There is the healing story in the Bible that never fails to remind me how far I had fallen from trusting God before I had cancer. It is found in John 4:40-54, and I read it again this week.
A royal official in Cana had a sick son back in
When the man heard Jesus was back in Capernaum Cana, the
official went to Him and begged Him to come and heal his son who was close to
death. “Come before my child dies,” he begs Jesus.
Jesus answers him, “Go back home. Your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at His word and departed. His servants met him on his way home, reporting the boy was alive and well.
Seven words. THE MAN TOOK JESUS AT HIS WORD. Why don’t we take Jesus at His word? Why do we question the creator of the universe who cannot lie?
If my husband promises me to pick up milk and bread before he comes home, his word is good. I do not spend one more minute wondering if he is going to keep his promise. There are many people in my life whose promises are golden…..people I NEVER doubt when they tell me they will do something, that it’s as good as done. But I never used to treat God’s word like that. Until now.
I think of all the wasted years of divine promises I should have waited for. For instance, I would pray for wisdom about a big decision, and then, because I just didn’t “feel” it, I would jump in and make unwise decisions. God promises liberal amounts of wisdom in the book of James (“If you need wisdom, ask Him for it and He will give it.” James 1:5) but says you have to believe you will receive it or you won’t. Again, I didn’t have enough faith that He would follow through. Why couldn’t I take Him at His word?
God promises peace all over Scripture. Philippians 4: 7 tells us that if we pray with thanksgiving instead of anxiety, God’s peace, which passes human understanding, will be ours. How many times have I prayed for inner peace, and when my body wasn’t just flooded with divine calm in X number of days or hours, I would take back my mantle of anxiety. Why couldn’t I take Him at His word and wait for it?
I think of all His promises: help, peace, support, wisdom, healing, eternal life, righteousness through Christ, power over the devil in the name of Jesus, discernment, his presence……just to name a very few. God has given us a treasure chest full of amazing promises. But our timelines are not His, and in our fast-paced culture of today, we want and expect answers immediately. No place in the Bible, attached to any promises, is WHEN it will happen. I know now that if God had put time limits on when His promises would be fulfilled, none of us would need faith.
Faith in healing has taught me this great truth. God’s promises are His iron-clad intent. God’s word is Himself. He cannot lie. If He says something in Scripture, He means it. I have learned that I must just take God at His word and, like the royal official, “depart.” I must leave it alone, believe it is happening even if I don’t see or feel it, and wait on God until that promise manifests itself in my life. I cannot have timelines with God’s promises. He is sovereign over the time frame, not me.
Why did I have to live a half-century to learn this? The royal official “got it” right away. He heard Jesus promise healing and he turned and left without another word, assured that what His Lord said, He meant.
I have been waiting 22 months for healing. But I believe it is happening because there are too many promises about healing in the Bible not to believe it. But this time, with this promise, I am doing it the right way. I have “walked away.” Finally. I have been able to take Jesus at His word, disregard my own timeline desires, and wait in faith.
Every year I live, in fact, nearly every day, I seem to see more clearly how all the peace, happiness, and power of the Christian life hinges on one thing. That one thing is taking God at His word, believing He really means exactly what He says.
Frances Ridley Havergal
Faith is not conjuring up a sense of certainty that something is going to happen. No, it is recognizing God’s promise as an actual fact, believing it is true, rejoicing in the knowledge of that truth, and then simply resting because God said it.Streams in the Desert devotional