I remember sitting in church, hearing this for the first time - and totally not getting it.
"They may tell you that you have a slipped disk, or maybe you have kidney failure, perhaps even cancer… those may be the facts - but I'm telling you that the TRUTH is you are healed by the stripes that Jesus took!"
Wow that made no sense to me at the time. How can you be horrendously ill and healed at the same time? How can fact differ from truth?
At the time I was well immersed into my degree. I was all about facts. 'Facts' were how you defined 'truth'. My academic mindset would not let me see past this. This statement was not sitting with my training as a journalist, where facts were the say all and end all. As I began to delve into this concept that had been presented to me, I realised that this 'truth' was above 'facts'. It could defy facts. This truth did not care one bit for facts. It was a power unto itself - and this intrigued me.
So these thoughts went around my mind for some time, but I didn't quite understand it until I saw it work in action.
Friends of mine were having a baby. The pregnancy was proceeding in a healthy way, when the wife experienced all the symptoms of a miscarriage. My friends tell this story of how they reacted. When the symptoms kicked in, there were two things they could do. The first was to give in to facts - that there had been a miscarriage; or the second – claim the truth that Jesus is healer, protector, and has power over death. In the same instant as hearing of the symptoms, they chose the second. They attacked the facts and bound them with the truth. As far as they were concerned, the facts were irrelevant because the truth does not need facts in order to exist. Two years down the line, that which the facts showed was a miscarriage is now a perfectly healthy toddler.
All the more glory goes to the Lord when his truth manifests out of contrary facts! He is a god of the impossible, and thrives when the facts show an impossible situation. You could even argue that the very meaning of faith is based off this principle. Hebrews 11 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is resting your trust on the truth in light of the facts!
Now imagine if we all applied this to every area of our life! It means we need to know the truth inside out, and be willing to bind the facts. Am I depressed? That may be a fact, but the truth is that God has filled all who trust in him with joy and peace so that they will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Am I in lack? Factually speaking that may be the case, but the truth says the Lord is the provider for my life, and will supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ. Am I sick? Sure the doctors say you have a fractured knee, but the truth says that you are made whole and healed in Jesus' name! Claim the truth, not just mumble the odd prayer, that's not how this stuff works. Manifest the truth by living the truth, and build faith by hearing the word of God. Let the truth determine your actions, not facts. The truth is a weapon the devil is scared of, because he's powerless against it- nothing can hold down the truth, not even the facts!
Samuel James is a Communications and Media graduate from Wollongong now based in Sydney.
Samuel James' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/samuel-james.html