It’s not fair! Why are some healed and some apparently not?
Last Sunday in All Nations we heard about Jehovah Rapha – the God who heals – as part of a series on the names of God. Manuel, who preached powerfully on this in the hub services, is German. He pointed out that the German translation of the end of Exodus 15:26 is “I am the Lord, your Doctor!”
This is the first time the name is used in the Bible. God says, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, [i.e. hear and obey]……I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you.’
We know God wants to heal and we know the basis is Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross – we cannot add to it. In Matt 8.16-17 we read ‘…..many who were demon possessed were brought to him [Jesus] and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”’ [Isa 53.4]
We often pray for illnesses in bodies or minds to be healed in Jesus’ name. We are delighted and encouraged when they become well instantly or over time. But what happens if they are not. Let me suggest several things NOT to do when this happens……..
First, do not assume it is the fault of the person we are praying for. Sometimes there may be secret sin or a wrong attitude that needs to be repented of – but God is a loving Father and will help the person realise when they need to repent. Let the Holy Spirit do His work – we only challenge if we are really sure God has given prophetic insight and we have other mature believers alongside who can hear and pray and ‘test the spirits’ to check it really is what God is saying.
Second, do not assume it is lack of faith. It might be our lack of faith but it might not. And remember that healing is on the basis of the new covenant in Jesus’ blood – there is nothing we can do to add to what Jesus did at the Cross!
Third, don’t give up praying. I have known people healed of cancers and I have also known people who were not. One dear friend who died of cancer asked his wife “Do you think God is going to heal me?” She wisely and faithfully said “I don’t know, but we are not going to stop asking now! That seems real wisdom and faith to me. We do not see the full picture. But we will at the Resurrection, the Last Day.
Healing is part of the full salvation won for us at the Cross. But like every aspect of salvation, it is begun to be seen in our lives but not yet complete. The new creation has started (2 Cor 5:17) but it is not yet complete until Jesus comes again and there is a new heaven and Earth (Revelation 22.1-5). So some are healed now and some not – or at least not yet. We see the Kingdom of God breaking in and it is here. The ‘Kingdom is now!’ But it is also still ‘not yet’ because we do not yet see the fulness of the Kingdom revealed. The ‘Kingdom is not yet!’ Both statements are true.
Paul famously wrote “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am known!” (1 Cor 13:12) We have some partial answers now but we will have to wait to know the full story.
Will God heal you immediately? I don’t know … but I know He is the Healer and can be trusted, we are not going to stop asking!