There is still medicinal ointment available in Gilead! There is still a physician there! Why then have my dear people not been restored to health? — Jer. 8:22
J.R. Miller claims that the healing of God is related to our humility within the brokenness that necessitates the healing. When God allows His child to enter trial, pain and brokenness, it is only to humble the child in order of divine healing: to bind up the wounds on a higher level. Miller says that it is the "mysterious way in which the Lord gets honor to himself," and redeems the child from that which would turn it away from the divine path.
In other words, there is no greater healing than in true humility in brokenness. Humble obedience, knowing that we do not deserve the Balm of Gilead that He pours on us. Not proud obedience, which is simply another manifestation of self-will and self-assertion (the natural self exerting itself as the basis of success).
In other words, God allows trials in the child's life in order to strip away anything not of divine life. If this is true, then trials do not come to necessarily "make us stronger," as so many people say. It could that trials come in order to make us weaker, that the divine strength might have free reign in our lives. Yes, the effect of our lives will be infinitely stronger, but that doesn't mean that we will be *stronger* in ourselves. We will definitely be more humble, and just maybe, weaker too. But the inner reality of our lives will be the strength of heaven: We walk in the light of the One who redeems us, knowing every day that it is not of ourselves. We live with our faces turned toward His, ever reflecting His light, not our own.
It's a paradox of healing, which Scripture details: In God's kingdom, when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10). How is it that His power is made perfect in our weakness? Simply this: that in our weakness He strips away that which limits His power in our lives. The highest form of healing is in the utter humility of faith, whereby we live not for ourselves, but radically for Him, broken from the illusion of our own strength or goodness.
So, friends, do not despair in trial! Do not despair in a fuller awareness of your own sin. Just bow before the One who holds your holiness and healing in His almighty, loving Hands.
Truly, a broken hallelujah is the true hallelujah!
J.R. Miller on Jer. 8:22 — There is still medicinal ointment available in Gilead! There is still a physician there! Why then have my dear people not been restored to health?
There is balm in Gilead, and there is a physician there. This is, and must ever be, our only hope. If there were no balm in Gilead, what could we do but lie down in despair and die? For our sins are so great, our backslidings so repeated, our minds so dark, our hearts so hard, our affections so cold, our souls so wavering and wandering, that if there were no balm in Gilead, no precious blood, no sweet promises, no sovereign grace, and if there were no physician there, no risen Jesus, no great High Priest over the house of God, what well-grounded hope could we entertain? Not a ray. Our own obedience and consistency? These are a bed too short and a covering too narrow.
But when there is some application of the balm in Gilead, it softens, melts, humbles, and at the same time thoroughly heals. No, this balm strengthens every nerve and sinew, heals blindness, remedies deafness, cures paralysis, makes the lame man leap as a deer and the tongue of the dumb to sing, and thus produces gospel sight, gospel hearing, gospel strength, and a gospel walk. When the spirit is melted, and the heart touched by a sense of God’s goodness, mercy, and love to such base, undeserving wretches, it produces gospel obedience, aye, a humble obedience; not that proud obedience which those manifest who are trusting to their own goodness and seeking to scale the battlements of heaven by the ladder of self-righteousness, but an obedience of gratitude, love, and submission—willingly, cheerfully rendered, and therefore acceptable to God, because flowing from his own Spirit and grace. It is the application of this divine balm which purifies the heart, makes sin hateful, and Jesus precious, and not only dissolves the soul in sweet gratitude, but fills it with earnest desires to live to God’s honor and glory.
This is the mysterious way the Lord takes to get honor to himself. As he opens up the depth of the fall, makes the burden of sin felt, and shows the sinner how his iniquities have abounded, he brings the proud heart down, and lays the head low in the dust; and as he makes him sigh and cry, grieve and groan, he applies his sovereign balm to the soul, brings the blood of sprinkling into the conscience, sheds abroad his mercy and love, and thus constrains the feet to walk in cheerful and willing obedience. This is obeying the precept from right motives, right views, right influences, under right feelings, and to right ends. This is the true Christian obedience, obedience “in the spirit and not in the letter,” an obedience which glorifies God, and is attended by every fruit and grace of the Spirit.