VIDEO Headwinds – The Glory of God in the Midst of Affliction

Headwinds

He causes His wind to blow. Psalm 147:18

In 1942, a group of volunteers from the Army Air Corps signed onto a dangerous secret mission to conduct bombing raids under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle. One of the men, Sergeant Joe Manske, was a mechanic and gunner on the fifth B-25 to take off from the USS Hornet. The men completed their mission and were making their way to a landing strip in China when they were confronted by tremendous headwinds that slowed their progress and depleted their fuel. Manske knew there was only one hope. In the back of the Mitchell B-25 bomber, he got down on his knees and earnestly prayed. And as he prayed, the winds began to shift direction, and what had been a headwind slowly turned into a tailwind of about 25 miles per hour and began pushing the plane toward their landing site. According to Navy meteorologists, that kind of wind never occurred in that region. The crew made it to China where all five crewmembers bailed out and were rescued.

When we pray, God gradually transforms headwinds into tailwinds. He turns curses into blessings. When peace seems illusive, we have the power of prayer to assure us God is in control on His throne.

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. Martin Luther


John Piper: The Glory of God in the Midst of Affliction

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Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves

1 Samuel 26:1-22, 25

We shall again have an instance of David’s generous spirit, if we read in—Thus David conquered by forbearance, and the lesson for us is, “overcome evil with good.”

 

They Shall Lay Hands on the Sick, And They Shall Recover!

Mark 16:17, 18

In Mark 16:18, Jesus said that believers would lay hands on the sick, and the sick would recover. What category of sick people was Jesus talking about? What did He mean when He said they would recover? Are there examples of this in Jesus’ own ministry that we can read and learn from? Let’s look deeply into this verse today to see how it applies to you and me!

First, let’s look at the word “sick,” because this describes the category of sick people Jesus was talking about. This is the Greek word arroustos, which comes from the word arunnumi. The word runnumi normally means to be well, to be strong, to be in good health, or to possess a strong physical condition. When an a is placed in front of this word, it reverses the condition and instead means to be in bad health or to possess a weak and broken condition. It is the image of a person so weak and sick that he has become critically ill. He is an invalid.

The following three scriptures show us examples of times when Jesus healed people who were afflicted with an arroustos type of sickness:

  • Matthew 14:14 says, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” The word “sick” in this verse is the Greek word arroustos. Matthew informs us that Jesus was especially drawn to those who were so weak that they were without strength. These people whom He healed that day were invalids.
  • Mark 6:5 tells us, “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” In Greek, the words “sick folk” also come from the Greek word arroustos. This lets us know that these were extremely sick people. Most readers presume that these were minor ailments, but the word arroustos tells us emphatically that these were critically ill individuals.
  • Mark 6:13 says, “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” The word “sick” is the Greek word arroustos, which means these individuals were very frail and weak in health.

These examples of the word arroustos vividly show that these were not people who were simply feeling poorly because of some small ailment; these were people who were devastated by sickness. They were so physically weak, so critically ill, and so lacking of strength that they had become invalids. This is the category of sick people that Jesus said believers would lay hands on, and they would recover. He wasn’t talking about headaches and skin abrasions! He was talking about believers laying hands on people who are critically ill and who fall into the category of invalids.

Notice that Jesus said believers would “lay hands” on the sick. These words come from the Greek word epitithimi, a compound of the words epi and tithimi. The word epi means upon, and tithmi means to place. When they are joined to become the word epitithimi, it means to place upon or to lay upon. This word is used in Luke 4:40 to describe one event during which Jesus placed His hands upon sick people.

Luke 4:40 says, “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.” That evening the people brought to Jesus “any sick.” This word “sick” is different than the other examples we looked at earlier. It is the word asthenios, which depicts a wide range of infirmities. This is why it is further amplified by the phrase “any sick with diverse diseases.” This represents a wide range of sicknesses, but the word “diseases” lets us know that some of these people were seriously ill. This word “diseases” is the Greek word nosos, which always conveys the idea of a terrible malady or an affliction of the most severe nature. Often the word nosos depicted a terminal illness for which there was no natural cure. Hence, it could describe people who were terminally ill.

What did Jesus do for these people? He laid His hands upon them, and He healed them. In such cases, Jesus was giving the perfect example of how believers would later lay their hands on the sick—including the terminally ill— and see them be restored back to health as a result of their obedience.

But when you look carefully at Mark 16:18, you’ll notice that Jesus promised recovery. That recovery could be instantaneous, or it could be a process that is prolonged over a period of time. The words “they shall” are from the Greek word echo, which means to have or to possess. But the tense that is used in this verse doesn’t picture something that is instantaneous, but rather something that occurs progressively. In fact, the word “healed” doesn’t speak of an instantaneous event either. It is the word kalos, which in this case means to be well, to be healthy, or to be in good shape. Taken together as one complete phrase, it could be translated, “… they shall progressively feel themselves getting better and better, until finally they are well and healthy.”

This lets us know that all healings do not occur instantly; some of them take place over a period of time. But Jesus’ promise is that if we will follow His example and lay our hands on the sick, God’s power will be released into the body of the afflicted. If we are releasing our faith and believing for healing power to flow from us to the recipient, healing virtue will be deposited into the sick person’s body. Just as medicine slowly works to reverse a medical condition, the power of God that was deposited with the laying on of our hands will begin to attack the work of the devil and progressively bring that sick person back into a state of health and well-being.

Jesus promised that any believer could do this! Any believer, including you, can lay hands on the sick and see the sick get better and better until they are finally restored back to health. All that is required for God to use you in this way are three basic criteria: 1) That you have a desire for God to heal through you; 2) That you have hands to lay on sick people; and 3) That your faith is released to activate the power of God to heal. If you can fulfill these three requirements, you’re ready to get into the healing ministry!

Healing the sick is part of your responsibility as a believer. You cannot do it alone, but the Holy Spirit is present to impart His power when you act in Jesus’ name. So rather than look at sick people and feel pity for them, why don’t you pull your hands out of your pockets and go lay them on those sick people, just as Jesus did when He was ministering on the earth? The Word of God guarantees that God will work with you to bring healing and health to those who are in need. Why don’t you get started healing the sick today?

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You for confidence to lay my hands on the sick. I want Your healing power to flow through me and to be deposited into sick bodies, attacking the enemy’s work until finally those sick people are restored back to health again. In Your Word, it is stated that when believers lay hands on the sick, the sick would be made well again. Today I am making the decision to pull my hands out of my pockets and to place them on the sick so Your healing power can be delivered to others through me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God’s power is released into the bodies of the afflicted when I lay my hands on them. Just as medicine slowly works to reverse a medical condition, the power of God that is deposited when I lay my hands on sick people begins to attack their affliction, causing them to be progressively restored to health and well-being. Healing the sick is part of my responsibility, so I boldly confess that I am going to lay my hands on sick people just as Jesus did when He was ministering on the earth—and I expect to see them get well!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How long has it been since you looked at your hands and really thought about how God wants His power to flow through them to heal sick people?
  2. Have you ever laid your hands on the sick? When was the last time you did so? What was the result the last time you placed your hands on the sick and released your faith to see them get well?
  3. If you interviewed the people you have laid hands on in the past, what percentage of them do you think eventually got well? Did you ever stop to think that their recovery may have been due to the power that was deposited into their bodies when you laid your hands on them?

 

“Arise, O God! Plead thine own cause.”

Psalm 83

In after years, when Israel came into sore trouble, her holy men remembered the Lord’s overthrow of Jabin and Sisera, and made it a plea in prayer. We must never doubt that what the Lord did in the olden times for his people he can and will do again. He may alter his mode of action, but he will achieve the same result.

Psalm 83:1, 2

O Lord, thine enemies are raging, do not be deaf and dumb to them, but hear thou their furious threats, and rebuke them by thy word. They are very proud, but do thou, O Lord, abase them.

Psalm 83:3

God’s people are hidden as his choice treasure, hidden for protection, hidden in their secret nature, and hidden in the sense of being obscure and unvalued. Against such the wicked plot with cunning and cruelty. Though believers sometimes act without consideration, their enemies seldom do so. In this matter the children of this world are wiser than the children of light.

Psalm 83:4

Only extermination will serve their turn. The powers of evil would not leave a believer on earth if they could help it. Remember the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and be assured that the spirit of Antichrist is unchanged.

Psalm 83:5-8

Thus relatives and near neighbours, old enemies and new foes, were of one mind against the favoured nation. The wicked often put divided Christians to shame by their unanimity.

Psalm 83:11, 12

They meant to take the tabernacle itself as a prey, and to attack the shrine of God himself. Their total destruction was a fit reward for such ferocious sacrilege.

Psalm 83:13

Let them have no rest, let them have no power to resist thee.

Psalm 83:14, 15

We must love our own enemies, but when we view men as the enemies of God and his glorious cause, we cannot love them nor ought we to do so. May all those who fight against God, truth, love, and holiness, be utterly defeated.

Psalm 83:16

A sweet prayer, fit for Christian lips, since it asks for the salvation of those who are now the Lord’s enemies.

Psalm 83:17

If wicked men will not bend, then let them break, for it cannot be that all the rights of men and all the laws of God should be set aside to give liberty to unholy minds. If truth and holiness cannot live except bad men be put down, then down let them go.

Psalm 83:18

This is the grand design of providence, and the end to which all events must tend. Let us as a household and as individuals, be ever found upon the Lord’s side.

 

O Jesu Christ, thy Church sustain;

Our hearts are wavering, cold and vain;

Then let thy word be strong and clear,

To silence doubt and banish fear.

 

O guard us all from Satan’s wiles,

From worldly threats and worldly smiles,

And let thy saints in unity

Know thee in God and God in thee.