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A few years ago my oncology doctor announced that the latest laboratory reports on me had come back with no signs of cancer; thus he confirmed what Kathryn, I, and some of you have known since the battle began on October 21, 1995 - that healing is ours!

This followed on the heels of miracle debt cancellation of medical bills amounting to approximately $25,000, and still more debt cancellation and money was on the way. "Thanks be to God" indeed.

We appreciate your prayers and agreement that healing was ours. I am so thankful that we are free from the hellish belief that "sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn't." Isn't it wonderful to know that healing, like the new-birth-salvation, is a finished work? Healing is ours!

Healing is Provided
God doesn't give it or withhold it, and He isn't a "respecter of persons." Healing is provided. Just like salvation; however, we must receive it through faith and profession - if you don't believe God can, will, and has, then you won't have healing.

And, don't let anyone trot out "Paul's Thorn" as an excuse for sickness and other difficulties. This is a work of the enemy to confuse you. The assertion they make of "Paul's thorn" is that God will not heal you, just like He wouldn't heal the Apostle Paul, so that you will not get "puffed up."

The fact is, though, that this assertion just doesn't hold water. I've known many sick and disabled who were "puffed up." In fact, they were down-right proud of their sickness, operation, accident, disability, or bad relationship, and some even called it a thorn in my flesh, like Paul. "…Ain't I spiritual 'cause I got a thorn?" HOGWASH!

So let us see what the Word of God really says in 2 Corinthians 12:6-12:
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
First, notice what Paul says the thorn is, "a messenger of Satan sent to buffet me." In the New Testament the word translated "messenger" here is used 188 times: 181 times it is translated "angel," and seven times as "messenger."

It is always referred to as a personality, never a sickness or problem. Everywhere Paul preached (as God's messenger), Satan would send his messenger right behind to try to destroy the work of Paul.

The pattern was often this: Paul preaches; revival breaks out; Satan's messenger goes to work; riot breaks out; Paul gets beat up, run off, arrested, and so forth. That was Paul's thorn in his side. Furthermore, God did not say, "I won't heal you or help you." God said, "My grace is sufficient."

Remember that grace is God's desire to use His great power on our behalf, even when we don't deserve it. So, what God was saying was, "Satan has a right to send his messenger to preach his side of things and I won't stop him; but, don't worry because My power is so much greater than his that he cannot stop My work. Paul, you will make it by My grace!"

Don't let anyone tell you the grace of God fails. It cannot and will not. Ever!

Shake Sickness Into The Fire
Now, I am not saying the Apostle Paul did not sometimes get sick. We do not know every moment of Paul's life. I am saying, though, that he did not stay sick.

One time a snake bit him when he was tending a fire. The snake hung on him, Paul shook it off into the fire, and he had no ill effects from the bite. That kind of snake was so poisonous that when Paul did not fall over dead from its bite, the natives of the land wanted to worship Paul as a god.

With that kind of power in God do you really think that Paul would stay sick long? Personally, I doubt it! God's grace never fails and God was not keeping Paul down. He was just letting Paul know that He had already given Paul everything he needed to stand, withstand, and beat the enemy.

The question I really have is this. Why do some people love that kind of "Paul-had-a-thorn-so-he-wouldn't-get-the-big-head" teaching? Could it be that if they can blame God for persistent, unwanted conditions in their life, then they won't have to be responsible, or face the fact that they have settled for less than what God has provided?

Ouch.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, but think about it. What consolation or solace could possibly come from not allowing God to be as big as He wants to be and has promised to be in our lives?

I invite us, today, to be like Paul. When persecutions come, press toward the end of your trial and say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…" (2 Tim. 4:7).

Let God work His wonderful work in us; let us lay hold on the promises and grace of God; and, let us truly give "thanks unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…" (2 Cor. 2:14).

Copyright © Church of the Fulness of God
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

David Stuckey
Web site: The Church of the Fulness of God
 
David E. Stuckey is a native Texan, born to a small town, Southern Baptist pastor's family on June 27, 1947. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Secondary Education: Drama and Speech and is certified to teach the learning disabled. He taught special education for six years.
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