Revive Our Hearts Podcast

His Healing Touch, Part 6

Leslie Basham: What does it truly mean to have joy? Here's Nancy DeMoss.

Nancy DeMoss: We often equate joy with things going "my way." I have to come to the place in my life where I want the will of God more than I want to have my way.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Monday, March 11. All last week we looked at the life of a woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed from her illness. It was a time of great joy that followed 12 years of suffering. Today, we'll hear how we can experience joy not only when we've received an answer to prayer, we can also be joyful while we're waiting and hurting. Bob Lepine, the co-host of FamilyLife Today is our special guest. He's been listening to this series along with us, and he's going to spend some question-and-answer time with Nancy. Here's Bob.

Bob Lepine: As you've been teaching on this woman with the issue of blood from Mark 5, we asked the women here how many of them would say that they had a physical or an emotional circumstance that they've carried with them for a long time that the Lord has not released them from. It was probably half the women in the room. I can imagine among those listening to the broadcast the number is multiplied.

I wonder if when a woman reads the story about someone like this woman in Mark 5, and then thinks about her own circumstance--she goes, "Is there something I'm not doing right so that I'm not getting the healing that this woman got? Have I missed some part of the formula to get free from the circumstance like this woman got free?" How do you respond to a woman like that?

Nancy DeMoss: This woman got what it was that Jesus knew she really needed. She did get a physical healing and that was a significant issue in her life. When He said, "Your faith has made you well," I think He was talking about something that is more than physically well because He realized the ultimate issue of her life was not her physical ailment, it was the ailment of her soul and spirit that was separated from God.

Her physical blood disorder that had caused her to be separated from people was just a picture. It was very real, but it was really just an earthly picture of a much more serious reality and that was her separation from God because of the defilement of her sin. Jesus is saying, "You've been saved"--saved in the eternal sense, the sense of your spirit saved from its sinfulness and the defilement and the contamination of sin.

What would be the use of being physically whole--no aches and pains, no physical problems, no physical sickness--if you were still separated from God, and eternally separated from God, because of your internal heart sickness of sin? This woman's healing pictured a deeper, more significant, eternal healing.

The fact is, even with her physical healing, she was still going to die some day. We're all physically terminal; she was just more aware of it than most of us are. With this picture of the physical healing, Jesus was showing a greater and deeper and more significant miracle, which was her spiritual wholeness and wellness and salvation. She came to Him maybe concerned because of her symptoms, her physical situation. But what she got was even much more than what she had asked for.

Jesus does sometimes, as many of us have experienced, provide a significant measure of physical healing. All of us (who) are sitting in this room today are physically well; that's a gift of God's grace. There have been times in many of our cases--we've had a physical illness; and through some means, God has touched our life, touched our body and restored us physically. What a blessing! Thank Him for it.

But the real issue He's wanting to deal with is the issue of our spiritual wellness, our spiritual wholeness, our spiritual defilement and contamination from sin. That's the promise that He makes: If we come to Him we can know that we are spiritually whole, that our souls are whole--that He will bring restoration of the years "the locusts have eaten," as the Old Testament says it--when we come in humility, faith, repentance, submission to Him.

He may or may not choose to bring the physical or temporal or material blessing that we're looking for. But He will give us what we really need, which is His grace, His power, His spirit. I would say this, that the issues of our souls--issues of bitterness, anger, indifference, guilt, shame--these are issues that directly tie to our spiritual relationship with God.

That is an area where I believe many women are living today in a sickness, just assuming they have to continue living that way. They've gone to the counselors. They've gone to the therapists. They're taking the medicine. They've got all the therapies and the programs and the seminars. And (they have) read the books, and listened to the tapes--but they're no more well than they were.

That's where I think this story says to us, as do other passages--you don't have to keep living as a spiritually sick woman. Now, the physical--it would be nice not to have to keep living as a sick woman physically either. But we're all physically sick. We're all physically going to die, but there can be spiritual and soul-wholeness even with a body that is deteriorating and dying as all of ours are.

My challenge to women today is: You don't have to live with the bondage, the baggage of that past hurt, those past offenses, those past failures, and what that has brought about in your life. You don't have to live under that load. You get to Jesus, and you can be set free from that--not to a problem-free life, not to a life with no more hurt, but to a life where you can be a victor instead of a victim in the midst of real life hurts and situations.

Bob Lepine: On those mornings when you wake up, and you are discouraged. You are depressed, and you are overwhelmed by your circumstances--and you go, "I want joy. I don't want where I am right now; I want the joy of the Lord." What are some practical things you do to get from where you are to where you want to be?

Nancy DeMoss: Which of the last three mornings did you want to know about, by the way?

Bob Lepine: I was going to say that you've had a few recently, haven't you?

Nancy DeMoss: The problem is that we often equate joy with things going "my way." I have to come to the place in my life where I want the will of God and the purposes of God to be fulfilled more than I want to have my way. I think one of the scariest thoughts is that God would let me have my way. What if God really released me from every pain and problem and depressive thought, and I didn't have to endure any of that? You say, "Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

Well, for a moment. But then we would forfeit the beauty, the fragrance, the glory that He wants to bring out of those circumstances. I want the outcome of glorifying God with my life. And (I want) His purposes being fulfilled more than I want relief from my pain. Now there are moments when I want relief from my pain really badly--when I want that more than I think I want anything else. But that's when I have to step back and get perspective and say, "Look, my life is not my own. My life belongs to the Lord. I am here to fulfill His purposes. If in the process of doing so I die, that's okay--because my life isn't my own. I don't live to please me, and I have to get my values adjusted, my purpose adjusted."

I think there are some practical ways--things I have found helpful to refocus, to get my thinking adjusted to God's way of thinking. Singing to the Lord is one of those. I often ask women who are depressed or discouraged, "Are you singing to the Lord and are you memorizing Scripture?" Those two things in my life have been a very powerful means of release and healing.

Sometimes I have to sing through the tears, hardly able to get the words out of my mouth--I mean, sometimes (there are) sobbing, heaving tears, where nobody would recognize the song. I have learned at times to keep singing until the cloud lifts. Singing doesn't usually make my circumstances change. I may make people leave, but I will sometimes pull out a hymnal and just begin to sing praise to the Lord--to sing what I know is true.

There is something very powerful about singing to the Lord, and I think that's one of the reasons that God tells us so many times in the Scripture to sing to the Lord. I think it's also something the enemy doesn't want us to do. He knows when we begin to praise (that)we're bringing God into our circumstances and our perspective's going to change.

The matter of Scripture memory--when you don't have words of your own or don't know what to pray or feel at a total loss for words or don't want to pray--as there are times in my own experience--then to have the words of Scripture right there in my heart or on a card to help me remember or just a little Bible with me. I have some cards that have Scripture written out on them. Sometimes when I'm out walking, I've taken those cards with me and repeated out loud the Word of the Lord, speaking to my own heart what I know is true.

That's really the way I counsel my own heart. I'm saying, "Heart, this is what God says. What God says may be totally opposed to what it seems like and what your circumstances look like; but I'm not going to believe what my emotions tell me, what my circumstances tell me. I'm going to choose instead to believe that what God has said is true."

Sometimes it takes me a long while for my emotions to catch up to the truth. I'm glad we have a Savior who understands our emotions and who's tender with us, but I can't afford to let my mind run away with thoughts that are not true. I can't afford to let myself say things that are not God's way of thinking about the situation. I've got to just keep speaking truth into the situation, casting myself upon Him in desperation.

There's that verse in Psalms that says, "Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." God increases our capacity for pressure and our capacity for Himself. Where? When we're in distress. There's growth that takes place. In the midst of the distress I have to say, "As distasteful as this is to me, as hard as this is--Lord, I thank You for it. I embrace it, and by faith I know that You will get me through it."

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss has been encouraging us to focus on God even in the middle of stress and pressure. Maybe you know someone (who is) going through a tough time, and Nancy's words would speak right to their situation. You can share today's program with them on cassette. It's part of a series called His Healing Touch. It comes on two cassettes for a suggested donation of $8. To order, you can visit our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com, or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959.

When you call, would you consider making a financial contribution to Revive Our Hearts? We rely on the support of our listeners, and your gift will help us continue touching women's hearts with the truth of God's Word. You can mail your contribution to Revive Our Hearts.

We hope you can come back tomorrow when Nancy will explore some practical issues related to physical healing. When we're sick, does it always mean God's trying to teach us something? We'll find out tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts. 

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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