The Godly Response to Physical Maladies

Right Thinking when I’m Sinking

Physical maladies can be incredibly difficult to work through. Often times it is not only our bodies which are affected, but also our minds. Maintaining a right perspective is only possible when we walk in the Spirit and allow Him to control our thinking.

God is still in my Boat and still in Charge

In Mark 4:35-41 the disciples learned an important lesson about trusting God despite the seemingly impossible circumstances. These professional fishermen encountered a storm which looked like it would destroy them. The Lord Jesus Christ was sleeping, and it appeared like He was unconcerned for their welfare. Instead of trusting, they were toiling. Instead of experiencing the freedom that comes from knowing the presence and power of God, they were frantic. After giving everything in their own strength, they finally approached the Master of the wind and the waves. He demonstrated His omnipotence by rebuking the weather and bringing about incredible peace.

The application here is not that the Lord will always remove the difficult circumstances, but rather that He is present in the storm, and in full control. The Lord will always do what is right, and we are to exercise faith in Him.

God is only up to Good things in my Life

For many Christians Romans 8:28 has become a cliché. However, it is not some vain and repetitious mantra that sounds good but carries no real truth. This precious text encourages the Christian with the knowledge that God will only ever do good, and even the difficult circumstances of life are threads in His tapestry of grace. Whether we are experiencing sickness, grief, heartache, loss or pain, we can be assured that this is working out for our sanctification and ultimate good.

God’s Grace and Power are more fully realised in my Weakness

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul faces an undisclosed thorn in the flesh. Whatever the malady, it was difficult, and the Lord would not remove it though Paul had “pleaded” with Him to do so on numerous occasions. Instead of a “removing job,” God wanted to do an “improving job” in the life of His servant. In Verse 9, The Lord Jesus Christ speaks to Paul and says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In other words, the Lord wanted Paul to learn the reality of God’s strength and grace, and his own weakness. The spiritual result of this thorn is noted in verse 10 when Paul affirms that he is “content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.”

A Godward Gaze is required to stay Afloat

In Matthew 14:22-33 the Lord Jesus Christ comes to His disciples walking on the sea in the middle of the night. Having overcome his initial fear, Peter enquires of the Lord as to whether he might come to him on the water. The Lord says “Come.” Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk on the water. This experienced fisherman had never in all his life walked on water. However, when he became distracted by the wind and elements he began to sink. The Lord rebuked Peter for not continuing to walk by faith. Whilst Peter maintained a god-ward gaze, he not only kept his head above the waves, but he walked on top of the perilous sea.

When we maintain a god-ward gaze in the midst of hardships, we too will live above the adverse circumstances. We must continue by faith to look to Christ and His Word. Only then will our minds and strength be renewed. Hope in the Lord and we will “mount up with wings as eagles.” Paul writes, “Do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).