Finding Strength in Health Problems :: By John Lysaught

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

What about you? Do you have confidence and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? I trust the Lord. I trust that my life’s directions, my actions, and my journey with Christ are all part of His overall plan for me. I believe God made me who I am: My body, my intellect, my attitude, my weird sense of humor, my heart for Him, and my love for people. I believe that God is using me in unique ways to relate to people─to introduce them to Christ and to remind those who are lukewarm that God is love and they need to heat up for Him.

I was in great health until I was pumped full of all sorts of vaccinations from the Army, after which my health turned downward. (My own conspiracy theory is the vaccinations caused negative reactions in my body. I’ve met many other soldiers with similar health problems after they took the same vaccinations.) Considering all my ailments and other health problems some people mock me for my faith.

They say, “Why would a loving God allow one of His children (me) to have all these problems?” Why would I believe in a God that would “punish” me with a lot of health problems that affect me every day with pain, discomfort, mental problems, and much more? I just laugh to myself, and say, “God made me to be me to use me for His purpose.” My ailments make me stronger in faith and allow me to have a unique perspective so I can relate to others who have similar problems. I can confidently say to them that, “Yes, there is a loving God and regardless of health problems, He is still real and working in my and your life.”

I shouldn’t complain about my ailments because as Romans 9:20-21 says:

“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”

I don’t question God about my ailments but thank Him that they allow me to be closer to Him and to interact with others who suffer; to provide encouragement and comfort, and that even though we have health problems, God is still love, loves us and He wants us with Him in eternity (heaven).

When I get discouraged from my ailments I remind myself of what is awaiting me, such as what John wrote in 14:1-3:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

God knows me and works in me because He created me. Through me He uses me to get His word of salvation to others. I’m always looking up because I know He is preparing a home for me. He is for you, too, if you believe Christ is your Savior and are born-again (John 3:1-7).

I renew my trust in the Lord every day. I trust that He brings people into my life that I can influence and introduce Christ to. I trust that He will be with me in those moments that I need Him most, when my fibromyalgia flares, when my Crohn’s disease causes me trouble, when my meds for my bipolar stop working, I trust that the Lord works through the doctors and my heart to carry me through those points of my life when I seemingly can’t bear anything alone. He carries me through those tough times and affirms to me that He is real and that He loves me; and what I can’t handle, I can give to Him to help me.

Don’t get me wrong, I pray for healing all the time but accept at the same time that God may not have complete healing as part of His path for me, but that my problems can be used for His good, for the furtherance of His kingdom. When I do pray I pray not only for healing but also for relief and for strength to make it through road bumps that my health throws at me at times. I would like to attest right now that my Crohn’s has been in remission for months. I prayed for guidance from Christ to help alleviate the pain and problems associated with Crohn’s disease, and you know what?

I received inspiration and strength to change my eating habits and how I treat my body. With my bipolar, I was lead to the right doctor that gave me a medication cocktail that has my bipolar under control for some time now. My cornea disease has stopped progressing and has actually improved a bit. My fibromyalgia is what my speed bump is right now but trust that if not for prayer, I would be much worse off than I am now. I trust and believe that Christ has played a role in my health improvements and when I do hit speed bumps in them, He is there to help me through them, to carry me through and help me grow spiritually from the experiences with my health.

If you have health problems, don’t be discouraged. He is there for you, also. Being saved and accepting Christ may not completely heal you, for God has a purpose for everyone and everything that makes you who you are. God did not make a mistake in making you as you are, whether you are in perfect health or like me, have multiple health problems. God is perfect and His perfect plan includes me, and you. Don’t question the Potter of why He made you the way you are, for the Potter (God) did so for a purpose. That purpose is to further the kingdom of God. You need to ask for guidance to do your purpose.

“But how can I do that,” you say? “I have so many problems and pain and I suffer! Why would God do this to me?”

I feel sorry for myself at times and think these things when my problems seem to get worse, yet I immediately remind myself that Christ has a plan for me. You need to do the same. Christ has a plan for you. Your aliments or perfect health is a venue in which God will use you to further His kingdom. All you have to do is listen and follow while God leads you. Don’t let yourself get yourself down; let Jesus lift you up. For example, I’m part of many online support groups. When inspired by the Spirit, I will write a verse of support to a person who is expressing concern for their health problem or are complaining about why would God do this to them. I take these opportunities to sneak in a Word of God to start a conversation about how God can work in their lives to make them better or to bring some relief.

What can you do? Do you trust and have confidence in how God made you and how He can use you? Maybe you go to a support group of some sort or sit in a room full of people getting dialysis or are friends with people who suffer as you do, or similarly. What about when you interact with your nurse or doctor? What a great opportunity to talk about how God is working in your life. Talk about the blessings, not the bad from your ailments. You may spark a conversation that will lead to the saving grace of someone.

Use your problems to get closer to Christ. Trust to allow Christ to help you with your problems. They don’t even have to be health related. They can be financial, relational, work related, etc. Use the negative to turn to the positive and let Christ lead you and be in you in these moments. You always have a choice. You can sit and whine and complain and feel sorry for yourself, or you can trust and have confidence in that God made you the way you are for His purpose. You must find that purpose by praying and asking God how you can use the way He made you to further His kingdom. Remember Matthew 7.7:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Don’t use your problems, health or otherwise as an excuse not to act for Christ, but use them as an opportunity for Christ.

In all your endeavors, don’t have fear but have confidence in the Lord. He made you and brings people and situations in your life for a reason: For you to bear fruit for His kingdom. Remember the verse I cited from Jeremiah 17.7-8:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Be strong and confident that your roots are grounded in His living water so when you are faced with an opportunity to relate to someone with health or other problems, you can give them a word from the Lord without fear or worries. Remember, you are nourished with living water in the heat and drought of worldly opposition.

May the Lord work through your heart as He made you─to further His kingdom and bring you blessings upon you in your endeavors for: Christ.

John Lysaught