Years ago, my baby daughter and I got pneumonia. It was terrible. She was in the emergency room with my husband and I was at home alone. I had to send my son, 4 years old at the time, to stay with someone I barely knew because we had just moved. Not a good memory, but we survived! As as Christian, I have learned that sometimes we suffer. I also know that God works through sufferings to teach us, discipline us, or to help someone else. Through that difficult time, I learned to trust God. I have to say that I’m stronger for it and my faith increased, but it isn’t something I want to go through again or something I would wish on anyone else. Like it or not, disease is part of our imperfect life here on imperfect earth. With this being said, it leads us to the question, “why do we have to endure disease and illness, especially if we are Christians?” The answer is……sin.
The “fall of man” caused a curse to be put on our world by God. (Genesis chapter 3). Without perfection in our mind, body, and environment, disease and illness run rampant in our world. Although we must live in this imperfect place, God manifests his power in our lives by helping us overcome or suffer through the disease and illnesses of the world by providing hope for a better future through Jesus Christ. This allows us to live in the conditional world as light in darkness and bring His light to others. We do this through the hope and peace we receive from Him as we go through these trying times in our lives. Romans 8:18-21 “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
Not only is disease and illness brought upon us indirectly by original sin, but is is also brought upon us directly when we choose to sin in certain ways against God. Many of our high profile diseases are a direct result of sin in the life of the Christian and non-Christian. The only difference is that the non-Christian often doesn’t recognize what sin actually is because his morals are not based on truth, but on whatever his definition of right and wrong is. Gluttony, rage/bitterness, unforgiveness, and sexual promiscuity are just a few sins that cause these high-profile diseases.
When we choose Jesus as our Savior, he gives us truth to live by that brings blessing. Often times, as Christians, we don’t live according to that truth that God has given us. That’s why I’m thankful for the grace of our Heavenly Father, so that when I fall into sin, I’m still saved from eternal separation from God, even though I must still endure the consequences of my sin here on earth. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As we grow in our faith, through the Spirit of the Living God who is living inside us, we are able to make better choices and for that, we are healthier, although we will never be removed from the indirect consequences of original sin. This makes me look forward to the perfection that awaits us in heaven where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4