God's Grace & Divine Healing
The divine gifts, that God has provided for those that are His, are personal and precious. Being able to live a life, knowing we are living within His presence is comforting, including when we are experiencing some most difficult times. I'm not sure that anyone can truly determine that all sickness or disease that is given to man. came from Satan or even from God. It appears to me that in Job's case, the troubles that Job experienced was done through Satan with the Lord allowing him that opportunity. Jesus said: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. What we do know is that our many illnesses are the result of the fall of man in the genesis of time but God gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I personally believe that healing and salvation should go hand in hand. I believe that Jesus used His physical acts of healing as a symbolism to salvation, as healing brings life to your body so forgiveness and grace brings life to your souls. But before I go into the healing I would like to first discuss the richness of God's grace. I think, the children of God, maybe should first consider the grace of God before seeking divine healing.
God's Grace is Sufficient: 2 Corinthians 12: 9. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What did the apostle Paul mean when he said he was strong when he was weak? My perspective is that when we are going through trials of any nature, it would not be a trial if we did not experience weakness and in that experience, we can find strength to overcome. So it is my belief that Paul's strength was in his faith to overcome that feeling of weakness. This is special for me for God's grace is what we live for, not for the now but for all eternity. When I study the story of Job, considering all the hardships that fall upon the children of God, I realize that even when Job had it easy, it became not easy, and Job experienced this weakness and considered that it was God that has placed all this tragedy upon him. It would seem that he had friends that helped seed that thought, pointing blame to Job's possible unrepentant sin. Even for us today, it is so easy in the flesh to blame God and question our faith as to, why is this happening to me, and/or, where is God in all of this? Well, in Job's case, it was not God but Satan that did all the destruction. So, when this is the case with our infirmities, as children of God, we should resist every opportunity of giving Satan satisfaction in seeing that his path of destruction is of any consequence, instead focus should be directed on the grace of God rather than self. In the flesh there may be times that this, may be easier said than done, and especially in those difficult times, we need to trust in our close relationship with the Lord in prayer. Satan is always there, testing our faith, but instead of questioning our faith, the children of God need to remain focused on God's grace and use the storms of life to increase their faith and if anything, be more determined than ever to be a witness for Christ in all things. With God's help, as the verse says, in my weakness, God's strength will be glorified in me. When it comes to poor health, do I still believe in divine healing, yes I do! But maybe, God's strength can be witnessed more in our weakness than in our health and/or wealth. I think this is a side of healing that is not always seen, our faith in Christ that provides the strength and understanding necessary to comfort our hearts before the Lord, knowing the presence of the Lord is so much richer that the evils of the evil one. In the flesh, how do we find happiness? Most of us set up rules for happiness, for example; I will be happy if my finances are at a certain level, or if we have this or that and so on. So when we set up these rules for ourselves, and we lack in one of the areas we have predetermined that will make us happy, our happiness is obviously dampened. But the Lord told the apostle Paul that His grace was sufficient for him, which serves as an example for us and so our true happiness is achieved in Christ when we focus, not on our rules but on the free gifts and the grace of God that is provided through the death and resurrection of His Son, our Lord and Savior. Those that have turned to God become light for a dark world. Consider this, what better pleasure is there for Satan than to put out the light of a child of God, to destroy their testimony and to take their peace. What better way to do this than to bring upon them, his diseases, his hardships or even his blessings, anything that takes one's focus off the grace of God. Remember these words of Jesus.
Matthew 5:14. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15. "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Pay close attention to verse 16, "Let your light", is a choice, our choice. We must realize that Satan is always looking for opportunity to squelch that light. When it comes to our trials in life, I do not think anyone is exempt. For those that do not know the Lord, hard times and trials can sometimes open the door of their heart in sincerely seeking for God in their life. And the bible also teaches us that for those already living in Christ, sometimes these trials are more for testing the genuineness of their faith. In understanding this, maybe our prayers should be more focused, not on the trial, but on proving the genuineness of our faith in being in total peace in living in God's grace. And in this Satan is defeated, realizing that his evil devices had no negative effect on one's relationship with God. But I can also see another benefit for God, when we are not healed of an infirmity. And that is, the genuineness of our faith being demonstrated before the world, even when it seems our prayers were not answered. Divine healing in the physical is good but it is not always believed. Most will discount the authentic value of it and will give credit to most anything apart for God. But the genuineness of one's faith become our light in Christ shining out in a dark world and that becomes our testimony before men, when we remain focused, not on ourselves, but placing our trust in God, through Christ and God's grace. Satan will do his best to test our faith in God, to place doubt in our heart, and in the flesh, we are all weak. But in Christ, we are able to find the joy in these days of trial, when we have the knowledge and wisdom to let our light remain shining before all men. If we allow Satan's words of doubt enter our hearts, we've become double minded. This is why it is so important to fully understand why God's grace is sufficient. Consider the following words of wisdom that has been provided for our benefit
James 1:2. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3. knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Unstable, that is Satan's goal for us, but through the understanding of God's grace, we can be spiritually stable, even in our times of trial. So what exactly is grace? Even though grace is only one word, but it contains the word and all promises of God. We begin to see the glory of grace in this verse. Ephesians 3:8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9. not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Grace is the gift of God that opens the door for our divine relationship with Him, through His Son. Our faith in Christ is a living faith, not just that we will be saved but that we are saved within this relationship. In this relationship, we are created for "good works", and it is through these works that our light will shine, through Christ. And it is my belief that this light will always enclose love. Grace shows us the forgiving heart of God. There is always a cost to forgiveness. Forgiveness is not free. We have to be wronged in some way so to forgive or there is nothing to forgive. For God, the ultimate cost was His Son. So we can find tremendous love in the word grace. In the word "grace" we have a green light to life. We can live, knowing that we have been forgiven. How can anyone have a relationship where there is no forgiveness? Grace opens that door. Grace opens the door to ministry. Without grace, there would be no ministry for us to share this divine good news with others. Our divine fellowship with others cannot happen without grace. Not to mention our grace that we freely give as we've been freely given. Grace also shows God's good intention for man, even from the genesis of time and that it was man that sinned against this intent. Grace also shows individual choice. God does not force anyone into being one of His children. Grace is the opportunity given to each individual that has a heart for God and His righteousness for man. But for me, the ultimate juice to grace is God's desire to live within us. To experience life, our life with Him through His Spirit. Without grace, this would not even be possible. We do not have to wait for eternity, this we have today and this divine relationship is found through our faith. So how did the apostle Paul find joy in his infirmities, and the like? Personally, I think he was realizing the fullness of grace. When the Lord said, my grace is sufficient, we must set back and think circumspective and when we do that is when we begin to understand the fullness of grace and the entire message that is attached. I'm not sure that we, in the flesh, fully comprehend the fullness of grace in this life but when we take focus off self, especially in our trials, and look to the gifts of God, to include His grace, we should be able to realize that no matter what evils we are challenged with, in this life, God's grace is always sufficient. We also need to remember why we have the testimony of Job. God did not do all those things to Job, Satan did. For me, I also consider this verse.
2 Timothy 3:12. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Where this verse is recorded, I originally assumed that persecutions came from ungodly men but when we include the testimony of Job, we find that Satan was given opportunity to do this direct to Job, through storms, diseases and men. Also take note that even the evil accusations came from men. So, anyone that is seriously repentant and have given their trust to God through Christ is a light shining in a dark unrighteous world. Of course Satan is going to try to dim that light and if we do not have a full understanding of God's grace and the intention of the evil one, ones faith can be challenged when the evil one is given opportunity to test the genuine of our faith. We must also consider why was Satan given opportunity, and I think that has a lot to do with how genuine of a walk we have with the Lord. My belief is that no one is exempt from these diseases and other hardships. It seems that Christians and those that seemly are not seeking God are both randomly struck with hardships of some kind. It's my opinion that when we are struck with hardships, some will seek divine help and in this, they develop a close relationship with the Lord. On the other hand Christians can also be struck with hardships and I think there may be more than one reason, one being we can be deceived in our beliefs as Job was, believing that God had placed His wrath upon him when it had been Satan. At the end, Job repented from that belief. So, I think when a child of God has been released to the evil testing of Satan, it would be best to open their hearts wider for truth, truths which are revealed by God's Holy Spirit. Only good can come out of our time of testing, if we remain faithful, for He is faithful to forgive and God's grace is the very core of our salvation to Him throughout all eternity. It is clear that Peter also clearly understood "God's abundant grace"
1 Peter 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5. who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7. that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8. whom having not seen, you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9. receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11. searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven things which angels desire to look into. 13. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14. as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15. but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16. because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
No matter what destruction Satan dishes out upon God's children, God's grace is always sufficient to overcome the outcome of Satan. Although, when one is not mindful of the things of God but the things of man, then the grace of God may not be that significant in that one's life. Being mindful of the things of God rather than the things of man.
Matthew 16:22. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!'' 23. But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." 24. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Jesus pointed out to Peter and the other disciples that as long as we live out our lives with a mindset of self, that one day, this life will be lost. But for those that are continually mindful of the things of God will find a much richer life, beginning today that will last throughout all eternity. But remaining mindful of only the things of man is not good.
Romans 8:6. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Peter had a better excuse for being mindful of the things of man than we do today. Today, we have the presence of God's divine Holy Spirit that has been poured out on all men, ever since that Day of Pentecost. Peter did not have that but we, today are without excuse for this is all a matter of choice of whom we want to be mindful of.
Romans 8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
I sincerely question how anyone that takes claim to being a child of God, but remains being mindful of the things of man can be led by God's divine Holy Spirit. To be led by God requires submission to God and a denial of self, seeking the things of man. There is a cost, a personal cost of being included within the children of God.
2 Timothy 2:3. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6. The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. 8. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9. for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11. This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 12. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
Take note in verse 12 above, "If we endure" is the measure of our faith. Our faith in the grace of God. When the Lord said to the Apostle Paul for our benefit, "My grace is sufficient" the total impact of that statement should be understood, so to find the strength through the anointing of Christ, to endure. For when we begin to focus on the things of man, we are greatly weakened.
Suffering in Christ: Romans 8:12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.'' 16. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17. and if children, then heirs heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
What does it mean to suffer in Christ? I think there are many attributes of suffering in Christ. I believe we can suffer because of our beliefs that are not recognized by those that are mindful of the things of man. I also believe that by our faith, Satan will be given opportunity to test the genuineness of our faith by the difficult challenges that he places before and/or upon those that are in Christ. I also believe that we can suffer to some degree by setting aside "self" and focusing on the needs of others. Although, if we have a sincere love for others, we most likely will not recognize that suffering. I know this is easier said than accepted but we find endurance when we find our strength through Christ within our suffering. Think about our bodies. We've all heard the phrase, if you don't use it, you'll lose it. If we are bedfast, our muscles begin to weaken. It is through the resistance of life, of walking and using our bodies, that we develop the strength to continue. So, I think it's God's plan for us spiritually, to be challenged, so we can gain strength to be strong in our weakness as the Apostle Paul spoke.
1 Peter 1:6. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7. that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8. whom having not seen, you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9. receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls.
For me, the bottom line is this. How much do I treasure the grace of God? Am I willing to suffer for the cause of God's grace? Am I willing to suffer to grow in the knowledge of the Lord? How strong is my faith in God's grace. Is God's grace truly a treasure to me? To me, having God's divine presence dwell within me is truly a treasure. I accept this not by sight but by faith in the revelations of Christ in me. I am still growing in the knowledge of the Lord and that is included within this treasure. I love experiencing the love of God in me for others. We must understand that Satan is not going to stand still while out light shines in a dark world. He is going to attack wherever we allow or when the Lord sees a need for the genuineness of our faith to shine through Satan's very dark blankets he places over our light in Christ. When we see that darkness, we have a choice as Peter that looked at the storm. And what did Jesus say to him? O you of little faith, why did you doubt? That's the work of the flesh that Satan is seeking, our doubting in the leadership of our Lord. But Peter made the right choice; he reached out for the extended hand of Jesus. As followers of Christ, we will see many dark blankets in our life. What we have is choice, do we focus on the darkness or the grace of God and all that is packaged within His loving grace.
Divine Healing: After considering the grace of God, divine healing is a very good option to be considered and to seek from the Lord. After all, there are wonderful promises in the bible concerning divine healing. Also consider that Job did repent, but is was not until after he prayed for his friends, that he receive his divine healing from the Lord. The following verse explains that Jesus has the power to forgive sins as demonstrated through His divine healing.
Matthew 9:2. And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." 3. And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, "This Man blasphemes!" 4. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5. "For which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, `Arise and walk'? 6. "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."
There are instructions in the bible how we can be directed to the benefits of the cross. In 1 James 5:13-16, to me there seems to be three directives to healing in this Scripture followed by an affirmation.
James 5:13. (1) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14. (2) 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: 15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16. (3) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. (Affirmation)The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Afflicted: af-flict tr.v. af-flict-ed, af-flict-ing, af-flicts. To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on.
2. 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: 15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
3. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
Affirmation:The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
First, the bible tells us that for those that are afflicted, which could be either a physical or a mental affliction, they should personally go to the Lord in prayer.
Secondly, for those that are sick, we see another picture, for they are instructed to call upon the elders of the church, and I don't believe that it's necessarily those that have been appointed into position of leadership today but rather those that have known the Lord for a longer time, within the body of Christ. You see when this Scripture was written, the definition of "church" was referring to only those that were placing their faith in Jesus, the body of Christ, so I believe this Scripture was addressing those that had known the Lord for a longer time, having a close relationship with Him, and being more knowledgeable in how to minister to the needs of others. And the Scripture says, "and they shall pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord". This is the only Scripture in the New Testament that refers to anointing anyone with oil, in the name of the Lord, and I believe this anointing with oil is symbolic in recognizing one's need for the anointing presence of Christ. In other words, this person is coming to the elders of the church seeking direction for their physical healing but these elders are recognizing their first need of a spiritual healing with the anointing of oil. For I believe the need for spiritual healing supersedes the physical healing that is received through faith. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; As we can see, this saving is accomplished through faith. Also take note that this verse continues to say, if he has committed sins they will be forgiven. Take note to the phrase "if he have committed sins" signifies that this one may still be a sinner and possibly has not yet committed their life to Christ, considering that those that are in Christ, their sins have already been forgiven.
Thirdly, we have another directive, and that is to confess our faults to one another, and to pray for one another so that we can be healed. It's clear that this directive of confession is targeted to the brethren in Christ that is seeking healing. Doing this could be a real challenge for some but practicing this edification would truly bring growth and spiritual health to the body of Christ, closing the door to Satan and his snares. If, those of us that are Christ's, would really do this, humbling ourselves and truly setting aside "self" maybe we'd find a deeper and a more sincere personal bonding within the body of Christ. Most of us are too independent to do this. Consider this, if we were open with our brethren about our weaknesses, then they would know how to be helpful and encouraging and to be there with us in prayer. Confessing our faults is contrary to our sinful nature and pride but praying for each other is much easier, and in doing this, one can have the appearance of godliness and our faults and weaknesses can remain hidden. There is a core message that is found throughout the whole bible and that is sincere love and also accountability. The bible tells us that each body part is accountable to the body. The body depends upon the legs and feet for transportation, the eyes are responsibility to view our daily paths, the ears are responsible to report the sounds and the mind and spirit is responsible for our decisions, and so on. Bottom line is that in the design of our body, each part has a function and is responsible to do its function for us to remain in good health. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul made reference to the physical body as a symbolism to the body of Christ and in James 5:16 we continue seeing dependability upon the members of the body of Christ to correct their faults so that "ye may be healed". Take note that it's not "if" they have any faults but instead to "confess your faults". Confessing our faults with one another, in sincere prayer, fellowship and love would be an incredible way of edifying the body of Christ and keeping us from, not knowingly, being conformed to this world. None of us are perfect and we all need edifying or God would not of granted to His church the gift of edification.
The last part of verse 16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." is also very powerful. This part is speaking of one who knows the Lord and is obedient to His word that's found only in the heart of those that are His. This mans life demonstrates God's righteousness and take note that there are three following words really stick out which are: "effective" and "avails much". Think about it! The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Think about what each word is applying to this sentence. This is a statement of confidence, that those which are Christ's, should have in their prayers.
Food for thought: In the process of truly loving those within the body of Christ, recognizing and confessing our faults, and coming together, sincerely seeking the Lord in prayer, for strength and understanding to overcome our shortcomings and then if we have an affliction that may of been given from the evil one, maybe our love, understanding and forgiveness in Christ, is the power of God to overcome the evil one and he and his evil devices are driven from this presence of the Lord. Maybe if we were to do this, the Lord's church would find edification, purifying, and then perhaps the Lord could intervene more in our prayers, even to include those prayers for good health, so the glory of the Lord could be witnessed to the world.
The very first step in looking for God's blessings in one's life is repentance: Acts 3:19. "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
I believe most importantly, in getting God's undivided attention, is for Him to find true repentance in one's heart. Some in the multitudes that followed Jesus was not interested in His signs and what they meant but was only looking to the moment for the food. Same with healing, if an individual is only interested in the healing, they're missing the whole idea, healing although wonderful but is only temporal, for it has been appointed once for all to die. It's the healing of the soul that's important! First find the "...food which endures to everlasting life", which is the presence of Christ so your physical healed life can be lived for Him, being a living symbolic testimony of His salvation.
John 6:25. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?'' 26. Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27. "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
There is also a warning that comes with the physical healing, ... "sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you"! True sin is the rebelling against God's direction. God's direction comes from the Holy Spirit. Many of the things that we see and claim to be sin are only the disobedient acts against the leading of God's Holy Spirit. It is this disobedience that can bring on a worse thing! Not only is it important to live for His righteousness to salvation but also for His healing. Salvation, understanding, healing and righteousness is foundational gifts to the members of the true church, the body of Christ. For the most part, I feel that Jesus' death on the cross, does not give life nor healing to the "unbeliever" the "deceived" nor the "self-righteous" unless they repent. In my mind the gifts of the cross are intended only for the body of Christ, as described in 1 Corinthians 1:2. Although God is God and if He wants to give an unbeliever healing or some other of His blessings, to show His presence, that may be probable. The gifts of God are special and are especially reserved for those that "believe in" the Son, that is, those that are willing to submit their lives in obedience to the faith of Christ. Not saying that one can not make errors but rather living the faith of Christ.
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."(I believe it's possible that God in all His mercy does not always give us the healing we ask for because He knows our heart and if it isn't right, then somehow this allows Satan the opportunity to give us a "worse" thing.)
The New Testament reveals remote healing; Luke 7:2. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was worthy, 5. "for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.'' 6. Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7. "Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8. "For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, `Go,' and he goes; and to another, `Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, `Do this,' and he does it.'' 9. When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" 10. And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
The New Testament reveals that healing can be spoken into existence by one of His, through Christ to a believer in the faith of Christ!
Acts 14:9. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10. said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!'' And he leaped and walked.
First of all was healing set in the body of Christ? According to Scripture, King James' 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church (the body of Christ), first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Is it through our own power or godliness that allows healing to be done through us? Absolutely Not!
Acts 3:12. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Is divine healing available today? Until the body of Christ is taken up, the gifts appointed to the body of Christ remains.
1 Thessalonians 4:15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
King James 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church (the body of Christ), first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, ...
Romans 11:29. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Mark 16:17. "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;18. "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.'' This is a promise spoken by Jesus.
James 5:14. Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Are there any diseases or sickness that God can not be heal? With God all things are possible.!
John 5:4. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
God has always provided healing for "whatever disease" to His people. Where does sickness come from?
Acts 10:38. "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Deuteronomy 7:15. "And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. 15. "And you shall destroy all the peoples whom the Lord your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
Luke 13:16. "So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound think of it for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"
What does one need to do to qualify for a healing? When one studies about all of those that Jesus healed, there is no emphasis as to what they had to do to qualify with the exception of having faith and believing. But I also believe that Jesus did His miraculous works to bring focus upon the church that was to be and His healing was representative to the character of salvation. For example, Jesus said the blind can now see and for those that are Christ's know that that's representative of the light of Christ that's in them and now they can see and understand the deep things of God. Jesus also said the lame can now walk, and again, those that are in Christ, find the strength of the Lord to become overcomers to the trials of this life and are no longer found to be spiritually lame and without hope. Therefore, it is my deepest belief that since Jesus acts of healing was to reveal His sacrificial gift and authority over the church, that repentance to Him is key in seeking His divine intervention in our lives to include the physical healing of our bodies.
1 Peter 2:24. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed. 24. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
3 John 1:2. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
I believe those with a sincere heart will find God and His blessings if they continue to look to Him for all things. Healing is not a common thing, nor is salvation. Therefore it is reserved to those that will not treat what Jesus did on the cross as a common thing. The promises of the cross is a treasure and must be stored in the heart for safe keeping to eternity.
Hebrews 10:29. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
The following verse is personal, powerful and a promise! Answered prayers through Christ!
Matthew 7:7. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9. "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10. "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Take special note to what Jesus said in verse 8: "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
He said everyone who asks receives, but it is he who seeks will find, and those that reach out, will have them.
Abiding in Christ: John 15:7. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
It's my belief that when Jesus was speaking of His words abiding in those that are His, He was not referring to the bible but rather direction that is given through the Holy Spirit as explained in the following verse.
1 John 4:13. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Personally I believe that maybe one of the main reasons why God does not always heal is unbelief. I want to enter a thought here. Unbelief can actually be included in one's beliefs. Let me clarify, you know that in the days of Jesus' ministry, they had to of seen Jesus' healing and they must of believed that. So was it just because He was known to them or was it their unbelief that He was the Christ , that restricted Jesus from doing many mighty works? On the surface, we could think that it was simply their unbelief in His ability to heal but I think it was much deeper. Possibly, in their state of "unbelief" they may of thought they were believers and theologically right in the eyes of God. How could we apply this example to today? Today, Christianity, at least here in America, is rapidly growing in popularity with many different denominational preferences so obviously, Jesus is heavily believed upon, but with different ideologies. Is it possible that at least some of these ideologies could actually be "unbelief" to the "Way" of Christ. Is it possible for God to do a work in them, regardless of their unbelief? Just a thought here but possibly this is something, only the Holy Spirit can reveal.
Mathew 13:57. So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.'' 58. And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
How about those that have seriously went to the Lord for their healing and it was not granted to them? There is something mystical in seeking divine healing. It seems that divine healing is a promise but Paul also directed God's children to: 1 Timothy 5:23. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities. We see here that the children of God are not guaranteed perfect health.
Paul himself did not receive his healing when he asked for the thorn to be removed. Whatever the thorn was, it was an infirmity and the Lord told him His grace was sufficient.
(KJV) 2 Corinthians 12:7. 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. 8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9. 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. 10. 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.
The thing that touches my heart is that Paul's desire for the power of Christ to rest upon him was greater than his desire for perfect health. It would also seem here that some of our affinities are given as a buffer because of our yielding to our pride or sinful nature. In verse 10 Paul comments that he took pleasure "in" (not "for") his infirmities. At first this puzzled me, how could anyone take pleasure in any infirmity? After considering the theme that is found throughout the New Testament, I had an inspiring thought! What the Lord promises is life and His presence. So then if our infirmities comes from the evil one, and if we, that are afflicted are, disgruntled, or even questioning, where is God in my time of need, this is exactly how Satan would want us to respond! He wants us troubled and unhappy! He wants us to question God! But if we chose to rather take pleasure in that infirmity, for the sake of our Lord, then Satan would find that he has no power over us, and the power of Christ, that is in us, prevailed ! To me, this really makes sense, because sometimes when men of God are stricken with an infirmity, rather than considering that as being a punishment from the Lord, it could rather be viewed as an opportunity to defeat Satan through Christ! I think it's good to seek the Lord for healing but in the event we do not receive that healing, we need to seek the power of Christ to find that peace we can have in God, even in our infirmities. You see Satan would like to make the Lord, a liar and that's exactly what's happening in our hearts if we question, where is the Lord in all my troubles, but if we recognize that what the Lord promises is life and His presence, we can take pleasure in His presence, in helping us overcome our troubles, therefore showing that the Lord does keep His promises and Satan is defeated. I would also suggest that since those that are His, having the presence of the Lord, just as Paul was given a "thorn in his side" to buffer his pride, should pay special attention to the Holy Spirit for any revelations that would expose one's thoughts, beliefs or behavior that may of given Satan an open door for that affliction. God has given those that are His, His Spirit to help us combat the works of Satan in our lives and in this, is where we can take pleasure in the presence of the Lord, even in our infirmities. You see, this sometimes can be the true healing for when in our infirmity, we find our strength in the Lord, even though in the flesh we are weak, and it would seem it to be our very right to focus on our troubles, but instead we stand upon our strength in the Lord, would this not send an outrageous message to the evil one, of our strength in Christ. Consider James 4:7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. If our infirmities come from the Devil, with him gone, would not this give us an open door to God's blessings? Maybe it's in our infirmities where we can best prove our loyalty to our Lord as Job did. And Job prevailed over Satan and ultimately found his healing along with many other blessings from the Lord.
Paul rejoiced in his infirmities and understanding why, has brought peace to my heart, for we can find victory over any infirmity and understanding the importance of supporting others that are going through their "time of trial".
God holds many mysteries that are continually being revealed to those that acknowledge His presence and precepts. The more our needs are brought to Him, the more we begin to understand the heart of our Lord and His love, as His presence is being revealed. For sure, in the divine gifts of God, much more is to be learned as we lay aside self and maybe even tradition and center our focus upon our heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit.
One thing for certain, when one sincerely seeks God, they'll find that, through Christ, they'll find the strength to overcome the trials in this life and find confidence in our Lord's divine leadership and promise of eternity.