20 Question 3

This is an error that I hear being preached by so-call faith healers.  When they are asked to heal someone, but are not able to do so, they blame it on the sick one, claiming their faith was not strong enough to be healed.  Let’s read Matthew 17:14-21 which says, “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”  We have here the story of a man whose son was possessed with a demon.  Although he is called a lunatic here, most translations of the Bible say he was epileptic.  The man brought his son to the Lord after the disciples had tried to heal him, but had failed.  After healing this young man, the Lord told His disciples that it was because of their own lack of faith that this boy was not healed.  He did not even mention the faith of the boy.  This is one case where the lack of faith was on the part of the ones that tried to do the healing.

Why doesn’t the Lord heal us each time we ask Him to?  There are several answers to that question.  One reason we may not be healed, and some do not like to hear this, is that sometimes the Lord does not want to heal us.  Let’s read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  This is the occurrence of the Apostle Paul praying to be healed from an infirmity that he had.  This infirmity was actually from the Lord.  It was given to Paul so that he would not exalt himself because he had received so many wonderful revelations from the Lord.  The flesh tends to take pride in things like this, so the Lord took measures to ensure that Paul did not become boastful.  We are not told what this infirmity; this thorn in the flesh was, so I won’t speculate on what it was.  We do know that Paul prayed three times that the Lord would remove it, but was denied his healing.  However, through this, Paul learned a most valuable lesson: the Lord’s grace was all he needed.  He goes on to say that he gloried in his infirmities because when he was weak, then he was really strong in the Lord.

Sometimes it is the desire of the Lord to heal us, but in His own time.  We have a story that illustrates this in John 9:1-7 which says, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”  This man was born blind and continued in that blindness until the Lord healed him.  This healing was to evidence that it was the work of God that had given him his sight.  In Acts 3-4, we have the story of Peter and John healing a man that had been crippled from birth.  He was over 40 years old before the Lord healed him.  This healing was to evidence the love and power of the Lord Jesus.

If we are sick, we are told in the scriptures to pray and ask others to pray for us.  James 5:14 says, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”  However, we should also ask the Lord if there is some lesson to be learned in our suffering.  Even as Paul was afflicted so that he could learn a very valuable lesson, maybe we are sick at times so that the Lord can teach us valuable lessons.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  Sometimes through our sufferings, we receive the comfort of God and learn how to minister to the needs of others going through similar things.