My Faith During Prayer Can Heal The Sick
James 5:15 says: "And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven" (NIV).
This Scripture pertains to the elders of the church praying over someone after anointing the sick person's head with oil. The Bible is clear that the elders of the church are the ones to be involved in all healings where needed. But that doesn't mean that we can't pray for the healing of the spiritual and physical problems that people we know are going through.
There are those who aren't healed, after being prayed over, who point to this Scripture and say that Jesus must not be the Son of God, since they weren't healed immediately. Some would attack the church and its leaders and say that they don't believe enough, or have enough faith to heal anybody. Some people may even believe that it is the elders themselves who affect the healing and that maybe their faith in Jesus wasn't strong enough since the healing didn't occur.
Here is the biggest problem that some people have when it comes to this Scripture's message: They believe that everyone who is prayed over for healing should be healed. Yes, the Scripture does say that the prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. But, it is that last phrase where people tend to forget who actually does the healing. What they don't like to hear is, if Jesus is in control of all healings in this world, and if He is in fact God, then why isn't everybody who asks for healing healed? Why does God chose to heal some and not others?
Before we were born, God chose a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives. That plan includes all the good things and all the bad things that would happen to us during our time here on earth. This does not mean that everything we do, say, or happens to us is by His design. Remember, God did give us the free will to affect our own lives with the decisions we make on our own. Yes, He knows every decision we are going to make long before we make them, but it doesn't mean that He will stop us from making them. That is why it is called free will: We have the freedom to do whatever we want with our lives, good or bad. But, no matter what decisions we make, God will work them into the plan and purpose He has for our lives. He wishes that we would make good decisions that would affect our lives in positive ways for Him, but He knew what He created in us when He made us in our mother's wombs. Look at Adam and Eve when it came time for them to face the most important decision they had to make about eating the fruit, they made the wrong one, pushing man into the sinful state that we find ourselves in now. But, we all know that this has not stopped God from executing his plans for mankind.
This is where the second half of the Scripture ("And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven") comes into play. Some illnesses are caused by bad decisions: AIDS, alcohol-related illnesses, drug abuse, and smoking, just to name a few. AIDS is caused by unprotected sex that, if sex was kept inside of marriage, where both partners were free of the HIV virus, no one would ever get the disease. If people could find other ways to fill their loneliness, like asking Jesus into their lives, other than excessive drinking and drug use, their bodies wouldn't break down to the point of a bad liver, or death. And we all know the dangers of smoking, yet two-thirds of the population of this country smoke at least one to two packs of cigarettes a day, not caring what it is doing to their lungs. The Bible says that nothing should be done to excess. This is why: Too many people die each day because of the wrong decisions they have made about their health. These excesses are sin against our own bodies, and, sometimes, they are a sin against God also. But God, being who He is, will forgive you of those sins, and, if it is within His plan for your life at that moment, will heal you of the sickness your sin has caused you.
Some people, especially those who don't know or do not have a relationship with God, do not realize that God not only heals people spiritually, but that He heals them medically as well. There is a reason that we call Jesus the Great Physician. God invented medicine. It is God that gives scientists, researchers, and doctors the revelation of how to make new medicines and vaccines. For those who say that God doesn't do miraculous healings anymore need to talk to those healed of cancer (like me), who's Bipolar Syndrome is stabilized by medications like Lithium (like me), and whose hearing has been restored in a deaf ear (like my wife's). God is healing today in ways we cannot imagine.
But why does God heal some and not others? Sometimes, God uses an illness to bring us closer to Him. You see, sometimes the only way for God to remove pride from our lives is by an illness or medical condition. Even the Apostle Paul asked God to take away a medical condition that he had been given, but God would not, so that Paul could stay humble as he went about the countryside bringing the Gospel to those who needed to hear it. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10: "Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to sizeabuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." MSG) Now, if God chose to let the great Apostle Paul suffer to keep his pride out of the way so he could focus more on God, don't you think that He will do the same for us. Yes, I said "FOR US." Remember, everything God does for us and to us is for our own good, and for the purpose of His plans for our lives. Repeat that to yourself until the words penetrate your body, soul, heart, and mind. EVERYTHING GOD DOES TO US AND FOR US IS FOR OUR OWN GOOD! God doesn't need or want to hurt us -- we do that pretty well ourselves.
Like Paul, God will use an illness to make us realize that we can't live independently without Him. He will use the illness to make us more dependent on Him, because He knows that we can't live our lives properly without Him. That is where faith comes into play. We just have to have the faith that God knows exactly what He is doing with our lives. Then we have to let Him do whatever He needs to do to execute the plan for our lives that He has to. The decisions that we have to make should be His decisions. We find those decisions in the Bible and in the leading of the Holy Spirit. Everything we need to live is found in the pages of the Holy Bible--the living, breathing, Word of God. Just read the Book of Proverbs and you will be reading the greatest wisdom ever known to man (next to Jesus, that is) given to us by God Himself.
God's plan was once told to me by this example: Have you ever looked at the backside of a piece of needlepoint? All you see are loose ends, some knots, and chaos. But, if you turn it over and look at the other side, you see a beautiful canvas of orderly colors and shapes. In this life, all we ever see are the loose ends, knots, and chaos. Everything we try to do to order our lives without Jesus turns out wrong. We do not have the wisdom of how to run our lives in such a way that we are a blessing to others. We're too busy taking care of ourselves to even think about taking care of others. But, God, who loves us all, is working in all of our lives to order them in such a way that we do become a blessing to others. God sees the human race in an ordered way. He sees what we can become, the same as a piece of fabric blesses a seamstress as she turns it into something orderly, useful, and full of beauty. That is what God is doing with our lives. We see the world as through a glass darkly. He sees the whole picture even though He is not done painting it yet.
Our faith in Him will indeed heal us, even if it takes until we get to Heaven. God will give you the faith to trust Him with your entire life, for good or bad, if you'll just let him.
"Scripture Marked (NIV) taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION . Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved."
"Scripture marked (MSG) taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."
Copyright 2013 by Robert W. Bruno
Bobby Bruno was saved 14 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since.
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