Healing. Just saying the word conjures up a mountain of images and thoughts for every person. And every person’s thoughts on healing are going to be different. We can think of physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, family healing and so on. According to The Complete Christian Dictionary for Home and School, the definition of heal is:
1. To cause to become healthy: Jesus healed every disease and sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23).
2. To cause to become productive: If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
3. spir. To cause to become spiritually healthy: Be he [Jesus] was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed…The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5,6). Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil (Acts 10:38).
4. To comfort the afflicted: He [God] heals the brokenhearted… (Psalm 147:3)
In today’s world, there is so much sickness and new illnesses revealing themselves almost daily. We definitely need the healing hand of God to be upon us. But healing doesn’t always come in the form of a miraculous sign like a leprous hand being healed right before our eyes. Sometimes it comes in the form of taking medication, surgery, therapy, counselling, physical therapy and so on. But in any of these cases and those I have not listed, God is always present, for without him, there would be no healing. It is because Christ suffered so greatly before dying on the cross that we are even able to be healed. It was because of his great sacrifice that we are able to go before him with our petitions for healing.
First we must understand that God is the Great Healer (Psalm 103:3). He heals no matter what the infirmity – blind, deaf, mute, lame (Isaiah 35:5-6). He also heals no matter what the gender. The Bible says that God has no favourites. Everybody is equal in his eyes. (Job 33:6; Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25).
Another good point to ponder is that healing is one of the Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:6-15). Some people have the gift of laying on of their hands onto people who are ill and God uses them as a vessel to pour out his healing on the ill person. The gift is not in the person but in God and God uses the person as a vessel using their hands and their prayer to reach Heaven and God in turn sends his healing power through the person to the one who is sick and then the sick is cured.
So God WANTS us to be healed. Often in the New Testament, people would say to Jesus, “If you want to, you can heal me.” In every circumstance like that, Jesus’ response was, “I want to.”
One point we must look at is that sometimes when we ask God to heal us of whatever ails us, his answer may be “no.” In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul prayed 3 times for God to heal the “thorn in his side,” and each time God said no. God’s reasoning was clear and I can relate to it. God can use our illnesses and our weaknesses to glorify him and bring people into God’s Kingdom. Sometimes when people see our suffering yet we are cheerful and content with our illness, they become curious and it gives us an opportunity to share our faith and the Gospel with them. It gives us the chance to tell them that it is by God’s grace that we face each day.
I experience this in my own life. As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, I have prayed over and over that God heal me completely. I am healed enough that I forgive everyone who ever hurt me, I am healed enough to pray for their salvation. However, I am not healed enough to just get on with life yet. I am in and out of the psychiatric ward about twice a year just for a mental break. And never have I been in that I didn’t witness to someone because of my past abuse. Or that I haven’t sat down at the piano and started and all out worship service. Or that the others who were in there suddenly realized that what they were dealing with was like peanuts compared to what I had to deal with. And every time they ask me how I get through the rough times like when I am in the hospital, I am able to say, “there but for the grace of God go I.” I tell them that if God were not in my life and my Saviour, I would not be alive, but because He lives in me, I have strength to face each day, even if it has to be in a hospital for a short time. They go away with a seed planted and a lot to think about and I go away praising God, not that I was abuse, but that he is using it to minister to other people, both men and women.
There are many ways that God can heal a person.
Let’s take a look and see some of the avenues he uses to pour out his healing balm on us.
2 Kings 20:7 – “Make and ointment from figs and spread it over the boil.” They did this, and Hezekiah recovered!
God uses physicians and medicine.
Psalm 119:93 – I will never forget your commandments, for you have used them to restore my joy and health.”
Through God’s Word.
Luke 5:12-13 – “Lord,” he said, “if you want to, you can me well again,” Jesus reached out and touched the man. “I want to,” he said. “Be healed!”
God uses miracles.
Mark 2:4-5 – They couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head….Seeing their faith, Jesus said to paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
God can heal you through the faith of your friends.
Psalm 6:2 – Heal me, Lord, for my body is in agony.”
James 5:14 – Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them.
God heals through prayer.
Isaiah 38:16 – Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health.
God heals through discipline.
Genesis 27:41; 33:4 – Esau hated Jacob….Then Esau ran to meet [Jacob] and embraced him affectionately and kissed him. Both of them were in tears.
God heals through time.
Isaiah 53:5 – He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!
Through Christ. His death brought you life; his wounds brought you healing. By accepting your punishment he set you free.
Revelation 21:4 – He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.
God will heal through his promise of heaven, for there you will receive complete and final healing.
So now we know HOW God heals us. But what about when he doesn’t heal us. Why doesn’t he always heal people? Scripture will tell us the answers to that as well. Let’s look:
Psalm 103:2-3 – Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
Matthew 4:23-24 – Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed people who had every kind of sickness and disease. News about him spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that the sick were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were epileptics, or were paralyzed – he healed them all.(Special note – not all people who have epilepsy are demon possessed. I went through this as a child in the church where they tried casting demons out of me. Epilepsy is an actual physical illness that is caused by too much electricity in the brain. That does not mean that SOME people who have epilepsy are tormented by an evil spirit.)
Our compassionate, merciful God has full authority over all sickness. He can heal whomever he chooses. He can grant his authority to heal to whomever he chooses. But why he heals some and not others is not know to us. Eventually, we do know that he will remove all sickness and suffering from all of his children for eternity. Will live in heaven forever where there will be no sickness or disease.
But as stated earlier, sometimes God does not heal us in order to minister the Gospel to the lost and the sinners and to others who are hurting or ill.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – My power works best in your weakness.
We do not know why God heals some people and not others.
But we know that God’s power is magnified through our weaknesses and infirmities if we allow him to work within us. If you have been praying to be healed – or praying for a loved one to be healed – and God has not done it, trust that he has something even greater that he wants to do through the illness.
Psalm 73:24-26 –
You will keep on guiding me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever
Whether or not God chooses to heal us physically, we can have the unspeakable gift of knowing him personally. His love and the promise of eternal life with him are our greatest sources of comfort and hope.
How do we deal with it if we are not healed on earth?
Each person reacts differently. But the Bible yet has the answers we need for this question as well.
2 Corinthians 12:10 – Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses.
You can look forward to having God’s power work through you in a special way despite your weaknesses. When God works through your weaknesses, it is obvious that what occurred happened because of him, thus showing the world his love and power. (like in my life – I am not completely healed, but I cannot count the number of people who have either given their lives to Jesus as a result of my witness through my illness or who have been greatly touched by it and has given them plenty to ponder on their own with God now working in their lives).
God leaves us with promises regarding healing, but for the sake of keeping this article short, I am only going to use two.
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.
Malachi 4:2 – But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.
God always heals, it just may not be in this lifetime or when we want it to be done, because he is using you as an instrument of witnessing his strength, courage, endurance and faithfulness. Get frustrated because God doesn’t heal you here on earth, but don’t ever give up, because your healing WILL come – and always in God’s time.