Standing with Faith and Patience


Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then

This week hasn’t been the best.

It started off well.
Monday last week I woke full of joy, something that continued throughout our pre-dawn walk around the neighbourhood.
At times I felt I could shout out “HALLELUJAH” and break into a dance of celebration in the middle of the street (totally out of character). But nearby residents would not have taken kindly to the early morning disturbance.

From there things went downhill with a clear attack against my faith on several fronts.

It was the hardest week to date physically, with post-chemo fatigue spreading over three days instead of one (usually only a few hours on that one day) and a few other chemo-related symptoms I’d not previously suffered.

And there have been some comments made on the blog clearly intended to undermine my faith. Even though I give the commenter the courtesy of assuming he had the best of intentions, I have difficulty understanding what he thought those “best intentions” were.

I’ve answered those comments under the posts on which they were made, and also addressed some of his beliefs in my previous topic De Facto Calvinism.

I have now advised that any further comments of that type will not be passed through moderation – although, unfortunately I’ll have to read them myself to make that judgement and decision.

Basically his comments were grounded in typical Calvinist thought – that God is sovereign and He alone will sovereignly choose if I live or die. Forget what God has revealed in scripture. Forget faith in Him, His word, and His promises. Just submit to Divine lottery.

I reject such fatalistic nonsense and submit myself to the One true God through faith in Him and His word. I’ll seek Him HIS way.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Heb 6:12) NIV

In addition to that particular commenter, there was also an ongoing series of negative comments about videos I’d posted of two men with healing ministries. One particular thread had to be closed for comments after what was possibly a record 50 comments (mostly negative, apart from my replies). Sadly that seems to show how little regard has been paid to what God has revealed about healing and His will regarding the health of His people, something I have dealt with in some detail, with abundant scripture references, in many posts over the past couple of months.

Despite another doubt-sowing comment, in which I was told of three friends who died of cancer despite believing God would heal them*, things started to turn around yesterday. I had a wonderful time in prayer during which I had a personal breakthrough. This followed on from some very fruitful Bible time when I was able to resolve a longstanding, personal question I’d had, that probably helped make the prayer time so profitable. (Thank you Lord for your word, and thank you Holy Spirit for the understanding.)

I was also contacted by an elder from the church I’ve recently started attending, inviting me to a prayer meeting tonight. It’s good to know this new fellowship is a praying church and I hope to get along to that meeting to join them.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion
who satisfies your desires with good thing
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.(PS 103) NIV

Just as I was finalising this post, I was interrupted by a phone call.

It was a very precious long-standing friend, someone I’ve known for about 40 years. She is a woman of strong faith, and powerful prayer, and called to check on how I was going and to encourage me.

Yet another example of the Lord’s care.

Praise His name!!!

_______________________________

* For some reason I have difficulty understanding why believing God should be viewed as a bad thing.
I suspect those friends of the commenter had no regrets for maintaining their faith in God when they found themselves face to face with Him.

10 thoughts on “Standing with Faith and Patience

  1. Hi Tim, I’ve not commented since my initial comment when you disclosed that you had been diagnosed with cancer and that you and Gloria were praying for healing. I have also not liked any of your articles until today, because quite frankly the things being discussed seem worthy of more than a little tick which I find often has the effect of trivialising a matter. By that I mean it is so easy to just tick a box and move on without giving thought or prayer to the serious matters being considered in a post. But I am just popping in to say I have been reading your articles, most of them, and have been on my own journey of considering this matter of healing more deeply, something I have long avoided mostly through disappointment and discouragement at not seeing people healed when I or others have prayed with them.

    I am enjoying your posts, am considering deeply the scriptures you share, and have found some of your statements challenging and needing my further prayerful consideration. I’ve also found some of them to be helping me to build my own faith up in this area of healing. All that just to say that though I am not commenting, I am mindful of this faith journey you are on and wish to encourage you in that journey. No-one who has not been on a very similar personal journey, with the accompanying medical interventions and side effects, has any place expressing an opinion about how you and God are relating during this time.

    For myself, I have some health concerns I am also working through (not as life-threatening as yours), so I am following your journey hoping to observe and learn. I do have one question, and it is in no way a challenge, and that is how do you see modern medical interventions fitting in with our prayers for healing and faith that God will heal us? This is something I am thinking about at the moment and would be interested to know your thoughts. God bless you and Gloria and may your faith and relationship with our beautiful Saviour and our Father and the precious Holy Spirit only grow deeper during this challenging time.

  2. I have also not liked any of your articles until today

    Hi Cheryl, you had me worried with that statement until I read on … : )

    Thank you very much for your encouraging words, and I’m very happy to hear that my studies and reports have been a help to you. I know others who have felt the same and it’s a big encouragement to me, especially after so much negativity.

    I haven’t given a lot of thought about modern medical interventions apart from my own chemo treatment – which offers no cure, but can only slow down the progress of the cancer. I would like to stop the treatment, but choose to continue the course for the full six months. The treatment gives me time off work for the duration, allowing me to spend as much time as possible in the word and prayer to strengthen my faith, without that it would be hard to face the doubts that are so present in the world and the church.
    Another benefit of having medical involvement is the opportunity to have everything documented. We already have the doctors written diagnosis and prognosis, giving me no hope at all. I’m looking forward to follow up reports in which they have to admit the miracle of healing.

    I guess the “benefit” of a terminal diagnosis in my case, is that it gave me the freedom to trust God and only God for health and life. While there was the possibility of life-saving treatment through surgery, that was where my “faith” was being placed – in the surgeon’s skills. That option was taken away quite early.

    In looking around for testimonies of healing, I’ve found some in which medical help was avoided – sometimes because the treatment was being rejected by their body, and other in which medical/surgical aid had been used. I suppose it comes down to the strength of a person’s faith for their own healing.

    I spent decades avoiding doctors, because I thought seeing one would be a failure of faith, but I found genuine faith is built on a more solid foundation than stubborn avoidance of doctors, and I ended up eventually having to have surgery to fix up a long standing health problem.

    Genuine faith in God is built upon knowing and trusting His will regarding a matter. That’s why I found it essential to discover for myself what scripture revealed about God’s will related to healing. Without that firm knowledge, the best I could do was wish for a life-saving outcome.
    Now having that foundational understanding established, I have a solid reason to believe in Him for a total healing.

  3. “I have also not liked any of your articles until today…” Sorry, I could have worded that better! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have always believed, even during my Pentecostal years, that God could choose to use doctors and medical science to heal if He chooses to and doesn’t always heal by way of a miracle. However, as with many other long held beliefs, everything is on the table for re-examination at the moment. Personally I have heard so many sermons on healing over so many years, but seen very few genuine healings while still believing God’s will is to heal, that I had unconsciously put the whole subject ”on the shelf” in the too hard basket. Your posts, plus my own need for improved health for myself and others close to me, have forced me to take that subject off the shelf and dust if off. So thankyou. I shall continue to follow along prayerfully!

  4. Personally I have heard so many sermons on healing over so many years, but seen very few genuine healings while still believing God’s will is to heal, that I had unconsciously put the whole subject ”on the shelf” in the too hard basket

    I think that’s the case with most of us who have been in Pentecostal churches. Too much talking the talk – but no walking the walk. I don’t know that I’ve personally met many professing believers who haven’t resorted to making excuses for lack of healing, often pointing back to God’s “sovereign will”. But leaving such an escape clause is an admission of not really knowing God’s will – and as I’ve discovered, that is an essential aspect of praying in faith.

    Healing is one of those areas that people are afraid of venturing into because it can be a challenge to our faith, and its hard to overcome the strong traditional conditioning we’ve all been subjected to.

    Doctors can be a good back up, but I don’t see them as being God’s perfect answer to healing., but He can honour their skill and use them if that is the level of faith we currently have.
    That’s probably the direction I’d been taking over recent years and was going to do so again this time, even though the post-surgical results would have left me incapable of eating normally again.
    I now see it as a blessing that it was decided the cancer was inoperable. With no hope available through medicine I had no option but to trust completely in the Lord, so I had to start SERIOUSLY seeking Him and totally overhauling my life, which had become increasingly complacent and compromised.

  5. Thank you Cheryl for your positive and encouraging comments. They are appreciated especially at a time where Tim has been constantly bombarded with thoughtless, attacking comments.

    It has been difficult seeing Tim read each negative comment, and then watching him replying to them. This past week Tim has not been well, and it has upset me to see that there are people who are constantly attacking him on this blog. These people are not acting like Christians! Where is their compassion?

    I believe if they have nothing positive and helpful to say at this time they should stop commenting, as it is NOT HELPING Tim…!

    The constant negativity is doing the devil’s work!!!

    Gloria

  6. I need to apologise to you again Tim and to you too Gloria for all the hurt I have caused and contributed to in my recent posts.

    Gloria – I fully accept that it was wrong of me to post as I did – I accept your rebuke, I am sincerely sorry.

    I shall not comment again but will continue to read and support you both in prayer for Tim’s full healing.

    Roger

    *****
    Tim, I have sent an email including the above and a little more – I’m not sure whether it will come through or not as I have received nothing in return – please don’t concern yourself about resending.

  7. Hi Roger, thank you for the apology. We both appreciate your humility and sincerity.
    I received your email and will reply to that later.
    I replied to your earlier email, and later resent it – which it seems you also didn’t receive.

    You have the same email provider as someone else we both know and he also had problems with them and didn’t receive a lot of mail sent to him.
    Thanks again Roger.
    Tim

  8. Thank you Tim and thank you Gloria..

    Tim, you might try the email address that I post under here as well as the usual one – which for some reason I cannot use to post here.

  9. I read this and was listening to a Bible study in which the pastor said that the original sin in the garden was not believing God’s word (regarding the fruit on the tree and Satan’s query “Did God really say?”.) It dawned on me–how is denying what God has said regarding healing any different? I don’t believe it is.

    The other thought I can’t get out of my mind is 2 Timothy 3, specifically verse 5. Denying God’s power but in reading the entire chapter I can’t help but think it speaks specifically of the times in which we are living.

    I heard this recently and I have thought of it often this past week:

    One day, the Devil laid out his gleaming, razor-edged tools upon a worn and ancient wooden table. He announced a “fire” sale and carefully marked the price upon each tool and throughout the day each sold until only one was left One of the buyers asked the Devil, “How much for this one?” “I’m sorry, that tool isn’t for sale,” the Devil replied. The man asked why not? The Devil replied It is the most useful tool I own and without it, I wouldn’t be half as effective in my work. With that tool alone, I can accomplish my every task. Now good day, sir.” Disapppointed, the man said to the Devil, “If I can’t buy it, would you, at least tell me its name?” A slow and wicked grin grew across the Devil’s face. “Of course, its name is… Discouragement.”

  10. Thanks for that rlvan – there’s so much truth in everything you said.

    As I was just typing this it came to mind that Satan’s first recorded personal contact with Jesus was the challenge : “If you are the Son of God… ”
    When we look immediately prior to that, we see Jesus being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit, and a voice from heaven (God) saying “You are My Son”.

    Looking at those two events, it is clear that Satan tried the same tactic of trying to get JESUS to doubt the word of His own Father, and he tried it when Jesus was physically vulnerable after a long fast in the harsh wilderness.
    The same was tried later, again at a time of vulnerability – “come down from the cross if you are the Son of God”.

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