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Archive for the ‘illness’ Category

The Dark Side of Christian Celebrity:  We love the rise and we love the fall. Both make for fantastic entertainment. I wonder sometimes if the reason we end up tearing down our celebrities is that we have elevated them to such a degree in the first place. Once we have done that, once we have put them on the biggest platforms and once we have given them publishing deals with the wealthiest publishers, there is really only one way for them to go, and it’s not up.

Help with holiness:  The Cripplegate has four solid book recommendations if you are interested in seriously knowing what God’s Word says about holiness.

Don’t Waste Your MRI:  Erik shares two spiritual lessons he took away from his MRI experience the other day.

Why You Should Celebrate Your Undone To-Do List:  David Murray thinks he may have just found a way to turn this daily self-torture into a cause for praise and rejoicing.

From 52home Christmas Shipping

TheLoveOfChristWeb-2

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Two professors from Baptist Bible College in PA reflect on their health situations. One suffers with an incurable condition of recurring and intense pain.  The other has stage 4 cancer.  Two moving articles entitled by men whose world has crashed down on them.

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Paul Tautges asks “Do the troubles of life ever leave you so wiped out physically, mentally, and emotionally that all you can do is squeak out “God, help me!”? Then Psalm 121 is for you. What solid encouragement the psalmist penned for us there! Here’s an outline for your own personal study or small group discussion.”

1. God will help you because He is your Creator (vv. 1-2)

Also meditate on Isaiah 40:21-26

2. God will help you because He is your Keeper (vv. 3-5)

Also meditate on 2 Kings 6:8-18; 1 John 4:4

3. God will help you because He is your Protector (vv. 6-8)

Also meditate on Isaiah 49:10; John 10:27-30

May the Lord use His Word to feed your weary soul today!

Help Comes from the Lord

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Mark Altrogge reminds us that God doesn’t ever do something without a purpose and plan. In this post he shares several benefits of affliction in our lives including the following:

  • Afflictions deliver us from pride.
  • Afflictions make us sympathetic, merciful and slower to judge. 
  • Afflictions remind us of the brevity of this life and make us long for heaven where our true treasure is.
  • Afflictions stir us to pray and keep us dependent on God.
  • Afflictions are opportunities for Christ to display his power in us.

And there are more right here.

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9 purposes of sickness

The website J.C. Ryle Quotes shares the following from a tract Ryle wrote entitled “Christ in the Sick Room”.

Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think–to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body–an immortal soul–a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery–and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave–and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously.Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?

4. To make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.

5. To send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.

6. To make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.

7. To make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”

8. To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many–they have found Christ in the sick room.

9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves–and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Summary: Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise – a good and not an evil – a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.

(via J.C. Ryle Quotes)

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Emily Armstrong was diagnosed with epilepsy a few months ago.  She has learning a lot about the disease but God has also been teaching her some important lessons about her own heart. She observes:

But what have I learned about myself? I have had the opportunity to see how prideful and self conscious I can be. For the first few weeks I really didn’t want to leave the house at all. Not because I could have a seizure; because people would see me have a seizure, and that was way worse.

When I have a very large seizure I wretch like a cat with a hair ball, which sounds exactly as pleasant as the sound you are imagining in your head right now. It feels like the auditory equivalent of soiling myself, especially when I’m able to get up and I look around and see that people are doing their best to “act natural”. But life must go on. My daughter still needs to go to school and I still need to run errands, and maybe even go on dates with my husband. So out into the world I will continue to go, and God will have to soften me from the inside out on this point.

Another thing I’ve discovered about myself now that I have an identified illness is I want to play the “epilepsy card” when both Aaron and I have had a bad day:

“Oh, something crummy happened at work today? Well, I have epilepsy. I win.”

Clearly this would be an unhelpful strategy in my marriage, but the temptation is there. I assume I’m not the first person with an illness or a disability to want to make much of myself when things aren’t going my way (at least, I hope not!).

Lastly, I have seen how small my faith can be. Due to a mistake in the pharmacy, I ran out of my medication 5 weeks early. As soon as I realized that I did not have enough pills, I was sick with worry. What if I call the pharmacy and they don’t believe me? What if they think I’m irresponsible? What if they think I’m lying? What if I can’t get the pills in time and my brain starts sizzling left and right and I end up in a coma because I didn’t count out how many pills I had a few days ago?What if I die for this ridiculously mundane reason?!?

I don’t think a person in a spaceship with only one portion of freeze-dried space food would be more worried.

Of course, it worked out alright. The pharmacist understood the error and Aaron picked up the rest of my medication. All is well, and I need not have worried.

But this is a process. I’m still learning to do all those things that seem so easy when you don’t have to do them:

  • Be humble.
  • Value others more highly than yourself.
  • Believe that God has everything in control.

Read her whole article here.

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“The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability,” hosted Novemeber 8, featured four messages, a speaker panel, and a special testimony on God’s sovereignty and goodness in disability. The audio and video of each resource can be streamed or downloaded by going to the respective links below.  The last one is truly humbling and amazing.  I recommend them to you.

John Piper
When Jesus Meets Disability: How a Christian Hedonist Handles Deep Disappointment

Nancy Guthrie
Thinking Like Jesus About Disability

Mark Talbot
Longing for Wholeness: Chronic Suffering and Christian Hope

Greg Lucas
Parenting When Your Heart Is Continually Crushed

John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, Greg Lucas, Mark Talbot
Speaker Panel

Krista Horning
Testimony of God’s Good Design

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