HEALING VS. GRACE.
If you had your choice, which umbrella would you rather stand under? Think about it...
Our church has launched an 8-week, 40-day study in which we all hope to read through the entire New Testament. During the week we come together with our "growth groups" to discuss our reading and what passages may have stood out or raised a question. Our pastor (Pete Yoshonis) is presenting some fabulous coordinating sermons, and it's a blessing to know that several hundred of us are all plugging along together, hoping to read the entire N.T. over the next eight weeks. (I'm on schedule now. Let's see how I'm doing five weeks from now. Yikes!) My overachieving hubby has already read it in full, and is now starting over!
Anyway, our pastor blogged on the same topic I'm touching on today - this matter of faith, grace, and healing.
One Sunday our congregation was blessed to sit under the tutelage of Ed Dobson, former pastor of Grand Rapids Calvary Church, a large body of believers. He discussed with us his ongoing, grueling battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). He recalled conversations related to healing. Some well-meaning friends suggested that perhaps he lacked faith enough to be healed. They informed him that his lack of faith had undoubtedly raised a barrier between him and God. (Sad, isn't it?)
I have listened to these kinds of conversations myself while going through difficult times and questioning within why God didn't just heal me - did I not have enough faith? It does seem people want to reduce healing to "if you just believe, you will receive".
If all that negative talk discouraged Reverend Dobson, he didn't let on. No, instead he shared a most relevant concept that has stayed with me since his visit some two or more years ago. He recalled the story in Luke regarding the blind man pushing his way through the crowd and calling out in a loud, clear voice, "Jesus! King of David! Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me."
"Did he ask for healing?" Reverend Dobson asked. "No, he asked for mercy." He went on to say, "I don't know if I have enough faith to be healed, but I do know that God has more than enough mercy for me."
He added, "God has given me the mercy I need each day in the midst of this hard journey."
Are YOU finding God's grace and mercy sufficient for your needs? Click on the picture above to enlarge it and read the wonderful words in this age-old hymn. If that doesn't encourage you I don't know what will.
Be BLESSED, my precious friends. God's grace is sufficient, no matter your need."