells us that He’s going to come into this world and be humiliated to the point where many are shocked and they say this can’t be the Messiah and they crucify Him which is not what you would expect to happen, when God comes into the world, to fix the problems of the world.
And so, of course you are asking why.
And Isaiah tells us, verse 5.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
And Isaiah’s explaining what happened on the cross as substitution. He was wounded for our transgressions. He died for we did.
In other words, man brought sin into this world, which ruined everything, and so God punished Jesus for our sins, taking the wrath we deserved, that we might have peace with God.
Which, is why he says next, by his stripes, we are healed.
And you have to understand this, because some people think, by his stripes we are healed right now.
Like Jesus came to die for sickness.
On the cross, Jesus took our sin.
Not our sicknesses.
He was not punished for our diseases. He endured the wrath of God for our sins.
But, ultimately, sin is the reason there are diseases and pain, and death, and so, taking the punishment for our sin, is part of God’s long term strategy for dealing with the fundamental problem.
God doesn’t just want to get rid of sickness for a little while. He wants to get rid of it forever.
A perfect place.
With a perfect people.
Who are experiencing a perfect relationship with Him.
And each other.
That’s what God is wanting to accomplish, and the Bible tells us, He is accomplishing that in stages.
You know how Jesus comes twice. At his first coming, He was laying the foundation for his second coming.
At his first coming, as someone’s explained, “He paid the price of our sins in order that, at his second coming, when he returns to glorify His people, He may wholly do with away with all of our sicknesses, forever.”
And so while the gospel doesn’t give us the hope, that, if we become Christians, we are going to be immediately healed of all our diseases, because, we are still living in this world, and there is sin, in this world, and, until sin is completely removed from this world, people will get sick and die, the gospel doesn’t give us the hope that we are not going to get sick right now, it gives us a better one, a more lasting one, God’s going to finish what He started, because Jesus dealt with the problem of sin, God’s able to create a new heavens and a new earth, which we will actually be able to enjoy, because we have peace with Him, and as a result, we will not experience any of the consequences of the fall.
And ultimately, that’s the hope I desperately want for you.
And you know, I got to see that hope in action recently.
I received a call a few weeks back from someone I had never met.
I could barely understand what he was saying, but finally, I figured out he wanted me to come to the hospital to visit him. I was in the middle of something, so it was a little difficult to get away, but finally Andre and I were able to take a trip over.
When we got there, he was laying in the bed.
A brace around his neck.
With his wife beside him.
He was a policemen from the rural areas, who had been in a terrible car wreck just a couple days before as he was trying to catch a criminal, but he also was a Christian, and since they had brought him all the way down to the hospital in Pretoria, he wasn’t near his church, which is why he called me.
He said, Pastor, everyone is coming and visiting him, and they are sympathizing with me, and talking nicely with me, and even praying with me, but I want to hear the Bible.
I want the book.
Please read me the Bible.
And as I read him the Bible, his eyes just lit up with joy.
He’s laying there paralyzed, they don’t know what is going to come next, and he just wants to hear from God, and when I finished, he looked up at me and said, pastor, thank you, I was just so thirsty for God’s Word. And then he told me.
He was an assistant pastor back home, and it was hard, because obviously, there isn’t a lot of money, which is why he had started working as a policeman, and laying there in the hospital bed, looking back, he felt like he was getting distracted, and so now, all he wants to do.
He didn’t talk to me about his legs and getting healthy or anything like that.
All he wants to do is go back and preach the gospel.
And I was looking at him, and thinking, this is a man, who is healthy. He may not be able to move his legs, but he’s got something much better, he’s got a heart that longs to know God and heart that longs to hear from God and a heart that longs to serve God, and so, you know whether he is able to walk again now, in this life, that would be nice of course, but he’s got something better, because he’s got the ability to take his sufferings and use them for God’s glory, and he’s got an eternal hope, that one day he’s going to be with Jesus and never suffer again, and I want that for you.
If you don’t have that hope, that’s more important than your health, and you see all these people crying for a miracle, that’s the miracle, you need to be crying out to God for now, God, I am dead spiritually, and I need you to make me alive, please God show me mercy, and heal me, from the INSIDE OUT.