“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NLT)
In my previous article Bittersweet Christian Life it was pointed out that as Christians we know the deepest, truest joy in life through a relationship with Jesus. But at the same time we live in a world that is deeply fractured, broken, and desperate. As we carry this great joy of Jesus and express it outwardly, we need to be mindful of the heaviness of many around us who carry burdens of sickness, loss, suffering, and grief. We need to reach out, minister, and help them with their burdens. In this article I will share just how we can do that.
Let’s start off when the disciples came back to Jesus discouraged that they could not help someone with a need. Jesus gave them the first key bit of advice:
“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20b KJV)
Jesus did not stop there, but gave a second key bit of advice in the next verse:
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21 NKJV)
When we study Jesus’ life and ministry, we are to do it not just to attain biblical knowledge. We are to do it to learn how to operate in the very Spirit of Christ Himself. To walk, serve, and love as He did:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25).
This leads us to ask, “What does it mean to have faith as a grain of mustard seed in light of the following fact?”:
“God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3b NKJV)
It can only mean one thing since the fact is that we have already been dealt a measure of faith. It means that we must not remain idle, but we must become engaged in the faith we already have. Not only to be engaged, but to do it with authority:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
I like the example that Gary Wilkerson gives:
Do you tolerate your kids straying into drugs, thinking, “God is sovereign. There’s nothing I can do about it.” Or is there a voice deep within you urging, “No more! I will no longer allow the specter of death to descend on my house.” Often when Christians claim, “It’s all in the sovereignty of God,” they equate God’s works with Satan’s. No! Our lord is good, loving, a healer, a transformer, a change agent. I know many Christians who look at their defeats and say, “God is taking me through these things to teach me something.” That may be; He can certainly do that. But what if He’s teaching you discernment? What if He’s showing you the difference between His sovereign, prevailing will and a dark spiritual resignation? What if He’s showing you things to stir you to act in confident, living faith? Friends we’re in a battle. The Holy Spirit has given us a sword to do battle in real life!
In conclusion, if we are Christians in right standing with the LORD, we already have a measure of faith. We have access to the weapons of prayer, fasting, and the Word. We possess the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. We have the Holy Spirit to give us discernment. Only ingredients we need to then muster are action, authority, and confidence.
What happens if we pray for someone and they are not healed on the spot? At least they know that God cares for them. Our role is simply to be faithful messengers of His Good News and to present to the hurting a Healer who loves and cares for them.