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FORUM > Listening to God > sickness by jc ryle

sickness by jc ryle From: David Dawson 20 Oct 2012 (22:37)
I\'ve been a keen follower of R.C.Ryle [Bishop].
and I prayed would it be beneficial to some believers, this has helped me to conclud some of my own understandings

Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?

4. To make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.

5. To send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.

6. To make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.

7. To make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”

8. To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many—they have found Christ in the sick room.

9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise – a good and not an evil – a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Christ in the Sick Room

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Wow   From: pauline Tait 21 Oct 2012 (08:54)
If I disagree with this totally....we can still be friends can\'t we? smile I will not now ever regard sickness as a blessing in disguise or otherwise mainly cos Jesus dies for every sickness and every curse shed His blood so we might be healed. Now I agree that if you have wisdom and you are sick you will examine yourself. The word of God is health and healing to the bones etc...but I rejoice that when I fall short as we each do that sickness is not my punishment becasue I am born again and covered by grace.
Too many times the church has more or less preached that if your sick it\'s your own fault...and yes there are consequences to sin and we are in a fallen world but God is greater He that is in us is greater.
Suppose you are indeeed sick because of demonic oppression should we call it a blessing...suppose you are sick becasue you have been cursed..(Reiki for eg) that can\'t be a blessing...and if only all sickness would be dispelled by repentance how much easier would that be how much fun to release all by a simple and short prayer..
When you have been chronicly or long term sick you pray differently....there are things you don\'t say we should be as I am always saying the things that Jesus would say the way He says them

More than one angle to this subject  From: June Ritchie 21 Oct 2012 (13:30)
How can we disagree with each other over such a vast subject and a very real problem for a lot of Christians. Sin sickness is real according to the words of the Saviour after he had healed the paralytic; ; Sin no more lest worse shall come upon you. faulty and unhealthy lifestyles can bring on varied sickness, immorality is sin and can bring on sickness but these are only two examples but NO, how can we measure such a wide issue with just this one angle.?
Christ\'s blood is real and He is our healer but the Lord God is supreme he alone decides the issue for us by His grace we can\'t argue it, knock Him for it but we can choose that whatever happens we are going to overcome it in a way that glorifies Jesus in our lives. Accidents happen, so okay I fall down the stairs and arthritis is what happens next.
As time goes by getting older doesn\'t help. Am I to murmur daily? am I to stop serving God because it brings on pain?. LOL am sure the devil would enjoy that, or enjoy hearing me whip myself in case I have done something wrong to be punished for. Certainly dont want to spend time falling in that trap.
Am i to accuse God for ears that have difficulty hearing and can no longer hear the music of others? I can still hear myself singing praises to Him!
Yes I can weep over it and think of all that happened that brought me into such a situation. RNID says Don\'t lose the music! well I have am I to lie down and die because of it?
I can and do encourage myself to believe in Jesus as my healer and look to Him for those physical needs that often seem pressing!
I\'ve seen lovely disciples die unhealed who were not short on faith, but who were shining lights in the midst of the congregation. Should I respect them less? should i tell myself there was something wrong in their life and witness, when standing in a funeral service full of friends and relatives there to celebrate what was their often painful lives?
All these things then are just to cause food for thought and not aimed at anyone. I feel sickness that fails to be healed for some reason or another is a field no one really crosses in this lifetime.
God holds the answers and I honestly dont feel they ever can be spoken off pat just like that, for sickness raises many unanswered questions.
How do you tell men like Hudson Taylor your beloved wife died because of hidden sin? Or men like C T Studd, you died because you wouldn\'t give up and go home forgetting the harvest of souls left behind.?
A pastor in Kenya has to fight now for faith to believe in the goodness of God when his wife has just died suddenly, leaving him and a young family behind, yet she had not suffered any sickness.
Is there a field where God just suddenly decides to take us to Himself.? I\'d love to think so and have seen some small evidence of it over the years.
To me the question is not that I am sick in any way, or how much I fight pain in the physical and emotional sense.
But to set myself on the answer. Which is to Rise up. Despite the pain and continue to overcome it by doing that which pleases God!
But quite frankly, if I shut my computer down and never wrote another poem or another study booklet I know I would suffer less pain so do I win by being totally relaxed? And living an idle life touching and reaching the lives of no one else! So what does that prove to me? Well it proves June is going to keep serving no matter what and take the consequences because if I dont lie down under it i am not beaten!.
My weaknesses are made strong by Him. And when I reach the end of myself, the strength and power of God takes over to comfort and to lift me to a higher realm of service. Yes the flesh is weak, but in God I choose to remain strong. With ears that have made me despised by some of my former friends, but respected by other people and friends who walk by the Spirit of God.
Having difficulty in hearing people is nothing if your\' spirit can hear God when He shares a gem with you. Joining healing lines doesnt always work anyway, my Jim joined them for years with a chronic issue, but God only chose to heal him when we were called out to serve in Scotland and the healing was not in a service, but in our own living room with a lovely pastor who had welcomed us into his church there. How does healing work then? By the gracious plan of God! When does sickness leave? As soon as God chooses it shall. In sickness and in health let God reign supreme without moaning or murmuring. He deserves our praise all the time! He has made this a lovely Sunday, I celebrate it in the way that glorifies Him alone. HE IS LORD. Junex

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Refusing to have sickness?  From: adrian greenslade 22 Oct 2012 (11:13)
There was a Christian lady who was diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live, and refused treatment, and actually refused to accept that she had cancer, or was having the cancer, and she just lived out her life for another 15 years without any symptoms of cancer! This sister took the view that the enemy had no part in her life, and, if anything, this just fired her up even more! We built an empire with people like that.
On the other hand, I\'ve known more than one Christian die of cancer, and I\'ve wondered why they didn\'t get delivered. And there have been people who have unforgiveness and bitterness in their life, and they have been told to forgive, and Jesus will heal them, but they wouldn\'t let it go, and died, apparently unsaved.
Dr. Alan Redpath says, \'The Lord saw fit to lay me aside with a stroke\'.(NOTE: he is adamant that the Lord allowed it for a reason!). Although Alan really suffered, laying there like a vegetable for a year, and ended up cursing and behaving anything like a Christian, when, by a miracle of divine healing, he was totally delivered, he gave glory to God, and then completely ignored the doctors who told him not to preach or get excited..... He does admit that he was working for the Lord too much before.... but again, he had an attitude where he just couldn\'t help getting in there! Hallelujah.
Anyway, it\'s not a case of agreeing or disagreeing. It\'s a question of the glory of God being made manifest! as in John ch 9 with the blind man. The disciples were having a theological debate instead of taking action! But this is God\'s world and He does what He likes. He chooses to save us. He chooses to heal us, physically and spiritually! Note the reaction of the Pharisees (local government) when the formerly blind man told them his healing was of God...he was booted out of society! ( not that he had much of a life in the first place )but even his parents didn\'t want to know! Wow. Let\'s open our hearts, Christians. Let\'s have compassion and love. Love one another. Love your neighbour. Love your enemies! Do good to those who persecute you. God bless, Ady x

The words of Elspeth  From: June Ritchie 11 Nov 2012 (11:27)
these words blessed me as they brought back memories of the past tree to four years. During that period of time I went through a sad period of my youngest sister informed of cancer in her body with no possibility of recovery. she was not a Christian but met the agony of it all bravely and without any delaying treatment it took her six months to go from a strong healthy woman to die in an incapacitated fashion in a local Hospice. That six months was used by God to heal our relationship which was badly affected by my Christian profession.
This illness changed all that in an amazing way and we became devoted sisters which was what I had always wanted to be. She had family but few friends!was not easy to get on with. But I was able to pray with her at the end.
It took me almost two years to get over the sadness of it the years of being despised and isolated had been difficult but God had given me such a love for her and an admiration for her courage as she battled the terrible pain thing which eventually took over most of her organs and her bones!
Did God allow it? I have to say yes! Did she have bitterness and unforgiveness yes.
But I believe we prayed down mercy and grace for her shortcomings.
I am truly satisfied that she died loving me as her sister and not hating me. I am grateful to Him that it did not go on any longer because of the agony and nightmare it put us all through. I can now still see her as she was before healthy and strong that\'s Gods gift am thankful for that.
A DIFFERENT CASE! Linda was a close friend of mine and a lovely , loving Christian, we got on well enjoying one another\'s company she moved here from Derby, but after a few years God arranged that they returned to Derby.
I missed her badly, but then she developed a woman type cancer and despite all the treatment possible it increased to other areas. She fought it courageously as a mature disciple. Her death was delayed, but not prevented!
During that time Linda was a pure and shining light to all who saw her.
I travelled down to see her and knew she was headed for heaven.
But our Christian love wasn\'t changed at all, we laughed and talked of heaven\'s blessings and our Saviour with passion, even when she went quiet as pain came upon her. Her devoted hubby constantly spoke of God healing her as people prayed. But we said our final goodbyes with smiles and aching hearts.
Do I think God was glorified YES! I believe there are times when God gives you an instinct on what is going to happen. the funeral was a great blessing.
The church was full of praising people from the two counties and their churches. she had left her mark on us, He had given her His seal of approval! In life or in death who can ask for more or desire it? I never talk of death to the dying I speak to them of heaven. A much better place and a beautiful subject to look into!
For Jesus lovers heaven is a place to be thirsted after, not dreaded and the time to go there left entirely in His hands. Who are we to say it\'s the wrong time anyway? we are after all only asked to be faithful and serve till ready to be called HOME! I tell myself this daily. I would not dream of trying to take the decision out of God\'s hands. He created me and He owns me every part of me. These two cases are different, yet if God had wanted to He could have healed them as people prayed. He chose not to and we have no right to say He was wrong. The only important thing is to remain positive throughout all for then we win through in a mighty way. Knowing at all times GOD IS GOOD! junex
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