Q & A: Why Do I Suffer From Epilepsy?
Throughout the Making Sense of It All campaign, we will be inviting you to share questions with us about the challenging situations you are trying to make sense of in your life. Many problems do not have simple solutions, but here is a brief answer from David Jeremiah to address one of the questions from this week. Be sure to follow his teaching series for more tools that will help you live fearlessly in a scary world.
Click here to view all the questions and answers.
Jessica wants to know: Did Satan have to get permission from God to give me epilepsy and seizures?
David Jeremiah replies: In 1994, I received a diagnosis of Non–Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since then, I’ve been asked all sorts of questions, including this one: “You’re a pastor. How did you get cancer?” I’ll tell you, the problem I have is a problem we all have. I suffer from what they call “humanity.” All of us, Christians included, get the same diseases as everyone else. That includes cancer and epilepsy.
All of us, Christians included, get the same diseases as everyone else. That includes cancer and epilepsy.
It all started in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve in a state of perfect health. Their bodies were free from disease until they sinned. Once the perfection of nature was destroyed, sickness and death became a grim reality for every human being. While we are on this earth, we can expect to spend at least a portion of our time ill, diseased, injured, wounded, or dying.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7, we discover that the apostle Paul was no exception. He had what he describes as a “thorn in the flesh.” While Scripture doesn’t define Paul’s weakness, we know God allowed this affliction in his life, and it was directly tied to the glory of God’s revelation to him. We also know God chose not to relieve Paul’s suffering. Instead, He told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In our case, we may not always know the exact reason for our suffering. But we have the assurance that God knows best and is at work in our life in some way, just as He was at work in the apostle Paul’s. There is something stronger than affliction, and that is the grace to endure it. Our natural response to sickness and suffering is usually, “Why, Lord?” With some perspective, we can transform our question to, “What, Lord, do You want me to learn from this?” That is the most helpful question to ask. If we will pray that way, I am confident God will answer.
In our case, we may not always know the exact reason for our suffering. But we have the assurance that God knows best and is at work in our life in some way, just as He was at work in the apostle Paul’s. There is something stronger than affliction, and that is the grace to endure it.
I am equally confident that God wants to use you! You’re in the perfect position to trust Christ’s strength through your weakness. Thank you for submitting your question. You are not alone. The Turning Point family is praying with you and for you.
I need help
Your response has been received, and we will be praying for you.
Look for answers to some of the most common questions in the weeks ahead.