We read the Bible with a filter of how we see God. To a degree, what we believe about the character of God influences our interpretation of the Scriptures.
It is all too easy to google a Bible verse and use it to validate a theological or doctrinal stance. It is also too easy to take a Bible verse out of context. I could easily mis-quote verses to argue a compelling case for slavery, polygamy, even human sacrifice for example.
We know that God does inflict the wicked with sickness as a judgement. We also know that God can use everything (including sickness) for His glory, but what I’m specifically addressing is: Does God give sickness to His children? Is it part of His perfect will to inflict His kids with infirmities in order to bless them?
I say a passionate NO, and I’ll explain why.
1. Jesus healed all who came to Him
Jesus never turned anyone away saying, “Sorry bro, but I won’t be healing you because your infliction is my gift of love to you.”
I’m sure the Gospel writers would have recorded this aspect of His ministry if it were so.
2. Jesus commissioned His disciples to heal the sick
This is an important fact, for those of us who are passionate about seeing God’s healing power work through us as we pray for the sick. If we entertain the thought that the person who has asked for prayer, who desperately desires healing, cannot be healed (because it is God’s will that they be sick), our faith is automatically compromised. We, as ministers of the Gospel cannot entertain any faith-eroding notions when it comes to praying the prayer of faith.
3. Signs followed the early church
Jesus commissioned His followers to minster in His name (Mark 16). That “they will lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover”. If God’s will is for people to be sick, then Jesus gave His followers a command that is in direct violation of God’s nature and will.
4. God is a good Father
For the fathers reading this post… Would you inject your child with a dangerous virus to show your love for them? Could you willingly break your child’s legs to demonstrate your kindness towards them? Of course not. It would be an inconceivable notion. Then why are some of us so quick to think that God the Father would do (in essence) the same thing to His children?
5. Jesus paid for sickness at the cross
Jesus not only took our sins upon Him at the cross, but He also took our sickness upon Him also, and He cried out “Paid in full!” By His stripes we have been healed! If we restrict the work of the cross to forgiveness of sins, we dilute the work of Calvary and belittle Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus provided full salvation for us – which means complete wholeness and healing – spirit, soul and body!
Regarding the cross… God would not have paid the ultimate price for our healing, only to give sickness back to us. That would be absurd.
6. All sickness is bad
If we believe that God gives sickness to His kids, we do not have the liberty to choose what sickness is good and which sickness is bad. All sickness would become good because ‘every good and perfect gift’ comes from God.
To follow this reasoning through to its logical conclusion, we would have to admit that cancer is good; AIDS would be good; mental illness is good. Actually, much of what we attribute to the Devil and the fall of Man, we would have to say, “it is good”.
7. We are called to heal
If sickness is the will of God, then we should not willingly act against God’s will. If sickness was a display of God’s goodness then we would be contradicting His nature if we served as His hands and feet in any medical or people-care profession. It would become morallyand ethically wrong to be a doctor or nurse as they would be servants against God’s nature.
Can we see who ridiculous this thinking becomes when we take the time to think about it?
Of course many of you will now be asking the difficult questions:
“Why doesn’t God heal everyone now?”
“Why are some healed and others aren’t?”
“Why am I suffering in this broken body?”
There are no simple answers, other than the fact that we live in a fallen world and are living with the consequences of sin everyday of our lives. We live in fallen bodies that are very much susceptible to death and decay.
But even in the face of reality and with as many unanswered questions about healing as you, I refuse to attribute to God what the curse of sin and death brought into this world…
and I dare to believe that Jesus is the Healer and want us, His children to demonstrate His love in action.