If you are ill you have probably heard it. If you are not sick, you may have said it. It is a common sentiment, “If you have enough faith, you will be healed.” Many scriptures are quoted to support this viewpoint. I have faith, I really do. I believe God heals the sick, I have witnessed it. But some are missing the point.
2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” NIV
THE HEALEREarly after my diagnosis I was convinced knowing the Healer was more important than receiving physical healing. Others with serious or chronic illnesses can testify to the sweetness of God’s presence through suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I want to ride my bike. Whenever I see flexing cords of lean muscle in a cyclist’s gastrocnemius, I get a twinge of jealously. I should be able to pedal.
Psalm 34:18, “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” MSG
THE THORNI am pretty sure Paul had enough faith to move mountains. But he was given a “thorn in the flesh” that God would not remove, even though he begged for healing three times. He depended on God for strength and God was glorified.
2 Corinthians 12:8, “Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” There fore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” HCSB
By the way, the Greek word for weakness in this verse is aesthenia. Mya translates muscle and gravis is Latin for severe. Do you think Paul had myasthenia gravis? Whatever his disease, apparently God chose not heal him.
WHY NOT?If we are allowed to be afflicted, God has a purpose. He can bring good from every situation. He redeems all things. I sure would not want to be healed before His divine purposes are accomplished. What if my illness is for someone else’s salvation? Then my healing would result in eternal loss for someone else. It is not worth it.
2 Corinthians 1:6, “If we are afflicted it is for your comfort and salvation.” HCSB
WHAT KIND OF HEALING?A common verse quoted to promise healing is found in Isaiah 53. It speaks of Christ’s atonement for our sin sickness. Yeah thanks, I have already been that kind of healed.
Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” KJV
Matthew 8:17, ” He Himself took our weaknesses and carried our diseases.” HCSB
BELIEVERS GONNA BELIEVEIf I had been healed early in my disease, many would have thought my diagnosis was incorrect or my symptoms were not genuine. If I get well now, many will attribute my healing to modern medicine. Doubters gonna doubt. But if I have supernatural peace and joy, then others may see the real miracle.
Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NIV
Excerpt from Florian’s Gate by T. Davis Bunn, “I resent these people who rest in the comfort of their faith and say with smug glibness that if only a person in pain would believe a bit more strongly, or pray a little more, the Lord would heal their every wound. I know too many devout believers who remain crippled by their pasts to ever agree with such nonsense. No all I can say for certain is that the Lord has promised us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Even in the midst of our suffering, this peace is promised us. Peace for now, salvation forever.”
I WANT THE FRUITIn fact, the Bible promises God will deliver “whatever we ask in His name.” But the promise is not in reference to health, wealth or happiness. He is talking about fruit. Spiritual fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I think He means eternal fruit. I want that.
John 15:16, “You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask if him in my name.” GNB
WE ALL DIEI have a terminal illness. So do you. We are mortal and it is not because of our lack of faith. It is because of our sin. As soon as Adam and Eve broke the one law they were given, death entered earth. It affects every one of us, no matter how much faith we have.
Genesis 22:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” KJV
Pray for me. Pray I will have faith. Pray I will be healed, if it is God’s will. Pray I don’t miss the blessings adversity brings. Pray for fruit, the good kind, because that is what matters for eternity.
"Walk By Faith" by Jeremy Camp
Vickie Petz Henderson, M.D. practiced obstetrics and gynecology for twenty years until her active life was derailed by a rare neuromuscular disease. She has now been given her heart’s desire to write.
(This post was written by blogger Vickie Henderson as a part of the Our Heart's Song Series this month. I encourage you to read her story and check out her blog. This is one of the many incredible women that I will have the privilege to meet at the SheSpeaks Conference, at the end of this month, where over 800 women across the world will gather together and ask God to take us to the next level in our speaking/writing ministry. I ask that you would please pray for each woman as she shares her story.)