WHEN GOD DOES NOT HEAL-2

 

 

The video drives home the fact that Jesus who healed the sick in his day, continues to work through his disciples today to heal the sick. However the objective of these posts is not to emphasize the healing power of God which most Christians are aware of but to encourage and provide guidance when healing does not come or in other words, it appears to the Christian that God is not healing him.

We saw that sickness is the sequel of imperfection that has been brought on mankind by the Fall. Decay is inevitable and that is the reason why our human bodies would necessarily have to die. And so the reality of eternal life for a Christian is a package that also includes a new resurrection body given to us.

We saw that when a Christian tries to associate disease with sin, he often ends up pushing himself or more commonly others to the arena of guilt and condemnation. Before we move on, it should however be noted that a Christian would do well to examine his life and repent of known sins when he earnestly asks God for healing. That is something that a Christian needs to do regardless of whether he is physically sick or not. Everyone needs to repent and confessing one’s sins and placing oneself in alignment with God is a lifelong active process that accompanies the Christian life. It is easy to understand that because the fallen nature is the root cause of all sickness, there might be occasionally situations where a particular willful sin does cause a particular sickness and repentance will bring about healing. Note Paul’s words to the Corinthians,

For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 11:29,30)

Here was a situation in the Corinthian church where there was willful disregard for the Lord’s communion and this caused sickness and premature death. In most instances such a specific association is not obvious though.

The Bible provides us with a tripartite picture of the human being, consisting of the spirit, soul and the body. The innermost spirit comes alive with the Holy Spirit, when a person accepts Christ. This brings his whole being into alignment with God, and thus brings equilibrium to his being. This is the best he can be but far from perfection, which as we noted is not possible because of the fallen nature and the disfigured, decaying bodies that we possess. So it follows that in that state of equilibrium, he will physically be as healthy as he possibly can be.

Yet for a pilgrim living in earnest obedience to God, sometimes sickness persists. The reasons for this can be varied including his genetic make-up (sequel of the fallen nature), a consequence of others’ actions (we live in an inter-related world which is far from perfect and often what we suffer is a consequence of others’ actions), environmental issues (again a sequel of the fallen nature), God allowing  sickness to chastise a believer for his greater gain and rarely, the effect of  adverse spiritual forces.

The Bible does recommend that we apply faith and ask for healing. Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. The essential ingredient that causes faith to have results is wisdom regarding the will of God.  Is it not the lack of wisdom that is the root cause of all confusion within the church? The issue of a Christian response to sickness is a perfect illustration of how terribly wrong the church can go in interpreting God’s mind on this issue. If it is not the will of God for healing to appear, no amount of faith will heal, in fact it is not faith at all. Yet for one who asks in accordance with the will of God, healing will come forth.

When God does not heal, do not go on a journey of condemning yourself or others for lack of faith because it might be in God’s will for that person to suffer for a while or even his entire lifetime that he might benefit from an eternal standpoint. Physical healing is important and does come about, but an unhealthy fixation on physical healing is not characteristic of a Christian pilgrimage. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and the hope to which he has called us, sickness and suffering that persist, would only be minor, temporary setbacks.

Fanny Crosby was blinded by an eye infection in both her eyes shortly after birth. She was primarily raised by her godly grandmother and she grew to be woman of great faith. She had a gift of writing hymns and some of the most touching Christian hymns like ‘Blessed Assurance’, ‘Pass me not O gentle Savior’, ‘I am thine O Lord’ etc came from her pen and her heart. When asked about her blindness, this was her response,

“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”

If I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind…for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

And so most certainly do ask for healing and in faith believe, asking God for wisdom as James points out in the 1st chapter before he talks about healing in the 5th chapter. And desire earnestly not to confine God to a box where he is forced to do what you want him to, rather in submission bow to his will and say like Daniel’s friends who were about to be thrown into the fire,

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17,18)

A quiet confidence in the power of God, complete trust in him and also a submission to his discretion is what characterizes a mature Christian response to sickness.

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