Some in the church dismiss healing as a thing of days gone by. Others tell us that God intends for everyone to be healed.
I believe that if they stopped reading other’s interpretation of the Bible, read it for themselves, and talked with it’s author, both parties would realize just how destructive unbalanced beliefs like these can be!
Fallacy #1: Way back when healing was the thing…
God heals people today and every day. He tells us that we can be healed and that we can ask for healing for others. In fact this argument doesn’t even seem like it could possibly hold water when you look at Scripture! To me it comes across more like an excuse for not having seen anyone healed yourself, and rather than admit to unbelief or fear, you try to read into Scripture this idea that healing was just for the time of the apostles!
All right, I’ve already pissed off(incited righteous indignation in) half of you, so let’s finish off the other half ;)
Fallacy #2: Everybody will be healed!
If only! This fairy tale is one that we all really kinda want to believe. After all, I’d like to never be sick a day in my life, wouldn’t you? But I gotta ask, does it say that in Scripture? No! There are references in Scripture to events where everyone was healed, as a mass sign from God. However, I can’t find once where it says that everyone will always be healed! In fact, I see several prominent examples where people weren’t healed. All for one very important reason, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Now we know when we interpret Scripture, we’re not supposed to read our beliefs into it. Right? That seems pretty obvious. But just as importantly, we can’t take Scripture and interpret each passage into formula’s for doctrine. When a passage says that everyone was healed, or that everyone spoke in tongues, etc., it doesn’t mean that that is what will always happen from then on! It means exactly what it says. God moved, and everyone experienced something! Instead of focusing on turning the narratives into formulas, focus on the fact that God moved!
So what about those times where He didn’t move, and people weren’t healed? Lazarus was growing mold before Jesus got around to showing up(John 11). Paul dealt with a long-term affliction while he prayed for others to be healed(2 Cor. 12). Why the inconsistency? Do some deserve to be healed and others don’t? No! Lazarus died, and Paul lived with his affliction for the exact same reason that others were healed. Everything that God does is for His own glory! Lazarus died so that God received the glory when he was raised from the dead. Paul lived with his infirmity so that God received the glory when he was given the strength to carry on.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says Yahweh. ”For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8,9 WEB
Now where’s the harm? Anytime we change or ignore the lessons in Scripture, we start seeing consequences. Some are just overwhelmingly obvious, and some are subtle, in a pervasive, yet just as destructive way.
When we teach that healing is a thing of the past, we deny the power of God to those whom we teach. We ignore such an important part of what God offers us, and more importantly what He offers those around us through us.
When we teach that everyone will be healed, and yet they aren’t, what happens then? They are left to wonder whether it is because of their lack of faith, or a separation from God. At their darkest hour we’ve given them reason to doubt their relationship with the One they need most at that very moment.
This year my aunt passed away after a long, difficult battle with cancer. In spite of the fact that she didn’t experience a healing miracle, there is no doubt that God got all the glory! You see, His name was lifted up every step of the way, and in spite of the difficult journey, everyone around her was able to see that her love for Him grew stronger each day, and that He was her strength and comfort every step of the way!
Sometimes our testimony through the dark paths in our lives is just as powerful as the testimony of someone who experienced a miracle! Either way, as long as God gets the glory, we should be happy to praise Him for who He is, instead of demanding that He provide for us in the way we want Him to, or denying His power when it makes us uncomfortable. The bottom line is that healing is just one of the ways in which God shows His power and receives the glory that He so richly deserves.