Question:

Dear preacher,

I am 25 years old. For the past six years I have been walking with severe heel pain in both legs. I have consulted many doctors, and I have taken many pain killers, steroids, and anti-inflammatory medications but I am unable to walk properly. I was once a district volley ball player, but now I walk like a handicap person. Recently I consulted a rheumatologist and I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a kind of arthritis. The cause is unknown. Being human, I sinned a lot before Jesus. I'm a porn addict and addicted to masturbation for the past eight years. I have tried several times to control thisbad habit, but I cannot come out from this.

I need some clarification:

  1. Why is all this happening to me?
  2. Does this suffering comes from Jesus to correct me?
  3. Does God really hears my prayers?
  4. What am I supposed to do, if I want to get cure from this sickness?
  5. If I stop doing this bad habit, will He restore my health?
  6. How do I pray?

Thank you so much. I am awaiting for your precious reply!


Answer:

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammation in the joints of the spine and pelvis. The pain gets worse when you are inactive, such as when you are sleeping at night or when you first get up in the morning. It gets better the more you move around. Heel pain isn't common, but it is one possible symptom of the disease. While the cause is unknown, it is suspected that genetics plays a role. More men than women get the disease and it typically appears in people between the ages of 20 and 40. [PubMed Health].

Your sins did not cause you to come down with this disease. There are far too many young men trapped in the sin of pornography who never experience ankylosing spondylitis. And you could have never looked at pornography and still would have came down with this disease.

Why, in particular, came down with this disease is beyond anyone's ability to answer. There are many people who suffer various diseases. Those diseases started with Adam and Eve when they sinned, but their spread is due to natural laws. Some sins do make a person more prone to catching some diseases. For example sexual sins, such as fornication, adultery, or homosexuality, do make the people involved susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. But some disease just spread regardless of a person's moral character. See Does God Make the Handicapped?

Regardless of your health, sin is still a problem. That is a disease of your soul that can be cured and leaving it untreated will harm you, not just in this life but eternally. Pornography is a sin. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). See: The Problem of Private Lust and Lies Pornography Tells Men. Even if you never physically get better, you need to leave this sin behind so it stops tainting your soul.

I don't know if you are a truly and fully a Christian yet, so this is the first step you need to examine. Take a look at What Must I Do to be Saved? because it is important to be rescued from your sins. Overcoming sin is difficult, but it is doable if you are determined to follow the laws of God.

Life is relatively short, especially compared to eternity. So focus on making the most of the time you have, doing what you can with the resources available to you. "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13). When you live to serve God, He does hear your prayers. The answers may not be what you expect, but they are always what is best for you in the long run. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

In regards to how to pray, it is your avenue to talk to God. It is a time to let God know what you are thankful about, to give Him praise, to ask help for others, and to talk about your hopes as well. See The Prayer in My Hand. It is easy when you are suffering to get wrapped up in your own pain and forget that life is more than you or even this moment in time. I'm sorry to hear about the pain you are in, but you can minimize it by focusing on the joys of serving God and hope of being with Him in Heaven.