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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Facing Severe Trials

By Ken Horn
Nov. 28, 2010

Through years of ministry I have seen many people face severe trials involving serious illness or profound disability.

I have seen God bring people through these trials in three different ways: (1) a miracle of healing, (2) the provision of healing by natural means, and (3) the bestowing of grace to walk through the valley.

The third answer is never our first choice. The apostle Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). The Lord responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (NKJV). Because of this, Paul was able to say, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

When someone is not healed, I have sometimes seen Christians add to their burden rather than help lift that burden (Galatians 6:2). They implied the afflicted persons had sin in their lives or not enough faith.

In John 9, when Jesus encountered a man who had been blind since birth, His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (v. 2). Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” (v. 3).

Jesus makes it clear that God did not foresee a sin for which He punished the blind man in advance, and He was not punishing him for some sin of his parents. The disciples should have known that the Book of Ezekiel had dealt with this at length (see Ezekiel 18:20).

This Evangel features an enlightening interview with Joni Eareckson Tada, who has turned her own severe trial into a lifetime of effective ministry. Our managing editor, Scott Harrup, who conducted the interview, has wrestled with the issue of disability firsthand. He and his wife, Jodie, welcomed their son Connor into the world in 1996, only to discover a brain hemorrhage would result in cerebral palsy. Connor is confined to a wheelchair and has limited verbal ability. I have long admired Scott and Jodie as they have shown others how God’s grace can be sufficient to walk through the valley.

Read this issue for wisdom on grace and healing.

Ken Horn

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