B. Sickness and Satanic Influence
Jesus clearly recognised the presence of the powers of evil in this world and commanded authority over them. He Himself experienced personal conflict with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11) and cast out many demons. In the concluding verse of the prayer that He taught His disciples (The Lord’s Prayer), He alludes to the need for deliverance from Satan. (Matthew 6:13)
Today, as yesterday, multitudes of people suffer distress of heart and lack peace of mind. Anxiety and depression cripple them. Identifying with the suffering of others compounds the burdens which they already bear from their own sufferings. To what extent are human tensions and anxieties, sickness and suffering, to be attributed to Satan? Certainly, at least, to the extent that he remains active in destroying our peace with God, our worship of God and our service to Him, and in tempting us to bow down before the many idols in this world. And how active he remains today, if we would look not only at the actions of others but at our own actions and within our own hearts! Who knows how closely our sickness and suffering are linked with our surrender to Satan and his temptations in place of our surrender to God and obedience to God’s commandments!
People, not God, of course, are responsible for their own suffering. Suffering arises from human sinfulness, which affects all of us and to which all of us contribute. And, in turn, it may be related to our sickness. This is not to say, however, that Jesus’ disciples are immune to suffering and endure no sickness and suffering from sickness. Nor that, ultimately, all His disciples recover from their illnesses. Still it is incumbent upon His disciples to call upon Him in faith for recovery and to surrender themselves to the will of God, aware that God does what is best for the welfare of His children.