The following letter was written by author, and well known and respected Foursquare minister, Pastor Jack Hayford.
Please take a moment right now to read this aloud as a declaration of God’s healing power:
I believe it is God’s will to heal and deliver the sick and tormented, and that He has revealed the fullness of His healing purpose in His Son Jesus Christ. I believe it is God’s nature to work redemptively to heal by every possible means, because His mercy and lovingkindness are ever open to provide grace for the relief of human need, pain, misery and sin.
Because I believe this, I praise our Creator who has made all things well, affirming that all sickness and pain is contrary to His will and desire for mankind and has only come because of man’s fallen condition. I declare thanksgiving to Him that despite every effort of hell to steal, kill and destroy, the Father has appointed multiple havens of refuge from sickness and pain through climate and diet; the efforts of mankind through hospitals, doctors, and medicine; and the divine means of healing gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit and ministered in the Name of Jesus.
I believe in the power of Jesus Christ to heal the sick and afflicted and to break through bondage when His Name is invoked in any circumstance. I believe His power is as consistently available today as it was during His own earthly ministry, and that through His Cross He provided the grounds for us to expect and receive healing and deliverance as surely as we may receive forgiveness and sanctification.
Because I believe this, I accept the ministry of healing as a part of Jesus’ commission to go to the whole world with the Gospel. I proclaim God’s will and power to heal, the power of Jesus’ name in prayers of faith, and that confession of sins brings deliverance. I affirm the authority of elders to anoint with oil, and the practice of laying hands on the sick that they may recover.
I believe in the power of God’s Word and Spirit to sustain and supply health when those who believe walk simply and humbly before Him in faith. I believe the fruit of such faith will be manifest in love and patience, and so I reject any attitude that induces guilt when a believer in Jesus does not seem to be able to receive physical healing or personal deliverance from sickness or any other torment.
Because I believe this, I am convinced the good fight of faith will prevail unto health. I am equally convinced that in any case where victory is not immediately evidenced, that a victory of another order is being realized by the divine grace of Almighty God.
With such faith as this, I move in the ministry of prayer, faith, and healing, so that Jesus Christ is glorified and, in all circumstances, His Church is edified.
Grateful for His Healing Touch,
I often drove my kids to school when they were young. Through the years we developed particular rhythms, habits, and traditions. One tradition that remained throughout elementary, middle, and high school years was the quotation of this Scripture:
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!”
Psalms 113:3 ESV
There are few things more beautiful and majestic than dawn and dusk. They happen every day, but we often take them for granted. We often plow through our daily and weekly schedules without pausing to take in the beauty of sunrise and sunset. Some of us seem to appreciate these breathtaking views only when we are on vacation or visiting some place away from our normal lives.
Perhaps today is a good day to pay attention to the world God created. Why not go outside and look beyond man’s creation to see that which is truly spectacular. Human structures and inventions are amazing (after all, we were created in God’s image), but God alone is Creator, and His work is matchless.
God’s handiwork restores wonder and awe to the soul. The mountains are His. The lush valleys were His idea. He scattered the stars and spun the planets. The aardvark and wildebeest? Brilliant! And He did it all with His voice. He spoke…and it was.
There was a moment, however, when God decided to use His hands as well as His voice. First, He spoke: “Let Us make man in Our image.” Then He formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath (spirit) of life. No other creature bears God’s image, nor carries His breath. You are His masterpiece. More than creating you to love Him, He created you so He could love you.
Instead of seeing this Psalm as an emotionless instruction of your duty to praise all day, see it as a key to release the praise that’s already in you. In other words, just stop and look at God’s creation, and a song of praise will naturally flow.
When we stop admiring God’s creation we have a hard time seeing God Himself.
Photo: NASA Image by Astronaut Ron Garan
“And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.””
Revelation 10:4 ESV
Several years ago I visited the island of Patmos and saw the cave believed to be where John resided after he was sentenced for his proclamation of Jesus Christ. He would have likely been in his nineties when he served time on this Alcatraz-type island.
While there, John wrote letters to the seven primary churches of that region, in what is modern day Turkey. John was their spiritual overseer, a father in the faith. Of course, Patmos is best known as the place where John received detailed prophetic revelations from and about Jesus Christ. We know those insights as the last book of the Bible – The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Through detailed visions given to John, Jesus revealed the past (things which were), the present (things which are), and the future (things which will be). Most of what John experienced was written down and shared with other believers through his letters. However, there some things Jesus showed John, but then forbade him to share with others.
It makes you wonder, “Why would Jesus show John things he was not permitted to share?”
I believe this happens quite often with God. He typically reveals things to us with the intention that we share those things with others. But there are also times when He leads us to NOT share those things. I can think of a few reasons why that may be the case:
- Sometimes revelation is given for the purpose of intercession. God will show us things in order to invite us to pray for situations and people.
- Sometimes revelation is given to test our obedience and trustworthiness. Can God trust me with information and insight about others?
- Sometimes it is a matter of timing. God may reveal something to me now, but have me wait until the appropriate time to share it with others.
- Sometimes God has me keep silent because I have only been given partial knowledge, and I need to gain further insight before sharing something that is only partial-truth.
Prophecy must be discerned before it is declared.
I must exercise discipline to hold my tongue, even when I believe I have been given insight from God. Not every thought has to be vocalized. And patience is always part of the process.
Father- please reveal Yourself to me more each day. And please help me to be trustworthy with your revelations.
The word “gospel” means “good news.” But the good news is preceded by bad news.
For a person to receive the free salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she must first face the sobering reality of their own sinfulness, wickedness, and brokenness. If a person is never convinced (convicted) of their sin, they will never cry out for a Savior.
That’s why the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to first convince people of their sin (that’s the bad news), then convince them of righteousness through Jesus (that’s the good news), and then convince them that all injustices will one day be judged righteously (that’s good news for we who still live in a fallen world). See John 16:7-11.
The Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel, had a tough job. Like many of his contemporaries, Ezekiel was, in many ways, the bearer of bad news.
“The word of the Lord came to me: “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations.”
Ezekiel 7:1-3 ESV
We live in a culture that is resistant to taking any personal responsibility for sin or selfishness. Instead of being broken by our sin, we justify it. Instead of recognizing and confessing sin, we redefine it. Like the Old Testament people of Israel to whom Ezekiel was sent, we refuse the bad news about sin, therefore rejecting the salvation that comes from God through the Person of Jesus Christ.
We not only sin, we wear labels of pride for sinful living.
We claim to be defenders of justice, while denying the moral law that defines right and wrong.
We vehemently reject the Word of God and those who proclaim it, despite its proven historicity and validity.
We want the promises without the personal responsibility of obedience, submission, humility, and repentance.
The good news is…
- Jesus loves you no matter how bound you are in sin, pain, brokenness and pride.
- Jesus has already paid the ultimate price for your sin, by dying a brutal death for you.
- Jesus not only paid the price for your sin, He conquered Satan, giving you hope for victory.
- Jesus offers you salvation, forgiveness, and freedom.
The “bad” news is…
- Your sin must be confronted and confessed.
- Your heart must truly be broken and humbled before God.
- You must willingly bow yourself before God in repentance.
- You must receive Jesus Christ and confess Him as your Lord and Savior.
Honestly, that’s not really bad news at all. It’s only bad news to your sin nature and to the enemy of your soul. It’s actually all good news. Wonderful, redemptive, humbling, good news.
Life is noisy. Kids are noisy. Co-workers are noisy. The news is noisy. Restaurants are noisy. Traffic is noisy.
We are so accustomed to noise that we often avoid silence. We have music playing while we read. We leave the tv on while we're at home. We sometimes turn on fans or even phone apps that make "white noise" so we can sleep with noise. Even our church services avoid silence.
When is the last time you were silent?
When is the last time you turned off the noise?
True, you aren't able to entirely avoid noise, but you can be much more intentional about times of silence.
There is a type of restoration to your soul that can only occur in silence. There is an aspect of healing and peace that comes only from quietness, waiting, listening, and trusting.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
Psalms 62:1-2 ESV
You may not be able to create an entirely noise-free environment, but you can take advantage of the moments of silence God gives you throughout the day – when the kids are asleep, when the co-workers are occupied, when you're alone.
Turn off the music, the tv, and your phone for a few minutes. Look at the sky, the scenery, and the sunset. Breathe deeply and receive the gift of silence, along with its accompanying gifts of healing, restoration, and peace.
Silence is not an enemy to be feared, but a friend to be trusted. The whispers of God can only be heard in the quiet places of the soul.