Why the Sick Do Not Always Die?

John 11:4
This sickness is not unto death.

By Charles Spurgeon of London (Now in Heaven)

Charles H Spurgeon

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. –John 11:4

From our Lord’s words we learn that there is a limit to sickness. (We need to hear this…God has put some limits on some of the things that come our way that afflict us.) Here is an “unto” within which its ultimate end is restrained, and beyond which it cannot go.

Lazarus might pass through death, but death was not to be the ultimatum of his sickness. In all sickness, the Lord saith to the waves of pain, “Hitherto shall ye go, but no further.”

His fixed purpose is not the destruction, but the instruction of His people. Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.

1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence has limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predetermined, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining hand of Him who numbers the hairs of our head.

2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not at haphazard-the weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be relieved too late.

3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. “He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” A mother’s heart cries, “Spare my child”; but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how hard-mouthed we are, it is a wonder that we are not driven with a sharper bit. The thought is full of consolation, that He who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our suffering.

 

 

Billy Graham is Concerned

Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

New Letter Addresses Concern for Nation’s Declining Morality

July 24, 2012 – In a new prayer letter Billy Graham writes: “My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.”

Billy Graham: 'My Heart Aches for America'

The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

Billy Graham: 'My Heart Aches for America'

by Billy Graham

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.

I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for, and my son Franklin recently shared a vision for perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to launch an outreach called My Hope with Billy Graham that would bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.

BGEA has already taken My Hope to more than 50 nations. We’ve worked in close partnership with local churches across each country, and those churches have reported millions of life-changing decisions for Christ. Carrying out a nationwide American version of this evangelistic outreach will be an enormous undertaking, but in my spirit I know God has called us to do this, and I pray He will stir your heart to join us in prayer and support.

Franklin will share more about the project with you as the planning develops. In the meantime, all this year Franklin and his son Will are preaching “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, ESV) at Crusade events across North America—from Texas to Canada—and God has blessed the work. Already tens of thousands have heard the Gospel, and many have responded, especially young people.

As I write, I am in the middle of a busy summer enjoying visits with many of my grandchildren and other family members, but also working hard on a new book that addresses some dangerous illusions about eternal salvation that are becoming increasingly accepted in many places. I want to point the world to what the Bible says.

Although age and health restrict my mobility and my stamina, not to mention my eyesight and hearing, I am thankful for the days God has given me, and I am humbled by His continued hand of favor on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The Lord draws people to Himself daily through BGEA’s various evangelistic ministries, and I am so deeply grateful.

The next Crusade event is August 18–19 with Franklin in Green Bay, Wis., followed by two in September, in Buffalo, N.Y., and Ottawa, Ontario. Please join me in praying for the power of the Holy Spirit on the preaching of the Gospel.

May God bless you,

Billy Graham

P.S. – We have many invitations and opportunities to carry out so many kinds of outreach, but we just don’t have the finances to do them all. We need the help of friends like you. Your gift this month—and just as important, your prayers—is an investment that will show results for all eternity.