A COMMAND TO RECOVERIES, STRENGTHEN THE SICK!
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus tells the disciples that very soon He will be arrested, mistreated and killed. Jesus tells the disciples that their faith will be tested. Satan will sift them, shake them, make them uncomfortable and try to throw them out of their relationship with Jesus. Then Jesus tells Peter that He has prayed for Him in particular, so that Peter’s faith will not fail during this trying time. Then Jesus gives a command, not a request and not a proposal, but a command to Peter. Jesus tells Peter that when you turn back to me, I order you to strengthen your brothers. Peter was to deny Jesus and walk away from Jesus. Peter denied Jesus three times. This betrayal hurt Peter so much and he cried bitterly about it. This betrayal was known by everybody and it greatly embarrassed Peter. Jesus tells Peter I have prayed for you, so that you recover from this faith failure. However the condition for recovery is a command, you must strengthen those who haven’t recovered. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
Jesus tells them that all will be sifted. All of them will suffer temptation, trial and failure. All of us are sifted daily by satan. All of us are tried. All of us are tempted. All of us fail. But the good news is that, like Job’s case, Satan requests to sift us and God decides which extent of sifting we will go through.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Jesus assured Peter that they will recover from the sifting by satan. The recovery is not because they are tough, but because Jesus intervened for them. We recover from our temptations, trials and failure because of God’s intervention. When we recover we shouldn’t praise ourselves and laugh at those who are suffering behind us. Our recovery is an act of God and we have a responsibility that was a condition to our recovery, we must help those who have not recovered. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
God is not asking us to heal the sick, no, that is His business. God will heal the sick. But while they are going through suffering, God is asking us who recovered, to just strengthen them, give them hope. The testimony of a recovery is greater and more effective than the assurance of a doctor. We can challenge a doctor’s prescription, but we can’t challenge a testimony that the same medical regime worked. God has helped us in difficulties so that we can help those in difficulty to hold on to the end. Anyone who has survived anything, owes those who are going through the same thing. You owe them some strengthening. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
You made bad choices in High School leading to regrettable relationships, and disciplinary issues? You owe High School students some strengthening. You made bad business choices, rushed into business and failed terribly but learnt and became better later? You owe new comers into business. You owe those who have recently failed in business. You owe them encouragement and hope. You tried visiting witch doctors to help with your problems and the problems became worse instead of better, but you turned to God and things are now good? You owe those facing the same challenges. You owe those who are tempted to visit witch doctors. You owe them a word of hope that Jesus may delay, but He never fails. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
Isn’t the Bible a strengthening from testimonies of those who failed but later on made it? Aren’t we encouraged by the testimony in scripture? To know that God didn’t kill Adam and Eve instantly after they sinned, but gave them another chance, aren’t we terrible sinners encouraged to use the God given second chance? You can share many Bible testimonies that have given you hope at the bottom of this blog article on the comments section. If David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed the husband Uriah, then God exposed him and forgave him, isn’t there hope for you and me? If Peter betrayed Jesus and a few weeks later preached a powerful sermon leading to conversion of 3,000 people instantly, isn’t there hope for we betrayers? Those who recovered in the Bible shared their testimony with us who are sick, so that we are strengthened. When we recover, we owe the sick a testimony of hope. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
The command is to strengthen them, not to brag about your achievements and demean people’s experience. Strengthen them, Jesus commanded. Don’t lecture them, strengthen them. Don’t give them ultimatums, strengthen them. Don’t make demands from them, strengthen them. Don’t be impatient with them, just strengthen them. You have been commanded to strengthen them. Give them hope to keep going through hell. They will make it out, just as you did. Strengthen them. You have many years of experience, but not this experience, just strengthen them. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
People around us are going through sicknesses of various kinds, they need to be strengthened, by those who have recovered. Business sicknesses. Academic sicknesses. Thesis writing sicknesses. Workplace sicknesses. Faith sicknesses. Relationship sicknesses. Marriage sicknesses. Sicknesses caused by diseases that will abide with us the rest of our lives. Sicknesses caused by having terminal illness. Sicknesses of bad choices. Sicknesses of old age. Sicknesses of bad financial decisions. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
Let me share my story briefly here and I encourage others, if possible to share their story in the comment section of this blog. Any story that will strengthen the sick. When i got employed, out of excitement to live a life that proves to others, that i was now employed, I made terrible financial decisions, that I wouldn’t wish anyone makes. I took huge loans and bought seats, television, fridge and the like. I wasted the loan and in a short time, the money was gone, but I paid the loan for many years later. To newly employed people, don’t rush to take loans and don’t buy things which lose value very fast. Buy things that gain value, things that make money. Another piece of encouragement is, don’t buy an old car with mechanical problems, unless you are a mechanic. I suffered heavily in an unforgettable manner. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
Are you going through a difficulty today? Jesus will save you out of it. When Jesus saves you, He commands you to strengthen those who will ever suffer from the same difficulty. Let us openly talk about our testimonies, in a manner that doesn’t glorify sin, but glorifies God. Let us talk about our testimonies carefully without hurting other people who are involved. Let us talk about our testimonies, so that whoever can be strengthened will be strengthened. We shouldn’t present ourselves as perfect people, that approach has never encouraged anyone. Our testimonies of recovery are much more effective. A command to recoveries, strengthen the sick!
Dear God we pray for recovery from our current suffering. Forgive us for not strengthening the sick. Help us with wisdom on how to strengthen the sick around us. When we fall into sickness today and in future, provide for us recoveries who will strengthen us. In Jesus name, Amen!