This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
When he [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
— Mathew 14:14, ESV
Sickness in the form of a particularly nasty stomach virus has ravaged our home this week. My toddler came down with it Monday, and given the likely 1.5 to 2 day incubation period, he most likely picked it up from someone at church. About a day and a half later, I came down with it. Now I have been sick a few times during my life with flus, stomach bugs, and even the occasional food poisoning. (Haven’t we all?) However, I can say with full honesty that I have never been that dramatically ill. Not that you probably care for this information, but I threw up so many times that there was literally nothing in my stomach to expel and yet my stomach was still attempting to do so. I could not even keep a tiny sip of water down. At one point during the night, I just laid down on the bathroom floor and stayed there for nearly an hour.
The silver lining in my story — there is one, I assure you — is that I knew from the outset that I had a stomach virus and that its effects, though drastic, would be short-lived. Even when my illness was at its worst, I knew it was almost over, and I would be recovering in a day or two. I just needed plenty of rest and to re-introduce fluids slowly. Then food when my digestive system was calmed down.
Some people do not have that assurance. Some of us live every single day with a chronic illness, chronic pain, or other scary health issue. We don’t know when or even if our illness/injury will be cured or the cancer will go into remission or if the next surgery will help relieve symptoms. Often it is the not knowing that causes the most fear and anxiety.
As I was contemplating what to share today, I was reminded of this little verse in Mathew 14:14. It is often overlooked because it immediately precedes one of the great miracles of the Gospels: when Jesus feeds five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. But I want to focus on Mathew 14:14 today. Let us read it together:
“When he [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Almost everywhere that Jesus went, He would heal the sick and injured. As our Creator, He has a deep compassion for each and every one of us and He knows that what we are going through is not what He had intended for us. Many wonder: if God is a loving and compassionate God, how could He allow pain and suffering to exist? This sometimes leads people to ask: Did God create evil?
Jesus Himself provided the most simple answer in a parable about weeds mixed in with good crop. “An enemy has done this,” He said (Matthew 13:28). No! God did not create evil, pain, and suffering. It was never in His plan for His beloved creation to experience a broken, sin-filled world.
If you would like an in-depth study into the origin of sin, who the enemy is, and God’s true character, [truth]LINK is an easy-to-understand online Bible study series and it is FREE.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus healed so many and His disciples continued to do so after Him. Even today we often hear testimonies of miracle healings and answered prayers. But I am not naive. As much as it pains me to say, there are times when our prayers seem to go unanswered. When my mother was fighting cancer earlier this year, I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my entire life. I prayed and fasted. We may not know until we see our Lord face to face why, in those situations, the answer was a gentle and sorrowful: “No, my child.”
But a “no” answer does not mean that God does not care. Passages like Matthew 14:14 remind me of His love and compassion towards us, even when everything seems to be going wrong. Today, just like back then, Jesus sees us — not as a great crowd but as precious, unique individuals — and He has compassion on us.
So no matter what you are going through, what fear or anxiety you may be struggling with, remember this simple truth:
God loves you, my friend.
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
Bibles.com is a great place to find the perfect Bible for you.
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Build one another up