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Last week I wrote a blog on praying for healing. is close to my heart. For, although I didn't mention it in that blog, I have terminal cancer. However, I have an unusual testimony concerning praying for my own healing. It seems that every time I have prayed for healing, Hebrews 9:27 comes to mind. 

“It is appointed for man to die once.”

God has not exactly told me He will not heal me. But He has pretty clearly told me that I am not to pray for healing.

I have wondered why God would tell me this. He has certainly not retracted His promises of prayer or even of healing. He has not restrained me from asking Him to heal others who are suffering. But in the past few weeks God has shown some light on this for me. What God has been telling me relates to Paul's testimony in 2 Corinthians 12 where he said he prayed three times for the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh. The Lord told Paul His grace was enough for him. God has comforted me with Paul's words. But He has spoken to me in the past weeks through Luke 9:23-25.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

Christians are to live as people who are going to die. 

This is a key to focusing on our purpose. Because of the urgency of time pressed on me I have been able to write 10 books. I would never have done that if God had not put this pressure on me. He had to remove some of my physical strength and energy to keep me from continuing to be busy with a hundred other things. They were not bad things. But they were not what God wanted me to focus on.

This is a key to courage. I need to be honest. God has had me write some things that have made people uncomfortable, including what I wrote about healing. I might as well admit that what I am writing here will make some of you uncomfortable. In these days of increasing devisiveness, I will surely have to upset more people with what He calls me to write. I want to do that with His love, gentleness, and wisdom. But I doubt if I will have to courage to be faithful, if I am not living and writing like someone who has already given up his life.

This is a key to peace that transcends understanding. Preoccupation with the wants and worries of life steals the peace of God from our hearts. But God instills His eternal peace in us as we begin to say with Paul in Galatians 2:20,

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This is a key to God's glory being revealed in us. In John 12:27 Jesus said His heart was troubled and He asked if He should pray to be delivered from that hour. "But," He said, "for this purpose I have come to this hour. Glorify Your name." God can use illness and the most troubling of situations to bring glory to His name.

This is a key to ultimate hope. I need to fix my hope beyond success, beyond popularity, beyond my life on this earth. The fuller context of Hebrews 9:27 calls me to this hope.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

Hebrews 9:27-28

I am waiting for Him in His eternal purpose.



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