Possible causes of illness or infirmity:
The Bible teaches that original sin introduced a fallen nature to our world and with it, our bodies. (See Genesis 2:16-17) Illness or infirmity can also be attributed to poor health and lifestyle choices, because God gave us free will to make choices. A third factor to consider is what the Bible says about the enemy of our souls, that he "comes only to steal and kill and destroy." In contrast, Jesus promises: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV) Health problems can steal our energy, strain our relationships and finances, and rob us of the ability to fully release our Godly purposes on Earth. However, we know that God’s desire is to see us live life to the fullest, through Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. (see Hebrews 12:2) We must trust that He knows what is best for us. Repeatedly, the Bible reveals the true character of God- that He is Good. “For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5 NET Bible) When it comes to illness and infirmity, we know that God is a loving Father Who always has our highest and best outcome in mind. Matthew 7:11 states: “Even though you're evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him?” (GWT)
So even though it grieves God to see humans suffer, because He is a good God, full of redemption, He will bring positive fruit out of our experiences as we yield to Him. “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (Psalm 86:5 NIV) Health trials can produce the treasured characteristics of God in our life- such as patience, long suffering, peace, kindness, humility, and so forth. Ideally, a yielded vessel will draw closer to know Him more intimately. "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" (2 Cor. 4:17 NLT)
A familiar verse regarding healing comes from Isaiah 53:5, which says that when Jesus went to the Cross, He purchased our healing, by willingly shedding His precious innocent blood. "He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds." (GWT)
Contemporarily, many people have testified that they experienced a physical healing, like Jesus performed during his time of ministry on Earth. Books and medical documentation elaborate on these miracles. The Bible encourages us to desire physical health and well-being. 3 John 1:2 states "Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (NLT) The Bible also teaches us to ask trusted church leadership to pray for us if we are ill. "If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil in the name of the Lord." (James 5:14 GWT) Therefore, it is wise to seek medical care appropriately, and combine it with the active pursuit of God’s healing power. Miracles still happen every day!
What if a physical healing miracle does not take place?
We must acknowledge that some who have sought miraculous healing have experienced the "ultimate healing" – passing away to be with God in Heaven. Many theologians and true seekers of God have wrestled with this outcome, to understand “Why?” Many theories have been advanced, but we do not yet understand why some receive physical restoration, and some do not. The Apostle Paul reflected on our existence here on Earth: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (I Cor. 13:12 NLT)
So should we pray fervently for a miracle, in faith? Absolutely! However, we should also prayerfully seek the peace of God when we do, releasing the situation to His grace. Without His peace, well-meaning people may feel the need to control the situation, or worse, feel responsible for the outcome. Others may turn and blame God if healing does not manifest in the way they imagined it should. We must remember the basic premise of our faith - that God is love, and He is Good all the time.
In heart-breaking situations where illness does not abate, we must hold onto the hope we have in Christ- remembering the ultimate miracle is salvation through Jesus. The Bible says that man is appointed once to die. (see Hebrews 9:27) The good news, however, is that even though believers in Christ eventually physically pass away, they will not taste spiritual death. Jesus said in John 8:51: “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death."(NIV) Jesus was speaking of avoiding eternal death. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible interprets the passage this way: “he shall never see death; the second death, eternal death, which is an everlasting separation of a man, body and soul, from God: this death shall have no power on such a person, he shall never be hurt by it; and though he dies a corporeal death, that shall not be a curse, a penal evil to him; nor shall he always lie under the power of it, but shall rise again, and live in soul and body, for ever with the Lord…”
"Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?" (I Cor. 15:55 GWT) Jesus truly overcame death on the Cross, and because of His victory, we who believe enjoy eternal life.
Romans 6:23 tells us "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 10:9-10 and 13 tells us how to be sure He will save us. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... For 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' " (NLT) The prayer of salvation is simple. If you want to dedicate your life to Jesus right now, then earnestly pray "Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me live my Godly destiny to the fullest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.”
What a tremendous promise- to be assured of our salvation, to know that we are secure in the arms of Jesus Christ. Whatever circumstance you are facing today, we want to encourage you that God hears your prayers! His desire for you is always for the best possible outcome, so that you may walk in the Spirit as you live your Godly destiny, bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth - through faith and obedience to Him.
As a spiritual exercise today, click on the video to hear the song, "In Jesus' Name” by Darlene Zschech. It is a modern, upbeat celebration of the power of Christ's resurrection life! It includes a prayer for those suffering with cancer and other ailments. Whatever health challenges you may be facing today, hold on to the promises and declarations in this song! Don’t allow any life circumstance rob you of joy or peace. God knows what you need. Trust that His goodness and mercy will follow you all of the days of your life. (see Psalm 23:6) As you hear the song, release your burdens to Him - His Holy Spirit will give you peace.
We pray that God would heal you physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and release His purposes through your life! As long as we are still drawing breath, His highest purposes for our lives may still be fulfilled. "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13 NIV)
Thank you for spending your time today contemplating these themes. May God richly bless you and may His will be done in your life! Amen!