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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Doesn't God Always Heal?

I have prayed over someone and seen them instantly healed. I do not have the gift of healing. I admit, I was surprised. The lady had a stroke. I prayed and God healed her. I don't feel like I had much to do with it. I simply prayed. God did all the hard work.

I have always wondered about those who claim the gift of healing. If they really have this gift, why don't they go empty every hospital of the sick? Why do they have to rent stadiums, fill the place with believers and do their healings? Jesus didn't do that. Why should they?

There are many times that I pray for the terminally sick and the patient dies. This doesn't keep me from praying. I know that God still heals. I don't know who He will heal on this earth. Some people are healed in Heaven.

Every illness is temporary. God always heals on earth or in Heaven. The person is seen to be healed before everyone or the person goes to Heaven and is perfectly healed. Neither is bad for the patient.

Sometimes God allows illnesses to linger. Paul prays that God will remove His "thorn in the flesh" three times but God says that it is good for Paul. Paul's "thorn" makes him depend upon God. Many have speculated what this malady is. No one really knows but it was something that bothered Paul enough to pray three times that it would be removed.

It is hard to imagine that illnesses can have a positive effect if you are the one who is ill. They exist so that you will depend upon God. There is little strength in the person who tries to do a work of God on their own. There is great strength in someone who depends upon God's might.

There are people watching those who are sick. They watch Christians go through the tough times. They watch how they handle their illness. This may be the only way some will ever notice another person's faith. The way the Christian lives with their illness can be more powerful than a thousand sermons. Walking faithfully through an illness can be an incredible witness.

Ultimately God wants us to come home to Him. Some illnesses help prepare us for that journey. I can't see into a person's heart but I believe that some of us need to be made ready to go to Heaven. We need to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. We need to welcome the journey home. The illness helps us let go of this life so that the journey to Heaven is made sweeter.

Finally, some people linger in their illness because God is giving them an opportunity to become a believer. These people may be church members but have never truly given their hearts to Jesus. They may have "walked the aisle" been baptized and voted in as members of the church but they don't know the Lord. They know all about the Lord but they can never say that they have truly met Him. They have always reserved their hearts for themselves. They know the truth but no one else does. God gives them the opportunity to come to Him. Their illness shows His extreme grace toward them.

I do not know why God doesn't heal some people. None of these scenarios seem to fit. I have to trust in His goodness because I have never seen Him be bad. I have to trust in His knowledge because I have never seen Him not know. I have to trust in His power because I have never seen anything more powerful than Him. I have to trust that He knows what He is doing.

God does not always heal. He always has a plan. All of His plans are accomplished. Somehow this must be in His plan.

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