I did just a little bit of research on the state of health in America the other day, and in just a few minutes I came up with these stats.
In the United States, 200,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from complications caused by the flu each year.
An estimated 2.1 million adults are affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
In 1900 Asthma was considered rare. Now it is considered epidemic. It kills 5,000 Americans yearly, and 180,000 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
In the US there has been a 60 percent increase in chronic migraine headaches
Since 1991 there has been a 500 percent increase in the number of prescriptions written.
You don’t have to look very far or very hard to find that people are sick and they seem to be getting sicker. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I read a story the other day about a young Irishman who once sought to purchase a boat fare to America, where he hoped to immigrate.
From his years of savings, he discovered that he had the sufficient funds to pay the fare, but not enough to pay for his meals aboard the ship.
But still he was determined to seek the opportunity for a new life in America, so he booked his passage and managed to scrape a few cents together for some cheese and some stale bread to carry him through his long journey.
One evening during the first two weeks at sea, the captain was walking the deck when he noticed the Irishman sitting near the bow eating his cheese and bread.
“Why aren’t you in the galley eating supper with the other passengers?” asked the Captain.
The Irishman replied, “I regret sir that I only had sufficient funds to buy passage, but not enough to pay for meals.”
The captain looked at him curiously and said, “Son, didn’t you know that your meals were included in your fare?”
A lot of Christians go through life like the Irishman. They ask Jesus into their hearts and receive the free gift of salvation, but they let it end there. They don’t realize that there are more benefits for them to enjoy.
Salvation isn’t just a ticket to a destination (Heaven). That’s part of it but not all. Jesus wants us to have Heaven here on earth, and He paid a great price so that we could. Many Christians are unaware that Christ’s atonement paid for other benefits.
Psalm 103:2-3 says, “Don’t forget all the Lord’s benefits! He forgives all your sins, and also heals all your diseases!”
Healing is a part of the package that Jesus purchased at the cross.
Jesus not only purchased the salvation of our souls, but His sufferings also secured our physical healing.
In fact, the word salvation, in the New Testament, comes from the Greek word “soteria,” which means wholeness and healing, both in the physical and spiritual.
Years before Jesus came to the earth, the prophet Isaiah described the sufferings that He would endure and the reason why He would endure them.
Isaiah 53:4-5 says, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
The stripes mentioned by Isaiah were from the awful scourging upon Jesus’s back by the Roman whips.
I did a little bit of research to learn more about this scourging that Jesus went through. I don’t tell you this to gross you out. I just think it’s important to understand what Jesus was willing to go through in order to purchase our healing.
A scourging in Roman times was 39 lashes. A whip called a “cat of nine tails” was used, with each tail having a piece of metal or bone attached to the end of it.
After the soldier struck Jesus with the lash, he dragged the lash across His body in a whipping motion. The pieces of metal and bone shredded the flesh as it whipped it across his back.
The legal limit was 39 lashes, because 40 would often kill a man. Because this was a “cat of nine tails” it was actually 39 times 9, or 351 lashes. The objective was to do the most damage without killing a man. A wrongfully placed lash could disembowel a prisoner.
There are 32 vertebra down your backbone. Four main nerves come out of each vertebra. These nerves are each about the size of a piece of spaghetti. Many of these nerves were exposed during Jesus’ beating. The pain would be as if you exposed a nerve in a tooth, excruciatingly horrible. After this beating Jesus would have been a bloody mass of meat, indistinguishable as a human.
The Bible says in Isaiah 52:14, “Just as there were many who were appalled at him (talking about Jesus) – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.”
Jesus was willing to pay a horrible price so that you could have health.
1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds (that is the stripes that He took) you have been healed.”
Several years ago a well-known physician claimed to have discovered that all the world’s diseases could be traced to 39 root sources.
I don’t think that is just a coincidence. Jesus took a lash for every disease known to mankind.
Sickness is of the devil. Jesus went to the cross to destroy the work of the enemy. And whatever is of the devil, we don’t want anything to do with it.
Remember what Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
In Luke 13:16 it says, “And after healing a woman who was crippled by a spirit, Jesus said, ‘Should not his woman, a daughter of Abraham, who SATAN HAS KEPT BOUND for eighteen long years, be set free?’”
Sickness is not caused by God but by Satan. And God tells us, in James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
We don’t have to put up with anything that comes from the devil, and that includes sickness.
So if you’re sick today, here’s what you need to do:
01. First of all, you need a promise.
You need to find a verse in the Bible about healing and you need to stand on that verse. Abraham had a word from God. You have the Word of God. Just as God did with Abraham, you need to keep that promise in front of you. You need to remind yourself of it by speaking it, reading it and looking at it over and over.
This will build up your faith in the promise.
Don’t worry about how big or small your faith may be. All that matters with God is that you trust him to take care of it because you can’t.
02. Submit yourself to God.
As much as it is God’s will and desire to heal, things such as unconfessed sin, disobedience, unbelief, or unforgiveness toward others can hinder your reception of healing. In some instances, they could actually be the original cause of your illness.
If there’s sin in your life confess it, and then move on.
03. Pray in faith.
Place your faith in the finished work of Christ’s sufferings on behalf of your sickness or disease. Christ has already paid for your healing. How dare you not receive it and walk in it.
04. Call for church elders.
Ask the elders or ministers of the church to anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith over you. The Bible says, in James 5:14-15, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
Notice that it says the prayer of faith shall save the sick! Ask the elders and other believers to lay hands on you and pray. Mark 16:18 says, “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” THEY WILL RECOVER!
05. Keep Believing
Don’t stop praying and believing! This is the most common reason why some people don’t receive healing. They get discouraged and give up their faith. Most would prefer to have instantaneous healing, but most healings occur gradually over time. Be patient and be steadfast in your faith. Keep praising and thanking God for your answer.
God will be faithful to His Word, if you will be faithful to believe! Hebrews 6:12 tells us, “Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”