All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12
How should you respond when you’re persecuted? Probably not how you might think. The Apostle Peter gives the answer:
If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1 Peter 4:16
What?! Shouldn’t we pray to God to excuse us from persecution? No. According to Scripture, if we’re following Christ, persecution is an inevitability. That doesn’t mean we should thank God for it, and that’s not what Peter was saying. But we shouldn’t think it’s strange when we’re persecuted either:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice.
1 Peter 4:12-13a
What we should think is strange is being attacked with sickness. But unfortunately, we as Christians have had a lot of help accepting sickness as normal. When we think of something as normal, we put our guards down. We submit and become passive. Worse, we make provision for and accommodate it.
So, what should you do if you’re dealing with sickness? Fight! You have the victory over sickness and disease. You can win! Look at what Andrew said on Gospel Truth:
[God] has not redeemed us from persecution, but He has redeemed us from sickness.
Even though God wants us well, we have a part to play. We have to act on our faith. Andrew really gives a powerful exhortation to help us:
There are some of you that are believing God for healing, but you aren’t acting healed. Get up out of your wheelchair. If you can’t stand, if you’re a quadriplegic, well then move something. Do something. Believe God to move your big toe, your little finger, and once that starts moving, well then move the next one and start doing something. You resist the devil, and he’ll flee from you. You resist sickness and that sickness will flee from you, but start doing something. Do what you can do. If you can’t do it all, do part of it. The Lord will meet you where your faith is, but faith without works is dead. You’ve got to start acting well.
If I knew I had the power to prevent someone from stealing from me, I wouldn’t idly sit back. I suspect you wouldn’t either. How much more would you act if what was being stolen was something valuable, like your health?
You might need to be convinced that sickness is not something you should just tolerate. I think Andrew would say, “As long as you can live with sickness, you will.” Some Christians would say, “Well, the devil has attacked me with these symptoms. I must be doing something right.” That’s what Satan wants you to think. But never use the Enemy’s activity as an indication that something is of God. The Enemy attacks just because he’s evil. But he defaults to persecution to stop you from advancing. Of course, he attacks also with sickness, but he attacks everybody with sickness, whether they’re Christians or not.
In Andrew’s teaching, God Wants You Well, he clearly shares that Paul’s thorn was not some physical ailment. It was, in fact, persecution.