On Sunday, I brought up a question in the message that deserves some introspection from all of us. The question is, "Do we believe God still heals?"
Now, there are a couple of levels to this questions. I brought up the question as we were discussing God healing the lame man (through Peter and John) in Acts, chapter 3. I pointed out that because of his condition, the man experienced poverty in all four areas (spiritual, person, social, and financial). The tricky thing about this passage is that it's kind of a storybook ending. The man's situation was dire, Peter and John came along, had a short conversation, healed the man, and everyone lived happily ever after. Watch the sermon here.
So in one sense, the question is whether God still heals in that way. Can he take someone who has been physically broken for some time and heal them miraculously? I suspect that most of us would say something like, "Sure he can," but how many of us have ever seen it? The fact is that we don't see God work that way much today. Perhaps it's our lack of faith, but perhaps there are other reasons.
In any case, that's not the specific question I'm asking today. The question I'm asking today is whether we really believe God still heals and restores lives in every area.
I believe that if we're honest, many of us don't believe it, or at least our belief is only theoretical and not real-life. Do we believe that God can heal broken relationships, marriages, or parent-child relationships? Do we believe God can give people the strength to overcome addiction? Do we believe God can grip the heart of even the hardest of people? We should, because we see people who are living proof of this all the time--maybe even you.
If we did, we probably would spend less time writing people off and more time investing in them. If we did, we would probably be more willing to see the masterpiece beneath the mud. If we did, we wouldn't be shocked by people's sin or hurt or the fact that they can't seem to get their stuff together.
You see, this culture shift we're working on has to start with the belief that there is no one who is too far gone. There is no problem too big for God to overcome. There is no situation that is so hopeless that God has given up. The question is, will we give up?
We're about to get rolling on our partnerships with Prison Fellowship and Together for Good, but these ministries are only ways to build bridges outside the church. The truth is that there are people all around you every day who are struggling spiritually, personally, socially, and financially. They're your brothers and sisters in the church. They're your neighbors. They're your family members and co-workers. The question is, "So you believe God still heals?"