Is any among you sick? This story of being healed and rising up to be right with God comes from the book of James and from a young man, Brandon Salinas, who shared his testimony at the Rise Up, Recount Love Christian Conference. The opening question is found in James 5: 14-16, “Is anyone among you sick? He should send for the church leaders and they should pray for him in the name of the Lord. The prayer given in faith will heal the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Tell your sins to each other. And pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer from the heart of a man right with God has much power.”
In February, I humbly accepted an award at the Clinton-Sampson Chamber Banquet. Standing before the crowd that filled the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center, I wondered what words were right to share. My heart raced while words about healing rose up inside. I said, ‘Everyone here tonight has been healed in one way or another, to God be the glory.” Those truthful words relate to areas other than physical sickness. Healing comes with faith. Why would one think healing was restricted to Biblical times? Do we fail to recognize healing in our lives today? Are we of little faith with no hope for healing or filled to the brim and believing all things are possible with God. Stop and recount how God has helped and healed you. Healing is happening all around us, but such stories get lost in headlines that steer clear of signs and wonders from the ‘Great I Am’!
I remain thankful and eager to tell how His healing changed my life and keeps me singing as I go. Sharing my story of healing can be done with no words, hard as that is to believe. Almost every day, I touch my abdomen, shoulder, nose, and heart, with thanksgiving and praise to my Lord who loves and looks after me. He healed me of colon cancer, a growth on my shoulder, skin cancer on my nose, and a heart that beat lukewarm for my Lord for way too many years. Having a heart healing is the best of all, for it adjusts one’s inner workings and adds long life like a good tune-up does for a car. Running the race well, enjoying life, fueling faith, and bringing joy to the Lord and loved ones happens when one’s heart is right and God is first. If God isn’t first in your life, you are missing blessings of happiness and healing. If your heart is out of alignment and needs a good tune-up, don’t let the sun set before giving it to God. He is a Master at making things right and good according to His purpose. He is a listening, loving God who is moved by children who love and trust, honor and obey Him. He hears His children’s prayers and answers in His time and way. Yes, Virginia, there is a God who heals.
Brandon Salinas testifies how the healing power of the Great Physician changed his life. Brandon opened the door at Tim’s Gift last September and joined us for Tuesday morning prayer. He heard about Tim’s Gift at the End of Summer Learning Station Program. These summer programs drain my staff and become more difficult to schedule each year. Demanding schedules and overwhelming activities bombard families, so we thought of canceling the program this summer. When Brandon told how the program touched him last summer and brought him to the prayer table at Tim’s Gift, we knew seeds were planted and the children’s summer program was smiled on by our Creator. If one person comes to Christ, our efforts to share the love of Jesus are worth it all.
Brandon seldom misses Tuesday morning prayer. His presence and powerful testimony have opened doors for him to witness and win souls to Christ. When I asked him to share his story at the Rise Up Conference, he was eager to tell the good news of walking with Jesus and being free from addictions that kept him in bondage for years. Brandon wrote a three page testimony telling of his journey without Christ. His journey of addiction began in sixth grade. He slowly sank into a pit where sin was waiting to steal his joy, destroy his relationships with family and friends, and kill him. Satan seeks to take it all when one’s heart door is left ajar. He slips in and stirs up sin in the most delightful way. Just a spoonful of sin makes obedience and trust for God go down. Brandon slipped deeper and deeper into a life that lured him to the pit Satan rules. Sharing the details is not necessary, but relaying the results is proof that anyone can rise up and be what God calls them to be. Reaching a place of brokenness, with people praying and believing in him, brought Brandon back to Christ. As a born again Christian, Brandon seeks God’s guidance. He is eager to share his story of sin and salvation. He gives God the glory for rescuing him from the pitiful place where he had plummeted.
Brandon’s story of rising up is packed with passion and promise. His desire to reach out and help people of all ages steer clear of deadly addictions is posted on the Tim’s Gift Facebook page. Brandon’s life-changing experience, that brought him back into the fold, will open your eyes to the power of addiction and your heart to the greater power of forgiveness and redemption from a loving Father in heaven. There truly is power in the wonder working blood of the Lamb.
Ending Brandon’s story brings joy to my heart and a verse of scripture suited to his life to my mind. “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are brought down. The Lord loves those who are right and good.” Psalm 146:8
The Lord has opened Brandon’s blind eyes. He was blind but now he sees. Brandon was lost in sin, down, sinking to rise no more. Then, the Master of the sea heard his cry. His love lifted Brandon up when nothing else could help. Brandon confesses how he was wrong but now is right and good with God.
Many people share a story similar to Brandon’s. Sin has slipped in and stolen the joy and peace one finds only with Jesus at the wheel. Others question and refrain from support for people who have been rescued from the pit of sin.
Colossians 3:12-13 speaks to all God’s children of how we are chosen and our charge to forgive as our Father forgave us. “God has chosen you. You are holy and loved by Him. Because of this, your new life should be full of loving-pity. You should be kind to others and have no pride. Be gentle and be willing to wait for others. Try to understand other people. Forgive each other. If you have something against someone, forgive him. That is the way the Lord forgave you.”
Is any among you sick? Never stop praying for those who are sick and lost in sin. God still heals and helps His children get back on the right track. Each of us has found our wheels spinning in the wrong direction at one season or another. The Lord raises up those who get off track and are brought down. He desires for all His children to do right and good. Our God is an awesome God. He forgives. He hears and answers prayers. He heals the sick and brokenhearted. He loves and longs for us to love and obey Him.
There is much sickness among us. Let us rise up to pray. People may be sinking in sin far from the peaceful shore, but Jesus can lift us higher than we’ve ever been lifted before. There is power in the blood and power in prayer. God bless you Brandon.