“A man was lying there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.”
That was a long time to be sick. It’s tough to be an invalid year after year. This passage may come to some who have been thus afflicted, and we may as well stop a minute to think through their case. Christian invalids have many comforts if they will but take them to their hearts.
God makes no mistakes in dealing with His children.
He knows in what school they will learn the best lessons, and in what experiences they will grow up.
It is the same in spiritual life. We have no power in ourselves to do Christ’s will, but as we begin to obey the needed grace is given. Young people often say that they are afraid to enter into a Christian life because they can not do what will be required. In their own strength, they cannot. Plain and simple.
Human strength in itself is inadequate for life’s sore needs. But the young Christian who sets out in obedience to Christ, depending upon Him to open the path of duty, will never fail of needed help at the moment of need.
Richard Baxter gives us his take on this passage :
“How great mercy it was to live thirty-eight years under God’s wholesome discipline! O my God, I thank Thee for the like discipline of fifty-eight years; how safe life is this in comparison with full prosperity and pleasure!”
Sick-rooms should always be sacred places for believers, as we remember that God has summoned us there for some special work upon our souls. We must be very careful lest we miss the good He wants us to receive.
It’s only those who trust Christ and lie upon His bosom that is blessed by sickness.
“Too many invalids grow discontented, unhappy, sour, and fretful. Sickness oftentimes fails to do good to those who suffer. There are few experiences in which we so much need to be watchful over ourselves and prayerful toward God. Be sure to keep the sickness out of your heart, and keep Christ there with His love and peace.”
5 thoughts on “Does Sickness Bless You?”
Bryan, This is a wonderfully encouraging post. God truly does know where and how we will learn best to trust in Him. Were it not for sickness – had my life been all thornless-roses and chocolate pie – I would never have known I needed Him so and what a blessing it would be to walk with Him. I’m sure there are people who figure out their need without the lessons I’ve endured, but for me He knew just what I needed. Blessings and Peace, Linda
I don’t know what beneficial lesson is to be taught from having been stricken with sickness from grief to the point of dispair. I suppose it might be a wonderful experience for God to have our attention focussed like a lazer on Him. I know I put on a few amazing light shows for Him. Suffering can train a teachable person to remember how sensitive they can be and teach them what a grave mistake it is to cause needless pain and suffering. But, I’m not inclined to think anyone is blessed by suffering. I’m inclined to believe all pain and suffering is needless and pointless. There was a time when maybe it was understandable that a parent would slap the hand of their child who reached to put their hand on the hot stove. But we have mirowaves now, so that’s not really necessary.
So many of us “need” suffering in order to become more obedient. This discipline is never malicious or vindictive. It is exactly what we need, and precisely measured out to the exact degree we need.
This is good! Thank you Pastor Bryan!
Thankful for the beatitudes… There is amazing mercy in those words proclaimed on the mount. Did you ever wonder why in the beatitudes that the cross one bears opens the door to Mercy while faith or trust is never mentioned? God is good!
Comments are closed.