This is a post from 2009 while I was working in Thailand.
Since the “Miracles of Love” Festival there has been some interest on the subject of divine healing and how it works works in our lives and missions work in general. So I wanted to take a moment to talk a little about it here.
Though this won’t be exhaustive, I hope it will give a little insight into divine healing, how it can work in a believer’s life, and how God uses it to bring people to Himself.
Let me start by saying that I believe that Almighty God is good. He is not the author of sin, sickness, death, and evil. These things have come as a result of man’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden and one day God will bring a final end to all of these things and we will never know them again (see here). Jesus sums it up best when He says that “the thief (the devil) comes not but to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and that in abundance.” John 10:10. In another place it tells us that “for this reason the Son of God was manifested…that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8. Sickness and disease is a work of the devil and therefore is an enemy to be faced with faith in the power of God to destroy it.
When Jesus was beaten and crucifed, He not only paid the price for our sins, but also for our healing. See Isa 55. Once he was risen from the dead, He had all authority over the devil and his “works.” He then gave that authority to those who would be “believers”, not only then but also today. This is best seen in the verse Mark 16:15, And these signs shall follow them that believe….they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” We also see that in the early church provision was made for healing of the body as part of everyday life. James tells us that if anyone is sick they should call for the elders of the church and the prayer of faith would save the sick and if he has committed any sins they would be forgiven. James 5:14-15
All throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus healing the sick. At times the Scriptures says he healed all that came to Him. (Matt 12:15) In other places, it shows that He was hindered because of people’s unbelief. (see here) We also see him asking people if they wanted to be made well when they were obviously suffering. (see here) We also see him telling people that their faith has saved them and made them well. (see here) One lady who had a flow of blood for 12 years and had been to every doctor she could find was completely healed when she reached out an touched Jesus. The crowds were all touching him, but her touch was different. Jesus said he “felt virtue leave him.” So, we see that this lady found a special touch that caused her to be healed. It was a touch of faith and it did more for her than a lifetime of doctor visits. I bet there were other people around Jesus at that time that needed healing, but she was the one who received it. (Gotta read this: Mark 5:25-34) I believe that God is not moved by our problems, but by our faith.
In overseas missions work, I hear that many missionaries see divine healing much more in their places of service rather than in the West. Why is this? I think it mainly has to do with the fact that we have so many other things to rely on in place of God in places like America. In other parts of the world, where healthcare is a luxury most can’t afford or doctors don’t have the same level of training, many people are in desperate situations. There faith is much stronger and therefore they tend to receive a higher average of healings. I heard from one Baptist missionary that he regularly sees people healed in his ministry here in Thailand, but he is unable to share the awesome testimonies of what God is doing back in the churches in America because people would not understand. People may think he was becoming “charismatic” or going off the deep end, but this was far from reality. Sad, but true. He was just using the tools God gave Him to reach lost people and demonstrate the Kingdom of God on the Earth.
“Charis” is the greek word for gift and God has given many of them to the church. One of them being the “gift of healings” found in I Cor 12. Not all people have this gift, but all believers can pray a prayer of faith over a sick person and ask God to heal. Some people say that these gifts are no longer for today. I ask why not? Why would Jesus die to give us gifts that we can no longer us?Why would He leave His church without power when the needs are just as great today, maybe even greater. Well, I don’t believe He has. I believe this gift, along with others mentioned in the Sciptures, are still available to the Church today. Countless people worldwide would testify to the fact that God still divinely heals today, whether through the faith of His people or through other means.
Are there counterfeits to what I’m speaking about? You bet. But the counterfeit is only a counterfeits if there is something genuine that it is trying to replicate. In a simple explanation, we are called to believe God’s Word, that He is able and willing, pray the prayer of faith, and to leave the results up to God. When someone is healed by God, it practically serves to demonstrate the mercy of God, and the fact that He not only has power over sickness of the body, but that He also has power over the ultimate sickness, spiritual death. Even though all are not healed all of the time, it still does not take anything away from this reality.
We will all die one day. Healing of the body is only temporary, but rebirth and spiritual healing last for eternity. We need both, but whether a person is healed in their body or not, we all still need to be healed in our spirits. (John 3:3, I Cor 5:17). If we or someone we know is sick, we pray for healing. If we have access to doctors and medicine we use them. If a person does not recover and even dies, we leave it in the hands of God who has infinite wisdom over each of our lives.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have the joy of knowing that whether we live or die, God is with us and we will live with Him forever. This is the same thing we try to teach others who don’t know the Creator. This is more important than whether or not God heals. But when we encounter a person, we will believe God for everything they need. It’s only what we would want someone to do for us if we were in the same situation. (Matt 22:19)
What about you? Do you believe God still heals today? If so, how did it happen? What kinds of stories have you personally been a part of?