7 Things Sickness Steals From You

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Sickness is evil. . .it is not of God.

We never see God introduce it in the Bible.  We only see it show up after Satan comes into the picture.

Though there are some well-meaning Christians who feel it’s a cross God wants us to bear. 

Not so.  Absolutely, scripturally speaking not so.

The only things we see come from God are good gifts. . .advantageous gifts.

James 1:17 says:

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for good is G18 and it means:

“of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy, excellent, distinguished”

Also, according to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for gift is G1394 and it means:

“giving, gift”

Do we really think our Heavenly Father would consider cancer to be a useful, good, pleasant, joyful, happy, excellent gift for us?

Do you think cancer qualifies as a good gift?

What about meningitis?

Maybe, kidney stones.

Or perhaps, heart attacks.

Do any of these sicknesses or diseases seem like useful, good, pleasant, joyful, happy, excellent gifts for us?

Don’t think so. 

Matthew 7:9-11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent?

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!”

Yes, but what about Paul’s thorn?  Some theologians ignore scripture to tell us that God gave Paul a sickness to keep him humble.  That’s misguided and scripturally wrong thinking.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

These same theologians use this passage of scripture to justify why Christians should accept sickness and suffering as some sort of badge of honor. . .but that’s not what the passage means.

No doubt Paul had an abundance of revelations.  Consider this fact, if you don’t have the revelations of Paul. . .you won’t have a thorn.  No need.

The passage also suggests that Paul could have become exalted beyond measure.  But Paul was also humbled before God.

1 Peter 5:6 in the New Living Translation says:

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

As we submit ourselves to God. . .He will exalt us.  Paul was not talking about exalting himself. . .but rather the enemy sent a thorn to keep him from being exalted by God in front of the people.  The enemy is like that.  He does not want our influence to make a difference in people’s lives.

Remember, God exalted Joshua in the eyes of the people. (Joshua 3:7)

Acts 5:13 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And none of those who were not of their number dared to join and associate with them, but the people held them in high regard and praised and made much of them.”

Now let’s look at 2 Corinthians 12:7 again this time in the Amplified Bible which says:

“And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.”

It’s important to note what follows “thorn in the flesh”. . .the next phrase is separated by commas highlighting it’s importance where it says:  “thorn in the flesh” COMMA “the messenger of Satan to buffet me.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for messenger is G32 and it means:

“a messenger, envoy, one who is sent”

The thorn is not sickness. . .not a thing. . .but rather a messenger. . .a demon. . .sent by Satan determined to keep Paul from exalting God and doing the things he was called to do.

There is so much more to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 but that will be the subject of another teaching on a different day.

Here’s what we know. . .God did not put sickness on Paul. . .but rather it was a messenger from Satan.

Just confirming sickness is not. . .never has been and never will be God’s best for our lives.  It’s also important for us to realize that sickness steals from us.

1.         Sickness steals time.

When you’re sick. . .you lose time in school. . .on the job or around the house.  This is time that you’ll never be able to recover and your productivity is either reduced or eliminated.

If you’re fighting an allergy or common cold. . .oftentimes you’re not full speed. . .you’re not maximizing your performance.  Infirmity. . .steals your time.

Time once spent. . .stolen. . .can never be replaced.

Have you ever had the misfortune (I can’t say pleasure) of waiting and waiting and waiting for your Doctor’s appointment?

A few days ago, I had to wait for nearly an hour past my scheduled appointment time.  I really wanted to send the Doctor a bill for my time.  . .but I didn’t.

During the coming week. . .I will send a minimum of eight hours in doctor’s offices.  That’s time I will never be able to get back.

It’s time I could have been having a Face Time chat with my children. . .laughing at their jokes. . .being amazed at who they’ve become.

What’s the best way to overcome sickness?  Take two aspirins, drink plenty of liquids and get a lot of sleep.  Sound familiar?  It’s a common answer I’ve heard most of my life.

However, I think Henry Miller, the American author, was onto something when he said:

“Nine-tenths of our sickness can be prevented by right thinking plus right hygiene - nine-tenths of it!”

Sickness can be prevented by right thinking. . .also known as the Word of God.

James 5:15 says:

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

Personalize the verse.

James 5:15 says:

“And the prayer of faith shall save <<YourName>>, and the Lord shall raise <him/her> up; and if <YourName> has committed sins, they shall be forgiven <him/her> .”

The Word of God is the best preventive to sickness you’ll ever experience.

2.         Sickness steals joy.

I want to encourage you to get a pen and write down the following sentence.  I will repeat it several times.

Live today, plan for tomorrow but don’t let worry and anxiety steal your joy.

Live today, plan for tomorrow but don’t let worry and anxiety steal your joy.

Live today, plan for tomorrow but don’t let worry and anxiety steal your joy.

Matthew 6:34 in The Living Bible says:

“Jesus said, “So, don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time”

We need to give our attention. . .to what God is and wants to be doing in our lives right now. . .even in the midst of an attack on our health.

Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible says:

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

If we’re giving attention to what God is doing right now. . .then we will not allow the devil to steal our joy while we’re in the middle of the battle.

James 1:2 says:

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”

Jesus endured the shame. . .the mess of this world. . .because of what He knew He must accomplish. . .the vision within Him.

You may be shoveling your way through a mess. . .but your outlook. . .your perspective on everything you’re facing should never to subject to or formed by what’s happening around you.

We must understand that the devil wants to steal our SHOUT.

Psalm 35:27 which says:

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”

The enemy will use sickness and every other weapon to steal our joy but he can’t unless we allow him to do so.

3.         Sickness steals hope.

With sickness. . .the enemy wants to steal your hope.  The loss of hope makes a person feel that sickness or disease. . .is all they have to look forward to.

If we allow the enemy to steal our hope. . .he will take our joy and peace with him as well.  But more importantly, when he steals our hope. . .he keeps us from being overflowed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 in the New Living Translation says:

“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The great thief wants to leave us disappointed, depressed and discouraged in the midst of our medical adversity.

Romans 15:13 in the Amplified Bible says:

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”

The enemy wants to steal our hope which is based on God’s promises found in the Word of God.

Psalm 130:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.”

Always remember, no matter the situation. . .there is only one place where you need to place your hope.

Psalm 39:7 in the New Living Translation says:

“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

When you put your hope in the Lord. . .it should never be your last resort.

Psalm 25:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”

Your hope will remove all the doubts of the enemy.

Psalm 94:19 in the New Living Translation says:

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

Now that is a profound scripture and one worthy of personalizing and memorizing.

“When doubts filled <<Your Name>>’s mind, your comfort gave <<Your Name>>  renewed hope and cheer.”

The world doesn’t give you true hope. . .but the Word of God does.

Your hope in Him empowers you with the confidence of His protection.

Job 11:18 in the New Living Translation says:

“Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.”

Steadfast hope in Him will bring its own reward to you.

Proverbs 23:18 in the New Living Translation says:

“You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.”

So the question is. . .how do we develop and strengthen our hope in God?

Romans 15:13 in the Amplified Bible says:

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”

God is the source of our hope. . .and our hope is supplied and empowered by the Holy Spirit. . .even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

A review of these scriptures helps us to understand why the enemy is happy when sickness steals our hope.

I know from personal experience how the enemy tries to steal your hope when you’ve received a negative report from a doctor.

This past December 30th I was informed the biopsy of my left breast was cancerous.

We were disappointed . . .but not moved.  I had not worried about the problem and most certainly, not after the biopsy.

In fact, every time the situation came to my mind.  I laid my hand over my left breast and commanded the mass to dry up, dissolve and disappear and to never return anywhere else in my body.

My hope was in the Lord and the power of His Word.

On January 15th, I had surgery.  We rejoiced in learning my lymph nodes were free and clear of cancer as was the final report on the mass that was removed from my chest.

During this entire matter. . .we’ve had peace because we knew God was in charge.  We also knew we had been freed from the curse by our Great Physician.  We’re doing great. . .and we’re just walking through the recovery process.

Hope and confidence in the Word sustains you through every negative report and unpleasant circumstance. . .that’s why the enemy wants to steal your hope. . .which will break your focus off the Word.

4.         Sickness steals money.

The enemy not only wants to steal your health. . .he wants to take you out physically and financially.

As mentioned earlier, I had surgery on January 15th.  I was in the hospital for one day and the bill was $33,000 and that doesn’t include the surgeon or all the others who want a piece of the pie.

Actually, I said that wrong. . .they want the whole financial pie and everything that goes with you.

By the way, I was given (and I use that word loosely. . .because I paid for it) a piece of formed plastic that I was to blow in while in the hospital to minimize the possibility of pneumonia.  Certainly, that goal creates value for the plastic breathing apparatus but $170 for what probably cost less than $3 to make. . .seemed a bit pricey.

The oncologist gave me a test which he said was worth $50 but that I would be charged $4,000 for you.

I’m blessed that Medicare and my supplemental insurance will cover most of these bills but there are millions not as fortunate.

Whether the enemy wants the sickness he’s attacked us with to take a little or a lot. . .he wants to steal our money.

And he steals it. . .whether the bill is pay by us. . .the government or the Medicare supplement company.

If the bills are paid by the government. . .then taxes go up to cover what I consider to be exorbitant charges.  If the insurance company pays it. . .premiums go up not just for us but for everybody.

When we pay our part. . .what’s leftover. . .the enemy is stealing money from us which could otherwise be invested in the Kingdom of God. . .winning the lost, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and disciplining the found while they’re still around.

So while the enemy is trying to steal money from believers and away from the Kingdom. . .I’m claiming and reminding him of Proverbs 6:31 which says:

“But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.”

When the enemy steals from you. . .make him accountable. . .by figuring seven times what he stole and claiming it for the Kingdom.

5.         Sickness steals energy.

When the enemy steals your energy. . .your get up and go. . .he also gets your effectiveness and creates a feeling of uselessness in you.

When we allow the enemy to take our energy. . .we find that our get up and go. . .got up and left.

That’s why it’s important for us to tap into the ultimate energy source. . .the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly enough, the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines energy as:

“dynamic quality, useable power” and, are you ready for this, “positive spiritual force.”

That’s right. . .energy is defined in the secular dictionary as a positive spiritual force.

It’s not only our energy the enemy wants but the positive spiritual force that guides our lives.

Proverbs 3:23-26 in The Living Bible says:

“They keep you safe from defeat and disaster and from stumbling off the trail.  With them on guard you can sleep without fear; you need not be afraid of disaster or the plots of wicked men, for the Lord is with you; he protects you.”  

The enemy wants to steal our energy because he knows where it comes from.

1 Peter 4:11 in the New Living Translation says:

“Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” 

How do we keep plugged into our energy source even in the midst of adversity.  Seven words.  READ YOUR BIBLE. . .DO WHAT IT SAYS.

Proverbs 3:21 in The Living Bible says:

“Have two goals: wisdom—that is, knowing and doing right—and common sense. Don’t let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy and bring you honor and respect.”  

The Word of God. . .gives us a living energy which neither sickness, the devil or anything or anyone else can ever steal.

Can somebody say “Hallelujah!”

6.         Sickness steals dreams.

When you’re sick. . .overcoming a disease attack of the enemy. . .when it seems like healing will never come. . .you’ve gotta know the enemy is after your dreams. . .your potential for future success.

I’ve heard some people say over the years. . .in describing a sickness say:  “I’m so tired of fighting this. . .I think I’d rather just give up and go on home to be with Jesus.”

I’ve never walked in those shoes. . .so it’s difficult for me to put myself there. 

Until recently, I could never imagine what it was like to have a thirteen inch incision across my chest. . .a cavity created by what’s been removed from my body.  And being attached to a wound V.A.C. seeking to heal my chest.

Nor could I previously imagine myself take chemotherapy which I start this week.

However, it’s become a new experience. . .but it will never become my ultimate and lasting reality. . .because the Word of God empowers me to dream of change. . .while confessing the Word of God.

When you begin to dream . . .things begin to change. . .and the first change is within you.

Remember, nothing will change until you do.  Our dreams take us places beyond our current reality.

We need to accept temporary mistakes, detours and disappointments as just that, temporary.

How do you overcome obstacles? 

Psalm 34:19 in the New Century Version says:

“People who do what is right may have many problems, but the Lord will solve them all.”

One other thing. . .I feel stirred to say.  There are people who are dealing with and have dealt with for years. . .they’ve been in a constant battle physically and emotionally because of attacks from the enemy.

We need to pray for those who have endured to be endued with a fresh presence, peace and power of the Holy Spirit.

Remember, praying for others this way. . .releases the promises of Ephesians 6:8 into your life.

7.         Sickness steals love.

We have an enemy who not only attacks us physically. . .but spiritually as well.  He attacks us in all the six major areas of our lives.

Spiritual, family, financial, physical, mental and social.

John 10:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

When the enemy brings sickness. . .and the attack is intense. . .it strains relationships.

The enemy is not only after your health. . .he’s after your marriage. . .those you love and who love you.  I’m blessed because my marriage is strong.  But there are marriages which are already shaky and the added stress of care, cost and inconvenience can strain them to the breaking point.

Be aware the enemy will speak thoughts not only into your mind but those who love you seeking to contradict the Word of God. . .while playing off our insecurities. . .creating miscommunication and trouble.

He’s a liar. . .the father of lies and the truth is not in him.

The miscommunication between loved ones will create misdirection all which are directed by the mischief of the enemy.

In sickness. . .he wants to steal your health. . .kill your dreams. . .and destroy your relationships with those you loved.

Hold fast to the confession of the Word and remember the devil is a liar and he doesn’t want you experiencing the fullness of John 10:10 which in the New Living Translation says:

“. . .My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”