Destructive Lies, Healing Truth is a 31-day devotional written for those suffering a health-related trial such as sudden injury, illness, chronic disease or disability. It is also for family and professional caregivers. Following is an excerpt of the introduction and some of the devotions.
This book intends to contrast some of the destructive lies we are presented with from the enemy, as well as the world, with the light of God’s truth regarding health-related trials.
At some point, we will all face an event involving pain, injury or disease requiring hospitalization, rehab and perhaps even long-term care. Some will encounter a terminal diagnosis or permanent disability. And, many of us will become caretakers.
As the enemy attempts to twist a health challenge into a faith crisis, we must keep our spiritual armor on. This book was written for those suffering, as well as their caregivers. It attempts to eliminate doubt by redirecting our attention to the strength, perseverance, and peace found only in Jesus Christ. It also offers insight to the hope in, purpose of and benefits yielded from suffering.
Come and draw near to the God of all comfort.
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This devotional was written by drawing from real life interactions I have had over the years with my rehab patients during their Occupational Therapy treatments. It was also inspired by my own personal experiences during times of physical struggles, sickness, and healing.
I am extremely thankful to all those who shared their faith, fears and doubts with me. I consider it a privilege to have been trusted through their trials, given the opportunity to share the gospel and pray with those who were open to it.
Most importantly, I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—for everything.
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Day One—Lie: “I would be afraid if I were you.”
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” (Psalm 46:1-3, NKJV)
When sudden illness, injury, or a new diagnosis comes without warning we must remember where our help comes from. Waves of fear can cause us to feel as if we are drowning in anxiety, causing us to needlessly panic.
The disciples also felt that fear of impending doom when a fast and furious storm came upon them while crossing the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27). While waves of water swept over their boat, Jesus slept. Feeling helpless, the disciples screamed for Jesus to save them. Despite the fact the disciples had already witnessed Jesus perform miracles, they were still overcome with fear.
Jesus awoke, rebuked the winds and water, and all was calm. Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Jesus pointed out that their fear was related to their lack of faith, or trust, in Him.
Why then are we so afraid? Fear, which we all experience at times, is directly related to a lack of faith. When we experience doubt, God reassures us of His faithfulness through His word. He is completely trustworthy. God is with us in all the storms of life just as He was with the disciples. When we trust in Christ completely we exercise and strengthen our faith.
Therefore, we need to cry out to Jesus in faith. God is always with us, in control, and able to calm the waves of our storms whether we face pain, sickness, or even permanent disability. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39) Trust Jesus completely through faith. Give Him your burden.
No fear, just faith.
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Day Two—Lie: “God must be punishing you.”
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NKJV)
God’s word says consider trials joy, not punishment. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ from the eternal punishment we deserve. Yet there are natural consequences for our choices, behavior and living in a fallen world with disease.
When facing sickness, we can choose to run in one of two opposite directions. We can choose to wallow in the misery of self-pity or we can focus on our relationship with the Lord who loves us. The joy of the Lord is forever. This joy is from the Holy Spirit and is the evidence of salvation through Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:6). He was bestowed upon us the day we accepted Christ. We can choose to delight in the eternal blessing we already have promise of, in good times and trials. Running the course with joy enables us to acquire endurance, building our spiritual muscles to stand up under pressure along the way (Romans 5:3).
God desires not to destroy us but to save us from sin and refine us in the fire during the race of life. This is yet another way we grow in our faith, our trust in Christ, and become mature Christians lacking nothing in order to persevere in this world. From experience comes wisdom on how to deal with and press on through the next trial life brings. We must depend on the Lord. When others are encouraged by our perseverance we can then boast of the hope and strength found only in Christ.
There is joyful hope in knowing that almighty God, who is carrying us through our trials, is the same God at the finish line who one day will say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Recommended Reading: Romans 5:1-5
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Day Seven—Lie: “There’s no hope for this old body.”
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21, NKJV)
Many frail seniors, as well as the sickly young, find themselves physically falling apart. Bones break easily, pipes back up, and body systems fail while hope fades. Being advanced in age can make new medical issues, as well as rehab, an overwhelming challenge. Many have overcome with renewed strength, while others lose hope and give up.
God designed our earthly bodies to bounce back in many ways, even those with high mileage. Under God’s care we can work hard, persevere, and get well once again. When that is not God’s will for us we can always depend on His promise of a glorified, resurrected body. Our salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ seals the deal. “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26, NKJV)
Revelation 20:6 (NKJV) says, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Those of us who are saved by faith and die, are blessed with the promise of entering His kingdom.
We can trust God’s word. We have the best to look forward to. How wonderful that will be when we are conformed to His glorious body. There will be no more pain, no more tears, no more suffering.
We will enter into a body specially designed for eternal life with God. We will drink in His peace, love and mercy, never to thirst again.
Copyright © 2018 M.A. Pasquale. Reprinted by permission.
M.A. Pasquale is the pen name for a Samaritan Ministries member who is an occupational therapist. Contact her at M.A.Pasquale316@gmail.com.