“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
I have long wrestled with how to live a holy life while in the throes of affliction. It has seemed harder, to my thinking, to live a holy life as someone constantly suffering pain, frustration, and disappointment from illness. But the problem with this reasoning is that it comes at service to God from a legalistic perspective.
If instead of our efforts, we consider surrendering to God, then holiness becomes not only possible–but I would argue–easier for the Christian living with constant illness.
Our illnesses rob us of pride, self-confidence, arrogance, willfulness, and everything else that gets in the way of surrender to God. Instead we are left with weakness, humility, our great and many needs and knowledge of our needy condition. Someone like that has a shorter path to submitting to God than the self-confident, healthy person.
Complete and utter surrender and submission to God: That is our path to holiness and fruitfulness in our walk with Christ. Many of us simply do not have the strength to even mount an effort at holiness, much less live holy lives by our ability. When we surrender to God, He can work through us, enable us, guide us into holy, productive Christian lives through His Spirit.
Holiness is not about our abilities, but about surrendering ourselves to God. Once we surrender our problems, weaknesses, illnesses, whatever it is, over to God, we can be made not only holy, but useful to Him and His kingdom. Not by our works, but by His power and love working through us, affecting the lives of others.
Do not despair of being a fruitful Christian due to illness, indeed, it may be that your illness is they key to living a holy, fruitful life.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to live holy lives, completely submitting ourselves to You. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. His hope is to learn to rely more upon God, and to submit himself and his challenges into the Lord’s capable hands every day of his life.
Are you tired of trying to make it on your own? Why not submit your problems and challenges, and give yourself over to God?
I love this song, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Enjoy this accapella version with beautiful scenery and you worship our God who is holy. -Lisa