The following is an excerpt from an Internet message board conversation I had with someone that went by the name, ‘Observer.’ It offers some perspective on “why” God doesn’t always heal us of disease.
I completely agree with your posting in which you said:
“The reality is that most everyone, even me, would love to have miracles. Why wouldn’t we?”
Observer, I hear what you are saying, and I hear it loud and clear. How sad it is that we ‘claim’ to have power and authority that we simply don’t possess, and to compound and confuse the issue, we castigate others as “lacking faith!” The “WE” I speak of is not a reference to anyone in particular, but aimed more at the hype and nonsense I see proliferated among the charismania of this world.
“I would love to be miraculously healed. I would love to have my loved ones healed and raised from the dead. Who wouldn’t?”
May I infer from this you are sick? I am very ill, and suffer from numerous maladies that I have to deal with 24/7. Many good-hearted individuals have prayed for my healing, but I am not healed. On more than one occasion, I’ve had Christians tell me, “Craig, the Lord showed me you are going to be healed.” At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I just cannot let this opportunity to teach escape the moment.
Did God REALLY show these folks I’m going to be healed? If so, what criteria is used to affirm and authenticate such revelations? If God really did reveal (which I believe He is well able to do), does this automatically mean you’re supposed to go to the person and vocalize such a revelation?
I’m not healed today (May 2005) and this conversation took places years ago. Isn’t it presumptuous to tell someone that is diagnosed with chronic intractable pain or a terminal disease that God “revealed” a healing miracle? What if you’re wrong, then what happens? Do you go and apologize for foolishly speaking from your own mind and heart? What if the suffering servant pins his or her hopes on such claims, and worse, what if loved ones of the sick person do the same, only to have them suffer more and/or die? Isn’t this kind of rhetoric playing God? If I’m wrong, I’d like to know, but before you jump on the healing bandwagon, be ready to argue your case from scripture with me.
I was even once told that if I quit reading all translations of the Bible EXCEPT the King James Version, I would be healed. I have had people who have a legitimate gift of healing pray for me, and yet, I am not healed. Is this a bad thing? No. Is it a good thing to suffer? According to scripture, yes. In fact, the scripture says we should EXPECT to suffer for the sake of the gospel AND for the sake of individual character building. Diamonds are made under pressure and the narrow path is full of obstacles.
I have had good-hearted people say, many, many times, “Craig, God doesn’t want you to suffer like this!” And yet, dearest observer, I am not healed, and I do suffer. How am I to process these comments? Does said rhetoric improve my condition, or is it the source of condemnation, when sleepless nights and incessant pain wear me down and compromise my capacity to reason?
Does God LIKE seeing me in agony? No. Does He enjoy watching me unable to sleep? Certainly not. Well then… WHY doesn’t He heal me? I don’t know. What’s more, neither do you. If you did, you’d be God.
Is it my lack of faith? No. Is it sin in my life? No. Is it a demon? Perhaps. Do I believe it can be cast out in a deliverance session? No. Then WHY is it there? As usual, the answer is only as far away as the pages of scripture:
2 Corinthians 12:7 And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [See Job 2:6.] Amplified Bible
I was given a messenger of Satan too. Why? Because of my tendencies toward pride, and my self-destructive arrogance; to keep me from exalting myself. God, in His infinite wisdom, and in His great love, has chastised me, and given me the gift of pain.
Do I like pain? No, certainly not. Am I a masochist? No, actually I’m a wimp when it comes to suffering. Do I think of myself as ‘super-spiritual’ and revel in my weakness. I hope not, because if I do, I know God will deal with me… lovingly and firmly.
Am I bitter and cynical towards God? Towards my zealous but misdirected brethren? NO. I trust in the Almighty, and cling to my Savior’s hand for comfort. I appreciate every single brother or sister in Christ, not matter how over-zealous, or misguided. To me, the fact they care enough to pray, to encourage, to exhort, and to express their love and concern is enough for me to sincerely embrace them and say a heartfelt, “Thank you.”
Observer, my beloved friend in Jesus, how well you know of my pain. I can sense it; I am praying for you. You said:
“According to the Bible, Jesus said, “Greater things shall ye do,” yet I see nothing done today. This is one reason why many Christians, along with me, believe that it is wrong to be claiming that miraculous healings are happening. It hurts those who really need a healing but never get one. In healing services, the people who really need a healing NEVER get one. THAT IS WHAT I’VE SEEN. The people that you can tell really have a problem are never instantaneously healed.”
Yes, it is a terrible disappointment when your EXPECTATION is one thing, and another thing happens. If you BELIEVE God will heal you through the prayers of others, and laying on of hands (or whatever), and it doesn’t occur, you WILL be disappointed. Does this mean we throw faith and healing out the door? No. Will God heal you, or will He heal me? I don’t know.
Do I believe Him for healing (physically)? Yes. What if it doesn’t happen? I will still serve and glorify Him by showing compassion for others. And, I will allow Him to mold me, and make my character into someone that acts like Jesus.
Have I prayed for healing? Many times, and I will continue to pray; however, I must also submit myself to God, and acknowledge HIS will be done, and not my own:
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. NAS
Is it wrong to get someone’s hopes up, and to teach something that is not true? Yes, it is wrong; it is very wrong. Does it have to bury me the rest of my life? Not at all. Much more than, I will GLORY IN MY INFIRMITY AND WEAKNESS that the power of God’s love may have full vigor in me.
God bless you dear friend,
Craig Bluemel - The Bible Answer Stand Ministry (www.bibleanswerstand.org)
1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.
PS - I have put a link to a study you might like, called, 'Healing, Is It Always God's Will?'