God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.
In our last post from the book of Acts we saw how the Holy Spirit was associated with bearing fruit for Jesus, and enjoying peace, and comfort. If you’re interested, you can read more about that here: How to Become a Different Person–Acts 9:31.
In today’s post I want to talk to those of you who are suffering.
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.Acts 9:32-43
Here we see Jesus heal Aeneas, a paralyzed man who had been bedridden for eight years. And we see Jesus resurrect Tabitha from the dead. Peter was the instrument that was used, but Jesus was the One who wielded that instrument. We know this because we know, in and of himself, Peter has no power. And we also know this because Peter says directly and plainly to Aeneas, “Jesus Christ heals you.”
Life is Hard
So here’s what I want to say today. There are a lot of hard things happening in the world right now. There’s a war, the pandemic is still a factor, inflation is going crazy and is outstripping wage increases, suicide rates are up, the divorce rate is up, the rate of child abuse is up. For many of us we’re going through a hard time right now. And I just want to say this.
Don’t give up.
Because maybe, like Aeneas, if you hang on for eight years Jesus will rescue you. But even if he doesn’t, remember, Aeneas was healed from his paralysis but he only received a temporary reprieve. Tabitha was raised from the dead, but she was only raised temporarily. Ultimately, both Aeneas and Tabitha went “the way of all the earth.” Ultimately they died. (1 Kings 2:1-2)
That’s how it was for all the physical healings in the Bible. All those who were blessed with physical healing, their restoration was only “for a little time” and then they died. (James 4:14)
The Only Permanent Solution
So the great physical healing miracles were all temporary. The only permanent healing miracle is the healing of our souls. The healing of our souls isn’t temporary, it’s eternal. What Jesus did for our souls is the only real permanent healing any of us will ever experience.
Cling to Jesus
In my personal devotional life right now, I’ve been reading through the book of Revelation and I’m struck by how often Jesus talks about “the second death.” Yes, we have to endure suffering in this life, and then we die. But it’s the second death, that’s the death we need to concern ourselves with. The first death is good news for the Jesus follower. The day he or she dies is the best day of their life. And this life is short, that’s more good news for those of us who are suffering. So if we can just hold on “for a little time.” If we can just hold on to Jesus and pray through our hardships, we can be free from the second death Jesus told us about. And we can experience His eternal healing. So,
Don’t give up.
Keep moving forward.
Connect with Jesus as closely as you can.
Cling to Him.
“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:10-11
Love Like Jesus by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.
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