wow, you're quick Dina!
Gotta leave the house soon, Deb :) My mom posted this video on facebook this week and it's come to mind several times since.
Oh yeah, this is a much-debated topic among believers. Guess I'll be the first to dive in...Here's what I personally believe. God created a perfect world, one that was without sin and without disease. But when Adam & Eve slipped, the door was opened and that perfectness was gone. So now, we live in a fallen world. While I believe God obviously CAN make bad things happen if he wants to, I beleive much of the disease and tragedy in the world is not caused by him. I believe it's a result of living in a world where fallen, carnal people have the free will to make choices. When it comes to disease, most of it just comes from living in a world that is not perfect. While God knows everything that will happen, it doesn't mean he causes it to happen. As for the theory that you can't give away something you don't have... poppycock. God can give away anything because he's made everything. A good example is the 10 plagues of Egypt. We know those were straight from the hand of God, yet we certainly don't think heaven is infested with locusts. Look at Saul's experience on the road to Damascus. He was struck blind... is God blind? No, but if he wanted to inflict that temporary disability on Saul to get his attention and turn him into Paul, then he certainly had the power to do it.I don't know if Paul's thorn in the flesh was physical or not, but his story makes one thing clear: there are some things in life we must endure. I don't know why, but then I'm not God. Aren't you glad ;+}
Okay, I'm going to play devil's advocate Jen. As for the plagues, that was before Jesus died on the cross. Which wouldn't help his first argument line up with the plagues, but it would fit his second.As for Paul, I always assumed he went blind from the sheer light of the presence of God, but I can't say that for a certainty.
I agree that God can do what He wants at any time.That He doesn't give us what we really deserve is proof of His goodness and mercy. But does he sometimes use unpleasant things to make us what He wants us to be? I think sometimes He does.Can we thank Him and bless Him even in the horrible circumstances just because He is who He is? It's what we have to come to.I try to remember even as I'm taking my lumps (in my admittedly extremely easy life) that things could be worse for me and are so much worse for others. He shelters us from so much, even when we think we've had all we can take.All we can do is know He'll be with us in the dark and nothing can take us from Him.
I think what I liked about this video was the reminder that we have an enemy who seeks to devour us.Sometimes I get tired of all the "God is in control" part. It's true and yet we do have that enemy seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. That doesn't make it God's plan. Is it God's plan for people to sin? Of course not. God is not the author of sin. So not everything that happens is according to God's best plan, even though he doesn't actively stop it.I enjoyed the reminder that Christ paid the price for sickness. And he defeated the devil. Is it hard to tap into that victory? Yes. But a I think a basic confidence that God desires for his children to be well is necessary to have the faith to believe for healing and stand against the enemy.I've only experienced a few healing miracles in my life first hand. Two were through individuals with healing ministries. But several of the others were when I got to the point that I was absolutely livid with the devil and really asserted that authority available through Christ and paid for at the cross.
That's too true. We do need to take the authority Jesus paid for us.This may not be a big deal to most people, but I have four cats that I love like my own babies. One of them, Emily, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. The vet did surgery and told me that Em would last maybe six months.I felt very strongly that I was to curse that cancer in Jesus' name. I did. Every day. Sometimes several times a day. Today Em is still going strong. She was 11 years old last month. She still has a place on her back that hasn't healed. I still speak life and blessing and healing over her every day. I still curse the cancer. Except for that little spot, you'd think she was a healthy, happy two or three year old.I don't know what will happen, but I feel I did and am doing what I'm supposed to do for her. I know the vet has been expecting me to bring her in to be put to sleep for at least a year and a half. But Emily is certainly not ready to go yet.God knows I'm not ready to let her go yet.I'll let her go when I must, but I wasn't going to let the enemy take her from me before her time.
Great testimony, DeAnna, and a good example of why I thought this topic was worth discussing, even if it is controversial.For me, it's important to believe that ultimately God wants good things for us. But/and it's equally important to hear from him for wisdom and guidance and how he wants us to proceed.By the way, my mom has a dog who should have died two years ago and is still being kept alive on faith.
Any thoughts on were sickness came from originally? Did germs simply not exist in the garden? Did our bodies have better immune systems that fought them? Did God "create" them to be sickness, or did they somehow go awry at the fall of man? What about before the time of Noah when people lived so long?
Interesting convo, but I can't jump in right now. Just wanted to say thanks for posting-- what a thought-provoking subject.
Replying to Dina's DA questions... yes, the plagues were before Jesus. But it addresses the whole "You can't give away what you don't have" argument. The speaker was saying that God doesn't make you sick, because sickness isn't in him. That addresses his eternal nature, and has nothing to do with pre or post resurrection.As for Paul, he may have gone blind from being in God's pressence. Or God struck him blind to show him how powerless he really was. I have no idea. But I do know that God gave him his sight back.Where did sickness, germs, etc. come from? I have no idea. Why did people live so long back in the time of Noah? My guess would be to populate the earth, but again... who knows? Maybe there was less sickness then because germs weren't as prevalent. I don't pretend to know the answer to that.As for the "God is in control" statement, I tend to agree with you. Not that He isn't in control. I firmly believe He has a master plan for us all and He can make anything happen whenever and wherever He wants to. The thing is, He gave us all free will to make our own choices. And quite often, we choose to do things that veer way off course from what God's perfect will is. Like you said, does He want us to sin? No, but we do it anyway. And He loves us anyway, and waits for us to come back in line and follow the escape route He's plotted out for us.When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Lupus and JRA (juvenille rheumetoid arthritis). I was miraculously healed of the Lupus when I was a teenager, but to this day, I still have the JRA. I have no doubt that God healed me, but I used to wonder why he only "half" healed me. Why leave me with one of the diseases? I never came up with an answer, but I finally made peace with it. Maybe it's like that thorn in the flesh (which may or may not have been physical). It's certainly taught me humility! It's one of those things I think I'll ask God about when I get to heaven. Except that when I get there, it will probably be the last thing on my mind :+}
I thought this was a terrific video, and have multiple pages of my personal notes about Paul's thorn in the flesh, if anyone is interested.When it comes to explaining sickness, I think we have to look at it like an algebraic equation where God is the ONLY constant. Anything else (spirit, soul, body) affects the outcome of the equation. Sometimes those things are completely out of our control, but God's will is constant -- He wants His children well, in this life and forevermore. The variables don't always comply with His will, but our goal should be to bring every possible aspect of our lives into agreement with His will, i.e. not harboring unforgiveness, not being negative and complaining, maintaining physical health by eating right and exercising and resting, and by maintaining a healthy relationship with God, letting Him be our first and greatest physician!It IS a controversial subject, mostly because our experiences and that of our loved ones weighs so heavily in our variables... but it shouldn't.
Interesting thoughts, Jen. One of my miraculous healings was of skin allergies, but to this day I have nasal allergies. Go figure. I actually have a chapter about this in my narrative nonfiction book. I toss around questions more than I answer them, but I guess my overall conclusion is that God does want us well, but that it's all more complicated than some people, like this guys, would like us to think. He just sort of tossed that first argument out there without going into much depth. And, I think you did best him with your plague argument :)But I liked his second point about paying the price.As for Paul's thorn in the flesh, my personal opinion has always been that it was some sort of temptation he struggled with. I always get that vibe for some reason.
So true about our loved ones and our experiences, Niki. And I agree with pretty much everything you said. In my narrative nonfiction I sometimes use little quippy refrains, and one of them in this chapter is, "And I'm sorry about your Uncle Timmy. That should be against the rules." Except that things aren't always so simple because of all the variables you mentioned.When it comes to healing I think listening to God for wisdom and guidance is very important precisely because of all those variables.
Thanks for tossing around ideas with me today ladies. I hope you enjoyed it. I did. Maybe we should do this in advance sometimes and post it as a round table discussion.
Niki, you stated your opinion beautifully. Very well said!