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Words of Faith 5-28-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 5:13-16

          Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.  Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

 

       The Christian life is one of balance.  When in trouble... (lit. afflicted) -- we pray or make supplication.  When happy-- in times of goodness, blessing, and cheer-- we sing.  The word 'sing' means to vibrate like a string played by a bow.  Our rejoicing is the resonance of God's Spirit playing the strings of our soul.  

       But if we are sick-- we should call. Call not only to God because that is supplication... but call on the healing community.   God heals through the touch of His hands-- the body of Christ.

        From time to time, someone will ask, "Who are these 'Elders'?"  Of course, they may be those who hold an office of approved or elected leadership.  But I often say, "They are the ones you call on to pray when you are sick..."  They are obvious in most communities of faith.  They are people of fervent powerful faith-filled prayer, whether recognized by official title or not.  They are the prayer warriors who stand ready to battle against the enemy.  Satan trembles when they quietly fold their hands and look heavenward. 

        Why anoint with oil?  Three reasons.  First, the Bible says to do so--   Second, the Bible says to do so--   Third, the Bible says to do so. 

        There is no "magic" in the oil but it is a symbol of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  The word Christ means "anointed one.”  So, oil is a powerful symbol of the presence of Christ and the faith of the community.  Oil was also a form of medicine in the ancient world.  So, James was additionally instructing us to add the best medical care possible to our prayers of faith. This is medical 'anointing' "in the name of the Lord.”   "And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up." 

        The Greek word "to raise" is used in two ways in the New Testament, to be raised up from sickness, and also to be raised from the dead.  Both of these are part of the healing provided in Jesus.  The ultimate healing that we seek is in the resurrection.  The prayer offered in faith WILL be answered even if not in our desired time.  God heals, but His greatest concern is eternal.

 

       Sometimes the eternal dimension of healing requires something deeper than any physical medicine can treat.  "If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."  It is not that God punishes sin with sickness-- but sometimes we are just "sin-sick.”  Our misery has to do with our fundamental brokenness.  Until we confess that we are powerless to be whole without Him, we will never find peace.  To confess means to "agree with.”  We must agree with God that we need Him, and we are broken without Him.  Confessing-- agreeing with God-- in the presence of a trusted member of the community of faith is to discover that we do not fight the battles alone.  Confession requires that we take off the mask of self-reliance and begin to get better.  The prayer of a "righteous person" is simply the prayer of a confessed person.  That prayer-- the one that has nothing to hide-- that knows how desperately we need God-- that righteous prayer-- is powerful and effective.

 

Lord, give me balance.  Teach me to sing.  Play me like a violin with the bow of your Spirit.  In my times affliction, draw me near in prayers of faith to You and to my healing community of faith. I agree with You-- that I am lost without You.  And I praise You that You have pursued a love relationship with me in the person of Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2009, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.