For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I am often encouraged when I listen to testimonies of what God is doing in people’s lives. It is a reminder to me that nothing is impossible with God and if He did it for others, He will do it for me.
I listened to the testimony of a pastor named Ken who went to the doctor for a routine prostate checkup. At this visit, it was discovered that he had elevated PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen), a marker for cancer and unfortunately, the twelve-sample biopsy confirmed what he feared. He became discouraged as he remembered that his mother had cancer and had suffered for a long time before she finally died. His doctor recommended surgery but he wanted to experience what God had said in His Word about healing in James 5:14: “Prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” He suggested praying about it and his doctor not only agreed but led them in prayer. He also requested prayer from his church.
Soon, Ken got caught up in other matters which he considered more urgent than his own needs. As he put it, it was difficult to find an extended period of time to seek God in his situation. Unfortunately, two months later his PSA rose again to 15.5 and his doctor once again recommended surgery. He became filled with fear and regret that he had not sought the Lord as he should have. He reluctantly scheduled surgery but had to switch to another doctor who specialized in the particular type of surgery he had opted for. When it was time for his doctor visit, he prayed asking God for a sign directing him which way to go. He acknowledged that he had a wife and children and that this was not just about him. He met a medical assistant and as he opened up to her that he was a pastor and had actually preached about healing, she told him emphatically that he needed to live what he preached. She was right. It can be so easy to preach it but living it out in our own life can prove so difficult!
God had healed her of cervical cancer and she was convinced that God would heal him also and she joined her faith with his that God would heal him. She took his blood sample and when the results came, his PSA had dropped from 15.5 to 7.4. He knew that God was speaking. He once again postponed the surgery and decided to go to a friend’s cabin where he spent three days praying and fasting. Halfway through the second day he felt an assurance that God had healed him but he felt that God wanted him to complete his prayer and fast before returning home.
A few months later he did another PSA test and biopsy. He was confident of the results. However, results showed that his PSA had jumped from 7.4 to 8.7. He was disappointed and nervous because his PSA had risen. However, he felt strongly that the Lord was telling him to wait for the results of the biopsy. When he got those results a few days later, all twelve biopsies were free from cancer! He was ecstatic and saw this as a manifestation of the power of God. He credits prayer as the reason for his healing.
This story encourages me in different ways. For one thing, throughout Ken’s journey, God placed the right medical personnel in his path who also believed in God and who prayed and encouraged him along the way. What are the chances of that happening? Only God! Even when he switched doctors the medical assistant at the second facility had been healed of cancer and was encouraging him that if God did it for her, He would do it for him and she even joined her faith with his! God always sends the right people at the right time to encourage us and to stand with us when He knows we need it!
In my own life as I faced various challenges, there were times when God not only sent people who prayed for me but who were even willing to fast on my behalf when I could not do it myself! Again, only God! When we put our trust in Him, He always sends help when we need it and many times from sources we least expect. I think here about the story of Elijah. After experiencing a great victory at Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal, queen Jezebel threatened to kill him. Elijah ran for his life. He moved from confidence in God to complete fear and even prayed that he might die. Yet, what did God do? He sent an angel on two occasions to provide food and water to sustain him for the long journey ahead (1Kings 19:1-8). God knows how to provide the help and support we need when we need it!
I also look at the fact that when things got worse, Ken blamed himself for not paying enough attention to taking care of his own needs. But God is faithful. Even as his focus shifted, God’s focus remained on him and although results showed that his condition was worsening, God was setting things up for him to switch doctors and to meet a medical assistant who would join with him in prayer and in faith in the next stage of his journey. He may have felt like he had failed God but God was actually setting him up! And that’s what God does sometimes. He sets us up and puts things and people in place to provide the answers we need.
Finally, even after receiving the assurance from God that he was healed, his PSA increased. He had a choice here – to walk by faith or by sight. He also had the choice to listen to God’s voice telling him to wait for the biopsy results ... which he did. He was not disappointed. Listening to God’s voice was key. Focusing on the results filled him with fear, listening to and obeying God’s voice offered hope. Many times, we have to do the same – choose to stand on God’s Word instead of on what we see, feel or experience. God will never fail us. I don’t believe He even knows how.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so now. When life sends challenges your way, it is good to know that God will always be your greatest support, healer and friend. Give Him a chance today.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.