Dr. Scott Hannen has been taking care of our family’s health needs for decades now.
My father had quite a collection of canes later in his life because of a knee injury he had years prior. Scott treated his knee over a single weekend while in Orlando and Dad never had to use a cane again! There was no use of drugs and no surgery. Years of suffering and pain were gone for the rest of his life just by helping to restore the proper function to his knee. So, Scott has our attention when he talks health.
Laurie and I were at lunch with Scott recently, riveted as he un packed the miraculous — some might say the “medically impossible” — supernatural healing of his son Chas, who had been suffering life-threatening Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
It’s a powerful, real-life testimony that could have ended very differently. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a life-threatening disease assigned to your only child. Scott briefly shared with us how overwhelming that threat can be, especially when you try to handle it from a day-to-day, “let’s just try and get through this” mentality.
As we were wrapping lunch together, Laurie leaned in and asked what turned out to be a life-altering question, “Scott, what was it that you feel you learned the most from this experience?”
He didn’t need to think about the question very long; “Laurie, God taught me something. I’ve learned that faith doesn’t speak to the present, it speaks to your future, and your future speaks to your present.”
After I about spit my ice tea across the table, I wanted to make sure I’d heard him right and asked him to repeat his answer: “Faith doesn’t speak to the present, it speaks to your future, and your future speaks to your present,” he said a second time, but this time with even more conviction.
Scott continued, “I was believing for my son to be healed, but that was having ‘hope’ and not living by faith. That’s when the revelation came to me that his healing was in the future — and that’s where I needed to go, to the finished work of Christ. And that reality needed to speak to my present situation.
“That was the catalyst that enabled me to get over my fear and frustration. Faith was speaking to our future and our future spoke to our present, and the future we saw is now a reality. My beloved son is completely free from cancer!”
If there ever were one, this became one of life’s “Aha Moments” for Laurie and me!
There’s a profoundly important revelation in what Scott proclaimed that day about the very nature of faith, and we’ve reflected on it often — and not just in the context of physical healing and seeing yourself well before you are.
For example, I recently found a typewritten note folded up in my dad’s Bible from his then-assistant, dated July 10, 1973. He’d apparently kept it for decades as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It impacted me so much I immediately posted it on my Instagram feed.
It read, “Unless the Lord performs a miracle, we will not have a pay day on Friday. We are in the red $371.64. I have held the following checks…” and she goes on to list them. “PS: July 11’s deposit (will be) $246.63.”
One thing I can tell you categorically about my father is that he was a man of extraordinary faith. I watched him walk it out day by day, miracle by miracle. And by faith, his “future” was the only thing that could possibly “speak to his present” shortfall in the strained startup days of this first, struggling station in southern California, a shower curtain serving as the “studio” backdrop.
But despite struggling with average deposits of just a few hundred dollars at the time, well short of what they needed to even make payroll, imagine if he’d been able to fast forward into his future and see what TBN would become…
Imagine if at that moment Dad could have seen TBN one day covering the entire globe as the world’s largest and most watched faith-and-family broadcaster, reaching over 175 nations across the earth with inspirational and engaging programming 24 hours a day in 14 languages and on 32 global networks proclaiming the hope and grace found only in Jesus.
Can you imagine how quickly the stress and anxiety of such a moment would dissipate? I can’t know for sure, but Dad may have well done just that — and after lifting it up to the Father, perhaps he had every assurance that TBN’s present financial “sickness” was temporary at best.
In any circumstance that requires faith, if we look to our future in Christ and lay our burdens on Him, we can virtually eliminate fear and uncertainty. And it’s that “future that speaks to our present” in life-altering ways. Then, when we have our faith destination clearly in sight, our present “GPS” so to speak takes over, faithfully guiding us turn by turn.
We all know Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” But sometimes it’s easy for us to confuse “faith” with “hope.” It’s not. Rather, I’ve come to understand faith is the substance of things hoped for.
In other words, it’s real. It’s substantive. And it’s in your future, not your present circumstance. This (Scott’s) revelation about faith re minds me of when my late friend, Kim Clement, often used to quip, “You’re somewhere in the future and you look much better than you look right now!”
As it relates to physical healing, doctors nearly universally agree there is a strong faith/spiritual component that they can’t chart and diagram in medical school. People of strong and abiding faith, like Chas and his folks, Scott and Aneesa, often experience results that defy the natural. We authentic “People of the Way” do so because we’ve accepted the finished work of the cross and receive the words, “by His stripes we are healed.”
It’s like something is stitched into our DNA once we’re walking by faith and not by sight.
When people are dealing with debilitating pain and suffering, it’s easy to get stuck in the right now and with the awfulness that accompanies it. The revelation that Christ put help and recovery in your future is the wisdom that can speak to your present so that your faith can operate from a different viewpoint.
So, the idea that you can “stop the pain” from a spiritual perspective is yet another “amazing grace” provision, set aside for authentic followers of Jesus. But there’s another key component: We are physical beings while on this earth and, because of that, there are real-world things that are required of us as well — things we must actively be willing to do in our proactive partnership with our Creator/Healer.
“We are what we eat!”
Admittedly, this is an overused axiom we hear most of our life, yet one we tend to treat with reckless abandonment until we’re in serious trouble. However, when we are in pain and illness, we’re suddenly eager to learn about what our role is to begin to heal.
“We are what we think” is probably a more appropriate way to approach our road to recovery because clearly our choices can make the difference.
Over nearly two decades of friendship, I’ve learned from my physician friend, Scott, that virtually all disease starts in the gut. Would be that we would do what’s right for our bodies (“temples”) sooner, but if ever the proverbial “gut check” is in order, it’s when we’re experiencing pain.
The fact that we can largely reset our body systems [gut] in just a few weeks and months [30 days] is in itself a miraculous provision of our Creator. But even that takes a bit of proactive “doing” on our part, as you’ll better understand in the coming pages.
Our spiritual and physical partnership with God is an awesome thing to think about, and one we should take seriously. It’s the age old principle that “We do what we can, and God will do what we can’t.”
It’s like the old fisherman’s proverb that we need to “keep both our faith and works oars in the water” and in equal measure. Pulling with only one or the other will have us going in circles, getting no where fast.
Dr. Scott Hannen’s new book, Stop the Pain, explores both God’s part in healing these very complex bodies that are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and our part in properly under standing the vital role we play in stopping the pain.
It’s our prayer from this day forward that you begin to enjoy a whole new understanding of faith and your abundant, pain-free life!