07-23 @North Heartland: A change in topic for this Sunday
Good afternoon family and friends of North Heartland,
As many of you know, my mom has been battling lung cancer since last December. After seven (mostly) great months, her health has taken a drastic but not unexpected turn for the worse and she is now in hospice care. We are not sure how much longer she has but, according to the doctors, she will soon pass.
As for this Sunday, I've debated several options for not speaking as I am occupied with handling many end-of-life details for my mom, plus there is the obvious emotional impact of the situation.
However, as I have pondered and prayed about this, I think it would be helpful for me personally (and, hopefully, for many of you as well) if I used this occasion to address an issue that has come up repeatedly in discussions with my mom, dad, and sisters since my mom's diagnosis. It's an issue that I've also discussed with many NHCCers over the years and I've even done a message or two about it along the way.
The issue is divine healing. As my mom has progressed through the various stages of this disease, I've watched her shift from a confident "The Great Physician is healing me" to a despondent "I've repented of everything I can think of - why is God not healing me?" Perhaps you or someone you know has had a similar experience.
As a son, it makes me incredibly sad to see her suffer with that kind of emotional and spiritual pain on top of the physical pain. As a pastor, words cannot adequately express my anger and frustration at the woefully poor and destructive teaching on this issue she and other members of my family have heard over the years; the same teaching that a lot of you have heard as well; the same "name it and claim it" kind of teaching that has caused many people to "lose their religion" when it doesn't work for them.
So, this Sunday, instead of the original topic (Because It's Hypocritical) in the Losing Our Religion series, my topic will be Because of Bad Faith ... with a specific emphasis on this issue of divine healing. I hope to make it as clear as possible what followers of Jesus should know and believe about it because I don't ever want to see another person who belongs to Him experience the same despair my mom has in recent days; especially when what God actually promises is SO MUCH BETTER than what is passed off as "faith healing."
So, obviously, if you've struggled with this issue or you know someone who is; if you know someone who has been hurt or "lost their religion" because God didn't heal them; or if you're just curious about the whole thing, I encourage you (and them) to be present or to listen or watch online via the livestream on our app or website.
Finally, thanks to all of you who have expressed your support and offered prayers for us. At this time, we're well-cared for by family and by friends in our small group, so we really don't need anything else. Just pray that God will bring honor and glory to Jesus through this situation.