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Friday, May 24, 2013

Does Faith Heal? (Insights)

Before reading these insights, I encourage you to do the Bible study "Does Faith Heal Us?" It contains the full text for all Scripture references as well as the full explanations for the questions/comments. 

Questions without Biblical answers:
These and other questions don't have satisfactory answers unless you believe (as I do) that healing is one of God's mysteries, an area beyond our complete understanding. The two verses below tell us that we will not fully understand all of God's mysteries here on earth.

Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." 

1 Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

Other Scriptures that help us understand healing: 

Philippians 2:19-23:  Note that Paul talks about Timothy taking wine for his "frequent" illness. If Timothy's problem was a lack of faith, Paul would have addressed that problem. Paul was not afraid of confronting people. See Paul's statement below and read about the time he rebuked Peter in Galatians 2:11-21. This passage makes it clear that Paul doesn't see physical healing as a promise of God.

In Galatians 1:10 Paul says: "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Philippians 2:25-30:  Again, Paul talks about a serious illness but never mentions lack of faith as the cause of E's illness or renewed faith as the reason for his healing. If faith was the issue, this would have been a perfect teaching moment for Paul. Instead, Paul commends Epaphroditus for almost dying for the work of Christ. 

Luke 17:11-19: Ten were healed, only one was healed because of his faith. 

2 Corinthians 12:6-9: While it is not completely clear what Paul's thorn in his flesh was, most Bible scholars believe it was physical. 

In her book A Place of Healing, Joni, a person who knows a great deal about suffering, says:

"To me, there is one thing that seems to be a common element in those who take extreme positions on divine healing. A lack of humility. On the one hand you have people telling God what He must do, and on the other hand you have people telling God what He can't do...Bottom line: He can do as He likes. He is God."
Joni's faith dwarfs the faith of most of us, yet many times she has been told that if she had enough faith she would be healed. 

I recently finished reading the biography of George Muller a man with such amazing faith that he cared for 10,000 orphans without ever asking for a dime...he just prayed and waited for God to supply the needs. Yet, he suffered with illness throughout his life. To read my 1-minute devotion on Muller, click HERE.

There are many examples of people, past and present, who knew God intimately and served Him whole-heartedly despite chronic illness and handicaps. 

If you are struggling with this issue, I recommend you read one of Joni's many books. She has lived through this issue for over 40 years, has believed God would heal her and still believes it's possible, but she trusts that God will do that only if it is His perfect will for her. I venture to say that if Joni had been healed, few of us would ever have heard of her, and millions would never have received the comfort of her testimony, wisdom, and ministry. Suffering is a gift that few of us would choose, but it is a gift just the same.
copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted 

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