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Sunday: Healing Rest — 24 Comments

    • Hi Wayne. Simple mistake. Today is Sunday, and the topic for today is "Healing Rest". If you look at the other daily lessons you will see that they too have the name of the day in the title of the study. It is not the first time readers have made that mistake.

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  1. We like to look for causes, don't we? One of my brushes with extreme pain turned out to be a result of a birth defect that I had been carrying my whole life. So, I blamed my mother and she said she would pass the fault on to Dad, who was long dead by the time this episode occurred. We had a good laugh about it, mainly because the episode had happened when I was in my sixties and I had been carrying the defect without knowing it all that time.

    Obviously, there is often a very good reason for asking the question "Why?" If we ask the question honestly and do the appropriate research, we can do something about relieving pain and suffering. It was not all that long ago, that if a person had appendicitis, evidenced by severe abdominal pain and spasm, the person died. Someone asked, "Why?" and ultimately the cause was found, and nowadays most cases of appendicitis are cured with surgery.

    But sometimes we do like to play the blame game and nod our heads knowingly blaming lifestyle or whatever. We may not be able to perform miracles of curing diseases in the same way that Jesus did, but we can provide the rest and comfort of empathy without apportioning causative blame.

    I think I told the illustration of two men involved in a fight. The fight was started by one of the men but as a result, both men ended up in emergency surgery with serious life-threatening injuries. The medical staff did not ask questions about who was to blame. They saw the need to save lives and ultimately saved both their lives. They left it up to the courts to decide the issues of justice.

    In this sin affected world we are like emergency workers. our job is to provide help and encouragement irrespective of causative blame.

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    • Yet, we are counseled to study cause and effect. If there is a real cause in personal illness due to violation of natural law, can we ignore the cause and expect healing?

      Should we inform a smoker that the lung cancer is caused by the smoking, or simply pray for healing while they continue to smoke? Should we pray for and expect God's intervention when the individual's diet is cause for the illness?

      The example of those fighting maybe proper in that case, unless they were still fighting. Could the medical team expect to help while they were still trying to harm each other? Stop/arrest the harmful cause first, then something may be done.

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      • I'm pretty sure that when Jesus went into villages and healed every single sick person, sparing none, He didn't first ask them why they were sick.

        Nor did he rebuke or lecture them for the sins of indulgence that may have contributed to their illnesses. He loved them, forgave their sins and healed them.

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    • Yes, I totally agree with you, that we as Christians, should “provide help and encouragement irrespective of causative blame”. But unfortunately, some of our people, Christians, do not have the gift of empathy, to give encouragement without giving a “little words of wisdom”. If you don’t have the fruits of the Spirit, then it is best to just Pray for the person that is in need of encouragement from any sickness, mental or physical. Prayer can change a lot of situations, and it can also help encourage the person that is offering the prayer.

      I also like that the writer of our sabbath school lesson added some insight, background information, from our prophet, EGW. This information makes sense to me, and it also give me the answer to questions that I have had for a long time about this Bible story: “Why did the paralytic man not leave immediately after Jesus healed him? And why did Jesus tell him, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’, instead of just healing him?” Jesus already knew his heart, that there was a “sin” in the paralytic life that needed to be forgiven first. We see this same concept with the man at the pool of Bethesda. Sometimes, the person needs to be forgiven first (and forgive themselves too), before healing can start. This is also true for those of us living today; we are not immune.

      Let’s all pray for one another, without judging one another; God is our Judge, and Healer.

      God’s blessings to us all.

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      • From Monday’s lesson:
        “Jesus approaches disease differently. He knows the root [cause] of all suffering and disease and wants to treat this first.”

        (2)
    • From Monday’s lesson:
      “Jesus approaches disease differently. He knows the root [cause] of all suffering and disease and wants to treat this first.”

      (1)
  2. Today's lesson refers to the issue of 'blame'. Have you ever considered what lies behind the human tendency to 'blame'? Perhaps there is more going on than we realise...

    Our brain has a 'part' that we are consciously aware of in control of - and it has another part that we are not consciously aware of or in control of. This other part is typically referred to as our subconscious.

    Our subconscious impacts us on a moment-by-moment basis far more than we consciously realise. The subconscious has a couple of key self-regulatory roles to try and help us navigate life's circumstances: (a) it monitors and analyses our experiences in order to try and work out the cause-and-effect 'rules' that seem to be at work and then (b) use this information to try and navigate us through life situations by identifying and implementing response options aimed at helping us maintain sufficient safety and control - physical and emotional. Essentially, our subconscious assembles and maintains a 'mental map' of how the world seems to work within our circumstances - the rules of how life seems to operate and therefore how we assume it operates and will continue to operate.

    Because this mental map is very specific to our own history and experience, one person may have a relatively more 'secure' mental map because they have grown up within a more safe and secure context. Others have not been so fortunate and therefore have a mental map for a world that is very unsafe and insecure. For such people, attempting to maintain some sense of safety and security within an unsafe and insecure context may be about pleasing (or appeasing) others to minimise risk of conflict and violence - or it may be about using violence and intimidation to try and overpower the violence and intimidation of others. Once again, a map of cause-and-effect understanding that allows us to make sense, plan and respond.

    But sometimes we encounter situations that don't fit our existing mental map of safety and security. In such situations, the cause-and-effect we were expecting didn't happen and instead we got a cause-and-effect we were not expecting. Our cause-and-effect map didn't hold up and so we now don't have something predictable to guide our responding. Therefore we can't respond with sufficient security - which understandably results in insecurity - until we can work out what or who went 'wrong'. What failed or who did something wrong and therefore is to blame? Perhaps you can appreciate that the violation or shattering of our mental map that we were using to try and maintain a sense of security is a key part of what causes an experience to become a trauma.

    What I have outlined above is a large part of what is fundamentally behind our search for 'blame' - trying to make sense of what has happened that we didn't expect to have happen in order to update our mental map so we can once again preserve a sense of a world in which there is knowable and therefore predictable cause-and-effect relationships. Doing this is no small challenge in a sin-infected world.

    What I have outlined above is an explanation - but explanation does not equal excuse. However, when we have a better idea of what is going on for ourselves or for someone else, we are potentially in a better position to understand more compassionately and respond in a more informed and therefore beneficial manner.

    PS: The issue of blame is also at times interlinked with the phenomenon of revenge - and that is a topic for another time.

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    • Phil, is it possible that there is the actual working of the Holy Spirit in this realm of seeking/identifying a cause? This life finds the law of the harvest always at work, where we reap what we sow. When sickness comes, blaming will do little towards healing and rest, yet, in many cases understanding the cause is vital in order to find that healing/rest, and to avoid further sickness. It is for this very reason that our message to the world of redemption in Christ includes the "right arm" which is a message of physical/mental health, which will lead many to seek the knowledge of a Savior, who would otherwise not seek Him.

      Some might confuse this message of health as "blaming", and if done incorrectly, might appear to be so. But many have found great benefit and have been able to find that true Rest which comes from knowing and following the "good, acceptable, and perfect will of God" for body, mind, and soul.

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      • Hi Robert

        Yes, there definitely needs to be the actual working of the Holy Spirit to seek/identify true cause: Psalm 139:23,24; Jeremiah 17:10; John 16:8.

        Why can't we do this on our own? Jeremiah 17:9.

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    • Cause and effect
      In our personal lives it is wise to have understanding of cause and effect. James 1:13-15
      If we are a friend to one who is suffering from cause and effect not understanding that is so, it would be a kindness to our friend to help them understand cause and effect, at the most appropriate time, if possible.

      (4)
    • Thanks Phil. What you have written for us today, I see as proof that God creates us, with a powerful mind (brain); that we were not created as a result of a Big Bang theory. We were created and designed by the God. David said in Psalms 139:4 “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well”. I thought I would mention this (and remind us of this) because we still have Christians and non-Christians that are struggling with their beliefs, and/or unbeliefs, in evolution over creation. (I’m sorry for changing the subject a little.) Thank you for your insight; it was wonderful to me.

      Continue to grow, and rest, in the love of Christ our Lord!

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  3. Maurice
    I really appreciated the last comment you made. In this sin-affected world we are like emergency workers. Our job is to provide help and encouragement - irrespective of causative blame.

    So often we forget this. It’s these actions that stood out in the First century and it’s still these actions that draw people to Christ now.

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  4. Healing Rest

    I believe that is why there are medical workers. Those who we can go to for our mental problems, our spiritual problems, our physical problems and out psychological problems. These people also need doctors to take care of them. The news said 30-40% of front line medical workers are suffering from PTSD disorder and will be leaving their jobs sometime in the future. Sickness and suffering can also affect those who work at our health institutes. It is human to get sick but Jesus is the great physician, the great healer.

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  5. It may be the case that when sick, the needed rest will require faith. Worry or fretting does nothing for healing, and our need is to trust in the promises of God, committing our lives to His will, and find acceptance in whatever it might be.

    In Mark 2:1-4 we read of a man whose sin had resulted in severe, reportedly incurable illness, who has heard of Jesus, and with hope has found his way into Jesus' presence.

    Truth/knowledge in every matter is our best help for finding a solution. In God's word we have truth that will lead every willing soul to know of God's remedies for physical health and healing. Can we expect to knowingly disregard these while praying for healing? Living contrary to God's will is nothing less than unbelief, which presumption cannot undo. Only by repentance will we obtain the promised blessings(Rev 3:18,19). For those who are ignorant(unless willingly so), the case is somewhat different, and often will open the way to becoming informed of God's rich blessings for all who will believe and follow where the Lord would lead us.

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  6. The Jews were so blessed to have Jesus among them to heal all their sicknesses.
    The world is blessed to have doctors and researchers who have found cures for a multitude of diseases that the Jews never dreamed were possible.
    To me spiritual life free from sin is more important than physical life free from disease.

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  7. Gods people have been using the blame game from the beginning of time it self with Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:17 says you are not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil otherwise you shall certainly die. Now a serpent comes along and tempts Eve with a lie but a half truth as well. The serpent says that if you eat this you will be like God himself (hum sounds familiar because Satan said I will be like the most high), Eve eats the fruit and gives to Adam and there eyes were open.
    Now God comes along and Adam hides, because he is naked. God straight away asks if he has eaten the fruit and Adam says my wife Eve gave me it and I did eat, Eve says the Serpent deceived me and I did eat. Blame has been passed to 2 already and now God hands out punishment in the form of curses.
    It seems to me that it is always easier to blame someone else were possible, or to justify are actions thru are own knowledge and not by Gods commandments-but those very commandments' are for are protection from sin and heart ache.

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  8. It appears to me that one very important aspect of pain and suffering is not being addressed by this lesson. Yes, in the Father’s provisions to help mankind, healing and recovery from sickness is included. But for true rest - the assurance that things will not spiral out of control - I suggest to look for that in His promise that he will restore to permanent life those who love Him; death has lost its sting when Christ rose again from the dead!

    I have not experienced any serious illness in my own life or was personally, intimately involved in the suffering of a loved one. One of my faith’s greatest joys is God’s promise that He hears our prayers and will respond according to His Mercy and Grace; I trust in His providence for my life, my whole life is in His hands. With this perspective, I greatfully keep my spiritual and physical 'house in order' at all times.

    I see the discovering of the what or why of an illness to be constructive only if it is used in the healing process of the living soul; both, the spiritual and physical aspects need to be addressed.
    Our faith is always being assaulted by doubt. My great hope is that all who received and accepted the gift of faith will use it to its fullest capacity at the times of great challenges to their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing – Psalm 23KJV; Psalm63:1-8KJV.

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  9. Part of the process of healing is forgiveness as this week’s lesson points out. Therefore when the cause of my disease/ affliction is ascertained the first thing is to ask for forgiveness for any part l may have played in contracting that condition. Eg forgive me Father for allowing myself to become so stressed by the problems of life that l got sick. In order to obtain forgiveness, we may need to ask for it. I believe that initiates the healing process.

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  10. When Jesus went into towns/villages and healed every sick person, sparing none, He didn’t first ask why they were ill (Matthew 9:35).

    Nor did Jesus rebuke or lecture those whose illness may have been contracted by their own indulgences. He loved them, forgave their sins and healed them.

    Shouldn't this be our model?

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    • Yes, brother Seig, that should be our model.

      Also, I believe that we should use our own sicknesses and life experiences to show more compassion to the “least of these”. In the end, our Lord is not going to be impressed with how we went to church every sabbath (or Friday, Sunday, or Zoom church) or how much we gave to the church; but He will be more concerned about, did you love Him (accepted Jesus as your Savior) and what did you do for the “least of these”.

      Matthew 22:37-40 says, “ 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

      Rest in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

      (2)

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