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When Healing Has Not Come

James 5:13-15
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
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.

God can heal. And I have personally experienced His healing throughout my life. I have also witnessed the healing power of God over my family members and many other people since 1978.

However, throughout the years, I have also encountered this reality: God can heal all diseases and illnesses, but not everyone is healed.

Luke 4:27
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.

Healing is not always the only answer available. Sometimes God allows us to suffer and experience diseases, illnesses and hardships. There are lessons in life we can learn as we journey through them.

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Job was blameless and upright. Yet he lost his wealth, and was filled with painful boils. But his sufferings were not the result of his sins or a lack of faith. He was ill because Satan was tempting him in his state of weakness and vulnerability to get him to sin against God. Job's friends even falsely claimed that he was sick and suffering because he had committed sins.

Job 2:7-10
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Paul had a problem with his eyesight. Whether he got healed was not recorded. This chronic eye disease might be caused by an injury when he was stoned in Lystra.

Acts 14:19-20
19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Because of his physical infirmity, Paul testified that if possible, the Galatians would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him.

Galatians 4:13-15
13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.
14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.

Because of his eye infirmity, Paul used large letters to write to the Galatians.

Galatians 6:11
See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

Paul also had a thorn in the flesh. He prayed to God thrice to remove it, but it remained. The fact of the matter is that the Bible doesn’t identify what the thorn is. There is a good reason for not revealing it so that people with various kinds of physical infirmities and spiritual problems might identify with Paul, and experience the grace and strength that God has promised.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
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.

When Timothy was sick, Paul told him to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his frequent infirmities.

1 Timothy 5:23
No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletus. Herein was no testimony of being healed immediately and miraculously.

2 Timothy 4:20
Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.

Epaphroditus, a fellow worker of Paul, was sick almost to the point of death.

Philippians 2:25-27
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Some of the greatest blessings in life happen in the midst of great trials and tribulations. God changes us, molds us, strengthens us and builds us through those difficult and tough times. His grace is sufficient for us, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. For when we are weak, then we are strong.

Psalm 23:4-5
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

In recent years, there is another gospel called the prosperity gospel creeping into the churches worldwide. It is also called the gospel of physical health and wealth. These new doctrines are becoming increasingly popular among many Christians.
These prosperity preachers teach that God will reward faithful service with good physical health and material abundance. All believers have a right to expect this, and God will even do great miracles to accomplish it. To do so, believers must first remove sins from their lives, send money to the preachers or faith healers, sow a seed of faith and expect a miracle, and they will be healed. If not healed, then there must still be some hidden sins in their lives.
Many people have been hurt greatly by the false teachings that God will heal all diseases for everybody every time! This causes a massive amount of guilt and disillusionment for the sick and afflicted when healing has not come. Why no healing? Is it because of some hidden sins or a lack of faith? Many believers become disillusioned in their Christian faith over these erroneous teachings.
When we pray, we cannot demand that our prayers to be answered the way we want. Similarly, when we pray for healing, the answer is in God's hands now! The answer can be yes or no or wait. God can heal. But how, when or whether he heals is up to Him. We cannot demand that God heals and fixes all our health problems quickly for us. Heal all and now!
Very often, God chooses to heal! But sometimes healing has not come. For example, the death of Lazarus. This sickness of Lazarus is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.

John 11:1-4
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Jesus didn't go immediately to pray for the healing of Lazarus. In fact, He arrived after Lazarus had been dead 4 days!

John 11:39-44
38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

In the case of Lazarus, divine healing had not come but the resurrection of the dead happened!

John 11:25
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Fanny Crosby wrote more than 9,000 hymns. The most remarkable thing about her was that she had done so even though she was blind.

Oh, what a happy soul I am
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

"I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you," remarked one well-meaning preacher.
Fanny responded immediately as she had heard such comments before. "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?" said the poet, who had been able to see only for her first six weeks of life. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior."
I believe she knew that there are better things in life than just having physical wealth and health! That's walking and living with Jesus every new day and forevermore!

To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,

To love and to cherish;
From this day forward and forevermore!

Written on: 12 July 2017