This month marks seven years since God healed me from a chronic illness. I have officially been healed longer than I was sick, which is something to celebrate! God stepped in for me, and I believe he wants to do the same for you and your loved ones.
Healing is a tricky subject in the Christian faith. Most Christians seem to believe Jesus can heal; they just don’t always seem to believe he will. Or maybe a person can have full faith for someone else to be healed, but they aren’t able to muster up the faith for their own miracle. I admit that I often fall into this camp; it tends to be easier for me to believe for someone else’s miracle than my own.
When you’re a Christian believing for or talking about healing, it can be easy to offend people even when your goal is to bring them hope and encouragement. Most of us know someone who did not receive or has not received healing. Many of us have known people who died prematurely, or even if it wasn’t premature, the majority of us have lost someone to death. Just this past week, my family lost someone despite contending for healing. Naturally, there is grief when we face these disappointing losses.
Then there are the seemingly contradictory circumstances. Why is one healed and another isn’t? Why can a person get breakthrough in one area and then fail to see other prayers answered? I have personally been healed, and I also still need and desire healing in other areas. I’ve experienced God’s healing power myself, yet I can’t explain why I’ve prayed for people with the same symptoms without seeing them healed yet.
What I do know is this: God still heals today, he is not the one who sends sickness and disease – that’s the enemy – and healing is always God’s will.
Satan is the source of any sickness and disease, not God. God often gets blamed for these ailments, but that doesn’t mean he’s at fault. Would a good God who promises us that his plans are to “prosper and not to harm” us give diseases to his children? I don’t think so. That doesn’t line up with my definition of a good Father.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Some will quote Proverbs 3 and argue that God allows sickness in our lives in order to discipline us. While this may sound like a good explanation, I’d again ask: Would a good Father do that? Would a good earthly father do that? I can’t imagine my dad ever choosing to make me sick in order to discipline me. When I was a kid and I needed to be corrected, my dad would take away privileges or send me to my room, but I don’t think it ever would’ve crossed his mind to bring sickness upon me in order to teach me a lesson. There are much kinder ways to correct a child, and I think we all know that instinctively. I absolutely believe God corrects us, because that’s what a loving Father does, but he doesn’t have to make us sick in order to do so.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.Proverbs 3:11-12
In the New Testament, we see that Jesus healed every person he encountered. Since Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father, I believe that tells us that it is always the Father’s will to heal.
Luke 11:11 says this: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” When we ask God to heal, I believe he hears us. He isn’t trying to trick us by giving us anything other than what we ask for. Unless, of course, it’s something that violates his will – and I do not believe healing is one of those things.
Also in the book of Luke, we see a leper ask Jesus to heal him if he is willing. Jesus responds, “I am willing.” He is willing!
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.Luke 5:12-13 NIV
We read in John that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but that Jesus came so we may have life and “life to the full” or “life abundantly,” as some translations put it. I wouldn’t classify sickness and disease as abundant life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10 NIV
I don’t mean to step on toes here, but I often hear well-meaning people comment after a death, “It was just their time.” Maybe it was, if that person was very old. But the Bible promises that everyone is given 70 years. That tells me that if someone is dying before the age of 70, it’s premature, and it’s God’s will for that person to live to at least 70! Anything less is a robbery of satan. We as believers have the legal right to contest and contend against any premature death.
Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty.Psalm 90:10a NLT
I think another common misconception is that Jesus is only willing to heal the “good” people. I respectfully disagree. Jesus didn’t only heal upstanding citizens when he walked the earth. He was willing to heal anyone back then, and I believe he is still willing to heal anyone today. Not everyone who’s been healed in the 21st century would be lauded as a saint, yet Jesus still healed them, because he loves them. God loves all those he created, from the most righteous to the least. Romans 8 says that nothing can separate us from his love.
I could dive into many other Bible verses that I believe outline God’s intent to heal all people. I encourage you to look up healing scriptures on your own, and meditate on the ones that speak to your situation. For now, I want to cover one more thing: faith. The book of James says that “the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:14-16 ESV
There’s a lot of helpful information in the passage above, but what I want to draw your attention to is this: faith is important. I think a lot of Christians simply view faith as the belief that God exists. While this is true, the Bible defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not yet seen.” Faith isn’t just a way to describe your religion; it’s the absolute belief that the Lord is going to do what he has promised!
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 ESV
I know it can be tough to have faith when you’re afraid or when you’ve suffered for a long time. Even if you are struggling to hold onto your own faith, find other people who are faith-filled, and surround yourself with those people as much as possible! Ask them to pray for you in faith when yours is waning. Try to limit your exposure to others who leave you feeling hopeless and down. Do whatever you can to feed your faith and starve your fear! Faith is a key in the kingdom, and the Bible says all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed. If you’ve ever seen a mustard seed, you know how tiny it is! Even a small amount of faith is powerful in God’s kingdom.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”Matthew 17:20 NIV
Did you read that? Nothing will be impossible for you. All it takes is a little faith.
I speak to your faith today and I tell it to rise up, in Jesus’ name! I pray that these verses have given you increased hope for healing and that you will use them to speak life over your situation. Jesus is able to heal you, he desires to heal you, and there are many promises in Scripture to cling to if you or someone you love needs healing. Do not give up; stand in faith!