I think everyone at some point has needed healing in their life. Many have prayed for physical healing. Some have been healed, some physical conditions have not. Some well-meaning pastors and Christians will quote and claim the verse from Isaiah that says “By His stripes we are healed”. Why, then, does God heal some and not others? Are some people more important to God than others? Do some believe more than others? Do some have a direct line to God while others have to go through His “secretary”?
First we must ask the question, “Can God heal?” Is He able to heal physical conditions? We don’t have to read very far in the Bible to find multiple examples of His healing. Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda, He healed the 10 lepers, and He healed the man that was lowered by his friends. God is in the business of healing. He wants to heal and longs to heal.
But did He promise to heal?
He did not heal Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. He did not completely heal Jacob after their wrestling match. He never healed Samson from his blindness.
So we are faced with a seeming moral dilemma. If God promises to heal and doesn’t, He must be a liar. If God chooses not to heal, He must be sadistic or incapable. Right? Or is there something we’re missing?
There are 3 things we need to consider, and we will look at each one:
- Healing is not always physical, even when the affliction is physical.
- God’s healing does not always meet our expectations.
- Healing may not be the purpose for the pain.
One, Healing is not always physical, even when the affliction is physical. When Jesus healed, He would address their spiritual need. He would say “Go and sin no more”, “They do not condemn you and neither do I”, and “Your faith has made you whole”. In each of these cases, their physical ailment was the vehicle that He used to change their lives. Did He have to heal them to save them? No, He didn’t, but He chose to remove those barriers and focused on their real need.
Two, God’s healing does not always meet our expectation. Even though God healed Paul’s sight, He left him with a “thorn in the flesh”. God gave him his physical sight back, but more importantly, Paul received spiritual sight. When we focus on the problem or ailment at hand we completely miss the greater healing that He has for us. Then we blame God for not answering our prayers when He already is. He heals, but not necessarily in the way we expect. That leads us to number three.
Three, Healing may not be the purpose for the pain. Everything God brings your way is to prepare you for your next assignment, chosen by God, specifically for you. He has a mission and purpose for you and He is training and grooming you for the job that He has that only your can do in only the way in which you can do it.
When you believe that God is not answering your prayer for healing, look for those areas where He is healing you. He will use those areas of healing so you can help others heal. He will use your pain to help those in pain. And He will use your open wounds for others to help you.
Did God promise to heal everything that bothers us? No, He didn’t. But through it all, He has a purpose that is better than the healing that you may expect. And I trust that my “Father Knows Best”!