1 Thessalonians 5:23 "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Body and soul are inseparable in God's eyes. The soul receives spiritual power to live out in the body what it means to be sanctified "through and through." Yet when bodily illness strikes, we tend to pray more for healing of the body than of the soul. It is healing of the soul that enables us to bear illness. What we need more than anything at the moment of illness is the strength to bear it while we await bodily healing from God. Yet we may find that bodily illness remains and is not cured. Then more than ever we realize the great gift God gives in the offer of the healing of the soul. Since much of life is an accumulation of bodily problems that will not go away, cure of the soul becomes essential in life.
Cure of the soul -- and strength to bear bodily illness -- takes place when we begin to appreciate the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the cross. Then we come to experience all of life as lived in faithfulness to God, whether in sickness or in health. In the "cure of the soul" we will find spiritual medicine to bear all things. "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
PRAYER: Father, in Jesus heal our souls daily so that we may bear the physical distress of life. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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