Many Christians relate to God in an Old Testament context. They know God is merciful, but they tend to see Him as angry and judgmental. He sent plagues and disaster upon Egypt and also threatened Israel with the same if they didn’t obey His commands. The prophets continually spoke of His impending judgment because of sin. So when something bad happens in life today, many believers will think, “God must be punishing me for something,” or “maybe this is happening to teach me a lesson.”
The Nature of God
However, from the beginning, God always desired to be seen and related to as merciful and good. In fact, when He described Himself to Moses, He didn’t exclude His judgment but He pushed it all the way to the bottom of the list:
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty…” Exodus 34:6-7.
If you wanted to describe yourself to someone, you would probably speak first about your most prominent characteristics. We know that God is holy and righteous, but He didn’t even mention those characteristics! He always wanted man to know Him primarily as merciful and good.
That doesn’t mean that sin is not dealt with. But it is not what He ultimately wants to do. So He grieved over the necessity of judgment (Gen. 6:6-7). He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men (Lamentations 3:33).
Jesus was the solution to the problem, and everything changed when He came on the scene. Jesus took all the necessary judgment for man upon Himself. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them (2Cor.5:19).
Jesus was the perfect representation of God, the express image of His person (Heb.1:3). For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col.2:9). That’s who God really is! And Jesus never went around making anybody sick or killing any family members. In fact, when the disciples wanted to “punish” and send fire down on sinners the way Elijah did, Jesus stopped them and told them, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:55-56).
Sickness Has Been Dealt With
Everything changed at the cross. The old order was done away and the new covenant had come. But today, believers still think that it is God who is destroying their lives. They haven’t embraced the truth that God is not judging them any more. Jesus said, “It is finished!”
Sickness is a curse and not a blessing (see Deuteronomy 28). It is a result of sin and Satan’s works, both of which Jesus came to destroy (1John 3:8). Sickness steals, kills, and destroys- these are works of the thief, while Jesus came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
If you really believe that God wants you sick, then why do you go to the doctor and take medicine? That would be fighting against God’s will. No, if you are sick or in any desperate situation, God is the answer. He is not the cause of your problems!
If we want healing, we have to believe that God wants us healed. In fact, He has already provided the healing for us: By his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). We just need to believe and receive it.
Praying in faith
So many people need healing. So many have prayed, “Lord, if it be your will, heal this person.” I have also prayed that way in the past, but that is not praying in faith. Matthew 8:17 tells us that Jesus Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. He healed all kinds of sicknesses and disease among the people (Matt. 4:23) and He healed all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). He told the leper He was willing, and His will is also expressed in 3 John 2: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.
It is God’s will to heal. It is His will to sanctify the body as well as the soul and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23). A prayer of faith would be, “Thank you Lord that you bore it all for us on the cross, and that by your stripes I am healed! Bring strength and relief to my body now because of all you have done, in the name of Jesus.”
Resist the devil and he will flee from you(James 4:7). Take some authority and rebuke the pain. Speak to your mountain: Whoever does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:23-24).
“What about when this doesn’t seem to work?”
There could be a number of reasons why we don’t always see results. It could be because of unbelief, but not necessarily. IT IS WRONG TO BLAME SOMEONE’S LACK OF FAITH WHEN THEY DON’T GET HEALED. Contrary to popular teaching on this subject, the sick one doesn’t necessarily need faith- but the healer does (see James 5:14-15).
But if you are seeking God for your own healing, a hindrance could be wrong belief (such as, “maybe God is punishing me through this,” when He isn’t). It could be due to spiritual warfare. It could require certain steps of action to be taken, or it could require waiting and perseverance. Some prayers take time to manifest, requiring faith AND patience (Hebrews 6:12). It would take up too much space here to go into all of that, and even then there would still be unresolved questions. It is important, though, that such questions and/or disappointments not cancel out our faith in God’s promises. “…who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3).
Don’t give up! If healing does not appear immediately, it doesn’t mean that it’s not on its way. In one sense it is already a done deal: “By His stripes you WERE healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
There is so much more for us in Christ than what we have been receiving. “Lord, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, ON EARTH as it is in heaven…”
I’m sure there is no sickness in heaven.
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