Christmas is a time of great expectation. It’s a time when we give gifts to those we love. It’s a time of happiness and celebration. It’s a time we overspend and overeat. But it’s also a time when the enemy plays havoc with the emotions of those who have suffered loss or those who are sick. It’s a time when some even ask, “Does Jesus really care about me?” Some ask, “Will I be here next Christmas?” Let’s look at what God thinks about Christmas and sick and hurting people.
God spoke the world into existence. And John says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” That
Word was Jesus. The Christmas story can be summarized this way: "The Word became flesh and lived among us." Jesus is the Word made flesh.
John Millais in 1850 painted a controversial picture of Jesus in Joseph’s carpenter shop. He entitled it Christ in the House of His Parents. Jesus had made a gash in his finger and blood streamed to his feet while Mary comforted him. Although this picture was in the mind of the artist, it depicts the fact that Jesus lived among us and understands our pain. God’s Word took on human flesh. This is the Christmas story.
The Word (Jesus) become flesh walked the streets with healing as His agenda. He healed multitudes of people with all kinds of diseases. Not once did He ever tell anyone their case was too hard for Him. He healed the unclean lepers who were outcasts of society. He healed those sick with the palsy. He said to the man with the withered arm, “Stretch forth thy hand,” and he was healed. He healed the demoniac of Gadara. He healed Jairus’ daughter. He healed the woman with the issue of blood who had been bleeding for 12 long years. He healed the deaf and dumb. He healed the blind. He healed those who could not walk. He healed the woman who had been bowed over for 18 years. He healed all who came to Him.
When Christ died, He died for our sicknesses as well as for our sins. In that package of salvation comes healing, deliverance, wholeness. Healing and salvation go hand in hand throughout scripture. The Greek word sozo means saved and healed. The word saved in Romans 10:9 is the same Greek word used by Mark when he said, “as many as touched him were made whole.”
There is nothing so devastating as hearing the words, “You have cancer.” I heard those words in 1990 while my husband and I were pastoring in Troy, Michigan. It is also a frightening experience to discover that you have heart trouble or sugar diabetes, or lupus or some other life-threatening disease. When times such as these come, many people do not know what to do. Many listen to the doctor’s statistics and give up, often dying prematurely.
Before my crisis came, God had been leading me to teach healing on my radio program. I had also started a healing school in our local church in Troy, Michigan every Thursday morning. People were being healed and helped. Then it was as if all hell assailed me. Even though I knew a lump was there, I wasn’t afraid because cancer did not run in my family. I had been told by my doctor that the lump was a muscle and there was nothing to fear. But I went for my annual mammogram.
After a week I had not heard from the doctor, so I called his office. The secretary snapped, “If there were a problem, Mrs. Scarborough, the doctor would have called you. He is a busy man.” I insisted that she check my file, but she could not find my report. In just a few minutes the doctor called back and said, “Nothing to your report. It says slight thickening. X-ray again in six months. I see this every day. But if you were my wife I might send you for a second opinion. My husband said, “We’ll go for a second opinion.”
On July 5, 1990, I taught my healing school that morning until noon. Then my husband and I rushed to the doctor’s office in Pontiac. The doctor looked at my mammogram and said, “No problem whatever, but let me take a look at the lump.” I watched a puzzled look on his face as he said, “Don’t get your hopes built up about a thing in this world. You have cancer and it’s a big one.” I was so full of the Word from healing school that the words rose up out of my spirit, “I will not have cancer.” “I hope you are right,” he replied. Then he did a needle biopsy and sent it along with me to the hospital.
Later after arriving back at our church office, I called to get the report from the needle biopsy. “Yes, it’s cancer all right,” the dr. told me over the phone. I handed the phone to my husband and rushed to the church altar to pray.
I made a phone call to my friend, Barbara Yoder, who had taught female care to medical doctors at the University of Michigan Medical School but was now pastoring in Ann Arbor. She suggested I come over that night and let her examine the lump which was as large as a hen egg. Because of her past association with the medical school, she was able to get me an appointment with the best surgeon in the area. Barbara later said in a message in one of our women’s meetings, “I have had years of experience in the medical profession and had examined thousands of women, but I had only found one tumor in all my life that was larger than the one Peggy had. When I examined that tumor I knew it would be a miracle of God if cancer was not already spread throughout her body.”
The fear was overwhelming. Fear like I had never known overtook me at times. I had to play healing scriptures around the clock. Cancer has three spirits: infirmity, fear and bondage. This battle was the biggest spiritual battle I had ever fought. Here I was teaching that healing is in the atonement and this happens.
My only panacea was to run to the Word. Matthew 15:13 became a rhema at this time: “Every plant which my heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” I realized that the Word had to be my priority. When conversation around a dinner table became ordinary, I had to excuse myself and run to the Word.
Marion Spellman and Harold cancelled all their appointment to come so they could be there with me until they felt I was safe. Nineteen other intercessors met me at the hospital in Ann Arbor at 6:00 am on the morning of the surgery. Marion helped me write the healing scripture references on the palm of my hand.
The surgeon told me on the morning I left the hospital to go home, “The biggest concern we have about you is the large size of the lump. What we know about cancer is that it spreads.”
The battle became more severe when radiation treatments began. The big machines were terrifying. Putting on that ugly grey gown made me feel like a leper. I soon began taking my Bible with me to treatments. Sitting in the waiting room, I bathed my mind with what God said about sickness and healing. Then during the treatments, I began to picture the Word of God along with the radiation rays becoming bullets, knocking the cancer cells out of my body.
Healing comes in various ways. Some are healed through the gift of healing when someone with a gift of healing prays for them. Some are healed when elders of the church lay their hands on them and pray for them. Others are healed, as were the lepers, as they went. Some are healed taking daily communion, remembering Jesus as their healer. Most are healed by taking the Word of God and standing on it. In my case healing came with a process of time after warring with the Word of God, the Name of Jesus and the Blood of Jesus. When symptoms have tried to bring fear on several occasions, I have run to the Word and found that the Word works. When another life-threatening attack occurred, I fought the same way and was healed.
Immediately after fighting for my life against cancer, I went to downtown Detroit and rented a banquet hall for a healing school. The people who came were healed but the biggest healing was coming to my own life. Every time I taught that we have a healing covenant, I became stronger. Twenty years later I am still conducting healing schools. For the last ten years I have conducted a healing school in downtown Conway, SC in an upper room in a bookstore where healings are a regular occurrence.
One lady came into healing school who was battling lung cancer. She knew nothing about the word of God or church. All she wanted was to be healed. She got the revelation of standing on the word of God. She went home, put her Bible on the floor and literally stood on it. She declared, “Jesus, your word says with your stripes I am healed.” She did this over and over. She was healed and is still healed today.
In a healing school In Florida, a young lady came in filled with anxiety. Half way through the teaching session, she shouted out, “It’s gone!” She came in with a lump under her arm that just disappeared as the Word was being taught.
A lady in Conway came to healing school one sick while suffering terribly. For months she had battled with constant headaches that never left her. Hers was another incident of just sitting there meditating on the taught Word of God and was healed. The Word of God heals.
One lady who had a major problem after surgery on the arteries of her legs went by the bookstore when she was very sick. She told the owner of the bookstore that she had experienced serious problems after the surgery and the doctor had said there was nothing he could do. The owner, who is one of the counselors in the healing school, prayed with her. The sick lady kept returning, just soaking in the word of God, going home and quoting healing scriptures to God, praying the Word, talking the word and acting on the Word. When her doctor saw her after a few weeks, he was in shock. The hole in her artery had healed. The dr. acknowledged that what he could not do, God had done.
I am often asked what we do in Healing School. We do a school (not a church meeting) on how to fight for your healing. One must know what God thinks about healing. It is crucial that the sick person understands that God is no respecter of persons and he never changes. What He said in the Old and New Testaments He is saying today. In healing school we urge participants to make getting well their priority. Their starting point is the will to live and seeing themselves well. Goal setting is a must. Goal setting prepares the sick person both emotionally and spiritually to regain his health. We encourage sick people to stay away from negative people. People who have been given a life threatening diagnosis have to learn to make fear bow. Of vital importance is the warring person’s eating habits, and the Bible has a great deal to say on that. Exercise is a great help in getting through many diseases. Some people have to be lead in forgiving others and themselves before healing can come. Sick people must learn to use their weapons of warfare: The Word, the Name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, praise and worship, prayer, resistance, testimony. We attempt to train the regular attenders in how to minister to sick people. We urge them to use the Word of God in all their ministering. We remind them of what Oral Roberts said years ago: “I take no credit when they are healed, and I take no blame when they are not.” When people are healed, it is God’s work. God sets people on a shelf who begin to touch the glory that belongs to Him alone.
Christmas is a great time for healing. This year break away from all the business of the season. Focus on the Healer who came and dwelt among us and has left us with His written Word to say to us what He would say if He were walking on the earth today. When you want to ask, “Where is God? Does He care about my sickness?” He’s there within the lines of your Bible---to bring healing to you this Christmas season. He loves you. He feels your pain because He came and dwelt among us and is still dwelling with us in the pages of our Bible.