Does God heal the sick?

Of course, God heals the sick. How do I know? Not only because the Bible tells me so but also because God has healed me – more than once. But I also know that I still have some afflictions that God has not healed. So it seems that while God does heal, He does not always heal – and that too we gather from the Bible.

God can heal

We know from Matthew 4:23 that Jesus “…went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” The books of Acts also records that the apostles healed people in Jesus’ Name (Acts 5:12-16).

In fact, the ministry of healing was the standard practice of the early church. We learn this from James “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord (…) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. “ (James 5:14,16). God can heal and we should not hesitate to pray for healing for both ourselves and our loved ones. In fact I have heard of many testimonies where God has confounded doctors and miraculously healed.

Grace is sufficient

But we note also in Scriptures instances where God didn’t heal. In 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul says, “Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus.” We know that God used Paul to heal many, including himself, from a deadly bite by a poisonous viper (Acts 28:3-6). Both Paul and Trophimus were devoted servants of the Lord and would have had great faith in Him to heal; yet we are told Paul left Trophimus sick.

Epaphroditus, a helper to Paul and servant to the Philippians is also mentioned as someone who was sick to the point of death although God did spare his life (Philippians 2:25-30). Then there is Timothy. He was a man of great faith and a fellow servant of God; yet we read Paul telling him, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments”(1 Timothy 5:23). Paul himself mentions ‘a thorn in the flesh’ that he had to endure (2 Corinthians 12:7). He prayed to be delivered from it, but God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

His way and will is best

Sickness is the result of being in a cursed world and in a mortal body. While the devil desires to destroy us using sickness and suffering, God uses it to shape us, challenge us, and focus our hope on eternity (James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Regardless of what God decides to do, we can trust that His way and will is best. We cannot command God to heal, but we can ask Him to. In this world, we will have tribulation, but we ought not to fear because He has overcome this world. God causes all things to work for our good, even sickness, and, yes, even death. As Paul said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). One day sickness won’t be an issue anymore (Revelation 21:4), but until we are with Jesus, let us pray for healing and grace to endure all things.

Also read: Is it a lack of faith to go to a doctor after praying?

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Biblword is a ministry of GlobalRize. Marten Visser is the founding director of GlobalRize. Marten is a pastor from The Netherlands with long years of experience as a missionary in Thailand. We now have around 550 people from all over the world involved in GlobalRize’s ministry. Besides the English page, Biblword also exists in 25 other languages on Facebook.

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