30
July
2017

JAMES 5:13-18 IS ANYONE SICK?

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James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 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. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

 Are You Suffering?

INTRODUCTION

Here we find guidance as to what to do during times of suffering and sickness

IN TIMES OF SUFFERING, LET US "PRAY" (13)

The word used refers to enduring hardness, to suffer trouble, endure affliction, to be afflicted

FOR WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY?

For the REMOVAL of the suffering, if it be the Lord's will

2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

For the STRENGTH to endure the suffering, if it be the Lord's will that we bear with it

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God may not always remove the source of our suffering; it may be for our ultimate good

Ps 119:67, 75 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word 71, It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. 75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

But at least He promises to help us endure it!

  1. FOR WHOM SHOULD WE PRAY?

Certainly for ourselves

But also for those who may be the source of our suffering

Jesus taught in Lk 6:28 "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you

IN TIMES OF CHEER, LET US "SING PRAISES" (13)

THE WORD "CHEERFUL"... means pleasantness, agreeableness

It suggests a state of mind free from trouble--the opposite of affliction--happy!

Consider the attitude of David, the sweet singer of Israel -

 Ps 92:1-2 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

  • To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night,
  • David was a man after God's own heart, shouldn't we be also?

Ep 5:18; And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

  • WHY DON'T SOME CHRISTIANS SING PRAISES MORE OFTEN, MORE PASSIONATELY?
  • Hasn't God done enough in our lives to prompt us to praise Him with all one's might in song?

Fortunately, God is not concerned with how it sounds, but that it is coming from the heart, therefore all who can speak can and should sing!

 Heaven is described in Revelation as a place where singing praises to God and Christ is an on-going activity

 Singing praises to God is just as important as praying to God!

 III. IN TIMES OF SICKNESS, LET US "PRAY" (14-18)

  1. THIS PASSAGE IS DIFFICULT

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

1Corinthians 11:29-30 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

There are two possible answers

  1. This passage refers to MIRACULOUS HEALING and the elders were called because they possessed the gift of healing

Mk 6:13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

This passage refers to PROVIDENTIAL HEALING or God doing it through natural means

Lk 10:34 "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

James uses an example of God PROVIDENTIALLY answering prayer to show its effectiveness

1) God was indeed answering Elijah's prayer

 2) But God did so, providentially, working through natural means

  • WITH THIS UNDERSTANDING, LETS MAKE THE APPLICATION...

In times of physical sickness, call for the elders of the church

You want the prayers of the "righteous" working in your behalf, don't you?

Notice: You are to call for them, not wait for them to call on you!

Have the elders pray with you...

1) In faith (trusting in the Lord's power to heal, if it be His will)

2) Fervently (with all your might)

In a time where hospitals were non-existent and physicians were rare, anointing with oil was a common treatment - cf. Lk 10:34

The sick should also confess their sins

Verse 15 makes it clear that sickness is not always the consequence of sin, but

But verse 16 and others (like 1Co 11:29-32) suggests that illnesses may be God's loving chastisement for sin, in an effort to direct us back to Him

CONCLUSION

We must be careful not to underestimate:

1) The importance of praise

2) The power of prayer

The importance of confessing our sins

To truly benefit from these three spiritual exercises, we need to be in a right relationship with God

Which involves being open to God's Word: He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination. Pro 28:9

And being a doer of God's will: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)