“When adversity comes, you praise God.”
That was what my friend Terry had always been taught. When those tough times come, you just stand there, stare down the storm, and praise God.
However, on January 8, 2012, praising God was not very high on Terry’s priority list. After experiencing some problems, and noticing a lump that had developed only over a couple of days, and that ran from his chest up toward his shoulder, Terry decided to visit his doctor. His doctor was pretty blunt with the assessment:
“You have extensive small cell carcinoma (a very fast growing and aggressive form of cancer). You probably only have 6 to 12 months to live.”
A very shocked Terry had little time to process this news and the implications. He began chemotherapy immediately… the next day to be exact. While the prognosis was grim, doctors were going to try to do what they could to try to help him.
In her book, On Death and Dying, psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross outlines the 5 stages of grief for someone who is dying: Denial (isolation), anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
“I immediately began going through the stages. In the coming weeks, I dealt with anger, denial, and depression.”
But after some initial grieving, something miraculous happened: Terry found a spark of faith.
He found out that people all over the country were praying for him, praying for his healing. People from all walks of life were joining together in faith for a husband, father, and brother many had not even met.
“I was at my sister’s barber shop”, Terry recalled. “A Christian lawyer was there and asked if he could pray for me. As he prayed, I felt some long-seeded emotional pain begin to disappear. I felt healing—emotional healing—beginning to take place.”
Terry was sent to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tex., for more treatment. During his numerous visits to MDA, he would undergo radiation therapy … for three weeks at a time.
After his first stay at MDA, Terry came home. That Sunday, while at Abba’s House for the morning service, Terry came forward for prayer. “As Pastor prayed over me, I could feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”
Drawing on these prayers, Terry began to spend more time in personal prayer, time in the Word, and listening to anointed worship music and healing Scriptures. Through his Lifegroup at Abba’s House, Terry was introduced to the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The book teaches that, if we will just keep “circling” the promises of God through prayer, that God will ultimately deliver.
One of Terry’s favorite quotes from the book is “God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayer. Simply put: God will not do it unless you pray for it.”
Holding on to the prayers that had been offered up on his behalf, as well as the belief that his mission on this earth was not over, Terry refused to stop believing in a loving Father who wanted to heal him. He continued to “draw the prayer circle” around his need, and continued to believe for his healing.
On February 13, 2013, Terry was declared “cancer-free” by his doctors! At a time when medical science had all but written him off, Terry believed God. “Don’t stop! Don’t give up,” he says. “God will answer your prayers. It may take a while, but his promises are ‘yes and amen (so be it)’. Hold God to His word, and don’t give doubt the tiniest foothold!”
As you can imagine, the medical cost of a catastrophic illness such as this can be astronomical. However, Terry just smiles, “God has met our needs. Not one bill has gone unpaid. I haven’t worked in over a year. However, we continue to pay our tithes and give, and God miraculously meets our needs”.
God is true to His Word. Throughout Scripture, He gives us His promises to heal and deliver, and His promises are as good today—as “yes and amen” now—as they were when He originally breathed the Word to those who wrote it down.
So here is the question? Do you need healing? Do you want to be healed—physically, emotionally, spiritually?
If the answer is YES, I hope you will join me at this year’s Fresh Oil New Wine Conference. We are believing for a mighty, healing outpouring this year.
For over thirty years, Ron Phillips has been the pastor of Abba’s House (formerly Central Baptist Church) in Hixson, TN. A life-long Southern Baptist, a dramatic encounter with the Holy Spirit in 1989 changed his life and ministry to one that grasps who we really are in Christ, and the gifts and fullness that are available to us through a Spirit-filled life. His television program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, blends solid biblical exposition with a simplicity anyone can understand. In addition, for 14 years, he hosted the daily 15-minute radio program, CenterPoint, across the nation via radio, and throughout the world via the Internet. He has now authored over 20 books, including Awakened By The Spirit, Our Invisible Allies, Everyone’s Guide to Demons & Spiritual Warfare, The Foundations on the Holy Spirit Series, and his latest release from Charisma House, A God-Sized Future.
For the original article, please visit theheartofabba.com.
Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.
Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.