The Spiritual and the Physical
Be Strong, Be Well — Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Although there are times when we might need more encouragement than at other times, we still need encouragement!
I was compelled early last year at the beginning of the COVID-19 shut-down to write articles under the name “Be Strong, Be Well.” The purpose was to encourage us all to be strong and be well, both physically and spiritually.
Again, there are times when we need to give more attention to physical strength and wellness because we are sick. When we are not feeling well (and this could be mild to severe), it’s harder to concentrate on much of anything but our illness.
Even so, scripture tells us to try and focus on critical spiritual truths. First, pray to the One who can help us through any physical difficulty.
The context of James 5:14-16 is the promise of healing through the hands of the elders. This was during the time of the miraculous gifts of healing. These are not available to us today (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). However, James’ message emphasizes prayers for healing! “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Healing may or may not be granted, or to the degree, we might have hoped, but we continue to ask.
We are admonished, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
Second, we must keep things in perspective. We know our physical existence will gradually diminish as it grows old, weak, and eventually dies. This is the curse of all humanity. However, the spirit is different. It can grow stronger and stronger if we prepare it for eternity with God. This will take reading and meditating on God’s Word.
Paul said, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18).
The apostle encourages us not to become disheartened and discouraged. Despite our illnesses, afflictions, and physical problems, there is more to life than this. It may be difficult at times to concentrate enough to pray and meditate on scripture. Anxiety, grief, and pain can overwhelm our human frailties, but when we try, what great comfort the Lord gives to our soul.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). —Chris