Hey everyone. I’m Scott and today I want to talk about one of the most difficult subjects in the Bible the issue of healing. Specifically I want to look at “Does God still heal people like he did in the Bible?” Should we expect God to heal us of our diseases and our illnesses? How do we go about asking God to heal us and then maybe looking at why doesn’t God heal because we all know so many people maybe even ourselves who have illnesses, who have diseases and don’t recover from it. So what does the Bible have to say about healing? What’s in it for us today? Now when you read the Bible, you see Jesus healed people of diseases. You see the Apostles Paul and Peter healed people of diseases. You find other Bible verses that are talking about healings. So why don’t we see more healing today and more healing in our personal lives? Well just to make the question a little trickier, let’s look at something that Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith,” It seems like Jesus’ words are pretty clear if you just have enough faith, if you just believe enough, if you trust God enough he’ll give you whatever you want in prayer including being healed from your diseases. And so what does all this mean? How do we put it all together?
One thing I don’t encourage you to understand is you read the Bible, it might feel it might seem sometimes like God is always healing people of their diseases. But that’s not entirely true. In fact if you read the Bible really carefully, read the book of Acts really carefully, it seems that there’s a lot of times when God wasn’t going around healing people. In fact there’s times when Jesus healed one person but there were other people around him who could have been healed and there’s no record that he healed them. We have very few examples of the Apostles healing in the New Testament compared to all the ministry they did. And even the Apostle Paul himself talks about the fact that he had a thorn in the flesh probably some sort of physical illness or some sort of physical problem that he asked God to to take care of, get rid of and God said no. So my point here is to say that even in the Bible healing may not be as frequent as we think it is.
But what about Jesus’s words? Jesus says, “Ask. And if you ask in faith, if you believe enough, and I will give you whatever you ask for.” Well we never just want to read one Bible verse and expect that to answer all of our questions. In fact I have another video called “Never read a Bible verse” because if you read one Bible verse, you can take it out of context instead we need to look and see what else the Bible has to say about prayer and when we do we find this very interesting verse from the book of first John. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” In the book of first John we find an important qualifier for our prayers here. The Bible tells us that it’s not just about asking in faith but we also have to ask in line with God’s will. And that’s so important. We need to understand that if we want God to hear us, if we want God to answer our prayers. That’s just another way that John is describing God answering our prayers. We need to pray for God’s will to be done and so if we take these two ideas we bring them together, what God is saying is that he will answer our prayers, he will give us everything we ask for as long as we ask in faith and it’s in line with his will.
So here’s what that means. It means I can ask God to make me rich and I can believe that God can make me rich but if it’s not his will to make me rich, I ain’t gonna get rich. Right, that’s just not gonna happen for me and the same is true with illness now. A few things we need to understand about how we should approach our own physical illness. Here’s the first thing to understand. Illness isn’t due to a lack of faith. Sometimes people misread what Jesus has to say and they misread what James chapter 5 says about prayer in healing for the elders and they think that well if a person just had more faith they would get better. In fact I’ve heard of somebody who needed a surgery and was told by some Christians you shouldn’t have that surgery. She’d just have more faith. Now that’s a pretty extreme idea but it’s not biblical. The Bible never tells us that all of our diseases all of our illnesses can be explained by a lack of faith. That’s not what God’s Word is saying at all. Right, it’s really important that we understand that because it can be really damaging if you tell someone, “well if you had more trust in God he would heal you.” That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says that if you have trust in God and it’s in his will then he will heal you. And so let’s just get rid of that idea forever that our illness is due to a lack of faith because I’ve known some people who are much more faithful than I maybe I will ever be, people who walk with God, who loved Jesus with her whole heart, who died of things like terminal cancer and they love Jesus till the end but God chose not to heal him for his own purposes. So that’s the first thing to consider but here’s something else to consider.
Pray with faith for healing. Now the church I grew up in, the kind of churches I grew up in, people didn’t really expect God to heal so here’s what would happen. Someone in our church would get ill get sick, they’d get a bad diagnosis from their doctor and they’d come to church and they say, “hey pray for me.” And people would pray for them but the prayers were if we were like really honest in our prayers the prayers were like now God would you heal this person. Now we know you’re not going to heal this person but we want you to heal this person and since you’re not gonna heal them would you at least comfort them. Now that’s not what we said but that’s kind of what it felt like. It felt like we didn’t really believe that God could do the miraculous, that God could do a great work in their life. We got so used to not expecting miracles that we didn’t really pray for God to provide one and so we lacked faith. And so when you do have someone in your own life whom you love, someone at your church, someone whom you mentor or yourself and you have some sort of physical illness, some sort of disease, pray in faith that God would heal you because he might. He might heal you. He might choose to answer your prayers and give you what you ask for. Now think about the ways God might heal and and I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. God might heal miraculously like there are a few times in my life where we’ve been praying for someone that had an issue that had a bad diagnosis from a doctor, who got negative test results we prayed over that person and then not too long after that they found out that the problem went away. That seemed, that felt like a pretty miraculous healing in the moment but that’s been extremely rare in my life. Now much more often what happens is that there are people who come into my life that maybe they get some sort of diagnosis that’s really scary, really troubling and we pray for them and we lay hands on them and then they go to the doctor and they take medicine and they have surgery and they have treatment and they’re healed. Now who gets the credit for that? Does the credit belong to the doctor? Does the credit belong to the medicine or does the credit belong to God? Probably all of the above right? We believe that God works not only miraculously, what seems to us to be miraculous but we also believe that God can work through the skilled hands of doctors and nurses, people in hospitals and even our medicine and so we should see God at work in the everyday grace of life and so if you are from a church background where you don’t expect miracles, maybe you need to read the Bible and say, “hey I’m not gonna put a cap on what God can do. I’m not gonna limit God but I’m gonna pray in faith that he might do something great, something wonderful and so I’m gonna pray in faith and when you see healing maybe people around you say well that’s just the medicine, that’s just doctors but let’s give credit to the ultimate physician God himself.
And and so one more point as we wrap up our thoughts on this video. Trust God to make the right choice. Here’s the reality. God could always heal us in every situation but for whatever reasons for his own purposes he often chooses not to and that’s just a reality of life. You know a lot of times in the Bible when we see God heal someone it’s often to show the people that Jesus was deity, that he is God himself. For a lot of times when the Apostles healed people, it was a demonstration that the gospel is real and maybe God will do a healing like that in your life or in the life of someone you know or in the lives of some missionaries to to show that he’s real, to show that the gospel is real. Or maybe he would just graciously and lovingly heal you or a loved one based on the prayers of his people but he also might choose not to physically heal in this life but here’s the thing the great hope of Christianity that the real hope for Christians is that one day we will all be healed because Jesus came and he died for our sins to heal us spiritually. And we know that in Christ we have that spiritual health, we have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life and we know that one day in heaven with God we will be living without sin. One day we’ll be living in our perfected resurrection bodies and then we won’t ever have to worry about sin or disease ever again. And so there is a great hope even if God doesn’t heal us in this life we will experience healing in a life to come so those are just a few thoughts about healing. Again I would encourage you if you’re a follower of Christ pray for God to heal. Pray for him to do the miraculous but let’s be humble enough to submit to whatever he chooses for us.