When Healing Is Delayed, Choose to Persevere
- Steve Arterburn Author and Chairman of New Life Clinics
- 2006 4 Apr
Healing is God’s choice, and so is the timing of that choice and the method in which healing takes place. When we’re struggling with something or have some major defect or disease, we want God to choose “now” as the timing and “instant and easy” as the method. We want this not only to relieve whatever it is that’s hurting us, but also as proof that we’re special in the eyes of God. We want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us, cares for us, and is intimately involved in our lives.
Yet for many with physical deformities, birth defects, and serious diseases healing isn’t going to be instant. Most likely healing will have to wait until heaven. If you’re in one of these situations, hope in God and pray for physical healing. God is in the business of miracles, but they’re far from an everyday occurrence. I don’t know why God chooses a miraculous healing for some and not for others, but He does. So as you pray for a miracle, be realistic about your expectations or you’ll be disappointed with all of your life rather than finding areas where you can be grateful.
You may also find yourself in a quagmire of consequences that you helped create, and you have no idea how to find freedom from them. You may be discovering that there’s no quick fix and no easy solution, and there likely won’t be. Depending on the nature of the circumstance, there may be no solution. Be realistic about what you expect to happen. Unrealistic expectations cause added frustrations that’ll tempt you to give up. Don’t give up. God is with you, and in His wisdom, He knows the quick fix and easy solution won’t grow your character. Character is never instant and God often uses our circumstances to build it within us. Continue to persevere—no matter how tough a bind you’re in. Don’t ever give up.
A Matter Of Trust
As you look at your life, it may not make a lot of sense. You have some ideas about how it could work so much better, but God doesn’t seem to be viewing your plans or wanting to implement them. When things seem so clear to you, it’s hard to sit back and allow God to work in your life, but that’s exactly what He wants you to do. Your way of doing things isn’t His way. What looks perfectly right and normal to you is anything but that to Him.
What is at issue here is trust. Will you trust God? Will you trust Him enough to hang on one more day? Will you trust Him enough to make your circumstances an example of how He can make the best of the worst situations? Will you trust Him enough to make the healing choice to persevere? Will you trust Him enough to live for Him even when healing is delayed? Will you trust Him enough to promote the healing of others while you make choices for your own healing? Before you can heal, you have to address this issue of trust.
The Big Lie
The big lie you may have told yourself is that there’s no hope for you. This lie tells you that you’ve done everything possible, and now it’s time to just throw in the towel and give up.
But if you were to back away and look at your situation from a different perspective, you might see things differently. What you’ve attempted to do may have produced little or no results and left you in this hopeless state, but what you’ve done may have been the opposite of what you need to do.
Don’t destroy your life over a big lie. You feel hopeless because you’ve been using your own power, not because there’s no hope. You feel hopeless because you’ve been headed in the wrong direction, not because there’s no hope. You feel hopeless because you’ve cut yourself off from others who could help, not because there’s no hope. You feel hopeless because you’ve tried to deliver yourself in your own strength, not because there’s no hope. There is hope for you, if you’ll just persevere long enough to find it.
Trying harder doesn’t help your situation. If it did you’d have helped yourself long ago. You must not continue to run your life with efforts that won’t improve your situation. Surrender to God, and let Him do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Ask Him to bear you up under His mighty power and cause you to persevere. Fall back into His arms and entrust your life to His keeping. Watch Him do things through you and your pain that would never have been accomplished otherwise. If your life is riddled with pain, suffering, and struggle, please don’t give up. Surrender to God and persevere under His compassionate care.
Healing is a choice. It’s God’s choice, but we have to continue making healing choices in order to experience the gifts God has for us. The choice to persevere is never an easy one. It’s only made by those tired of living life as they always have, and finally want things to be different. Make that choice today. Choose to persevere and never look back.
The above piece is an adaptation from Healing Is A Choice: Ten Decisions That Will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them, by Steve Arterburn. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2005.
Stephen Arterburn is the founder of New Life Clinics, the largest provider of Christian counseling and treatment in North America. As host of the daily New Life Live! radio program, he is heard nationally on over one hundred and eighty stations and at www.newlife.com. Steve is the creator of the Women of Faith® Conferences and is the author/coauthor of over thirty books, including Healing is a Choice, Lose it For Life, The God of Second Chances, Every Man’s Battle, and Avoiding Mr. Wrong.