Observations Concerning Sickness and Healing

We should consider several facts and scriptural concepts before we become rash or charge God foolishly in our desire for victory and healing. We must consider all things in the context of God’s Word. Add your observations to these as you study.

  1. Because a person is healed does not mean he is saved. Sinners can be healed and continue in their sinful ways. Remember: God honors faith for healing on anyone’s part.

    Salvation and deliverance from sin does not guarantee physical healing and health. Many people come to God with a disease or sickness, are born again, and then have the sickness until they die (John 5:2-14; Matthew 9:1-8; Acts 28:8-9).
  2. Saints have a promise in James 5:14 that when they call for the elders and are anointed with oil and if they have sinned, then they are forgiven when healing comes. This verse of Scripture does not mean that a saint’s sickness is caused from sin, nor does it mean that when someone is sick that he has sinned. Please notice the if in context.
  3. Signs, wonders, and miracles wrought under a person’s ministry fo not indicate that they have the truth or will be saved because of their great works (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Matthew 7:21-23).

    Truth and preaching the gospel take precedence over manifested signs and tokens of God’s power. Never be swept away by signs unless they are accompanied by the truth of the new birth and holiness.
  4. Healing is a result of faith in God on our part, the part of those praying for us, or both coupled together. Methods of praying for the sick may vary but should be biblical. Several different methods were employed in the Scripture, namely:
    • Jesus touched some (Mark 1:41; 8:22).
    • Jesus took some by the hand (Mark 1:31; Luke 14:4).
    • Jesus laid his hands on some (Mark 8:25; Luke 4:40; 13:13).
    • Jesus used spit on some (Mark 7:33; 8:23).
    • Some touched Jesus (Mark 3:10, 5:28; 6:56; Luke 6:19).
    • The shadow of the apostle Peter enabled some to be healed (Acts 5: 14-16).
    • Handkerchiefs and aprons were brought from Paul (Acts 19:11-12).
    • Disciples and elders (of today) anoint with oil (Mark 6:13; James 5:14).
    • Believers (saints or ministers) can lay hands on the sick (Mark 16:18).

      God instructs us in the New Testament to anoint with oil or simply lay hands on the sick. Other methods may be used as the Spirit directs, but these directives in God’s Word should be used.
  5. Healing is not in opposition to, or in competition with, the medical profession. Medical experts have helped many; however, they are not an extension of Christ’s healing ministry. Two different things are present here: (1) medical science and (2) God’s healing power. They are distinct entities; therefore, we should not confuse them.

    When going into any medical facility to pray for someone, always show the medical profession due curtesy and consideration. Good manners, spiritual decorum, and being neatly dressed are important.

    You do not have to belittle the medical profession for God to heal someone. Five them credit and honor for what they do, but give God the glory as the healer.
  6. Healing is a promise and privilege provided God’s people; however, we should not demand that God heal us simply because we are saved. Survey the cause (as presented in the first part of our study), make a spiritual self-examination, ask God to heal you as you obey James 5:14. When God heals, give Him glory. When He does not heal, trust Him and serve Him anyway.
  7. Healing is not a substitute for our disregard of physical, mental, and emotional health. Proper rest and diet are important; healing will not override foolishness and abuse of out bodies. We must learn our limitations (ruling out laziness) and order our schedule accordingly (Exodus 18:18; Mark 6:30-32).
  8. Healing is not a plan of God to escape the results of the aging process, and neither is it designed to circumvent death. All the people Jesus healed are now dead. Even being raised from the dead does not circumvent dying again unless we are caught up in the resurrection.
  9. Healing is a result of obedience to God’s Word (James 5:14), along with exercising faith in God. Doubt and unbelief can stop the healing power of God (Mark 6:5-6; Matthew 17:14-21). Fasting coupled with prayer is often needed in order for us or those we are praying for to be healed.
  10. Some experience healing, while others are not healed or perhaps are partially healed. With all that God’s Word shows us, we still see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). Both sick and well, rich and poor, victims and victors will exist in the world together. If you are a victim of your faith or a victor because of it – rejoice, both will be saved (Hebrews 11:32-40). Paul saw many healed yet left Trophimus sick (2 Timothy 4:20). James was beheaded while Peter was delivered (Acts 12:1-19). Elisha performed many miracles yet died because of sickness (2 Kings 13:14).

    Our admonition to you, especially if you are sick, is be encouraged, God loves you. If He heals you, praise him; if He doesn’t, serve and trust Him – someday He will give you a new body. Until then, keep your faith strong in God.
  11. There is no such thing as “divine health,” i.e. a doctrine that says (1) if you live right you will never be sick; (2) all sickness is a result of individual sin; (3) when you come to die, you will never be sick but will just fall asleep in Jesus.

    God can keep us from sickness and harm; He can and will heal us. Yet God does not heal everyone, even among the saints. All sickness is not a result of personal sin, and we can be sick and suffer before we die even though we are saved. (Remember Elisha, 2 Kings 13:14.
  12. Trusting God for healing while rejecting medical assistance is not essential to salvation. Some teach that if a saint goes to any kind of doctor he will be lost on that basis alone. Some who teach this wear glasses, visit chiropractors, or involve themselves in all types of vitamin therapy or like concepts. Often these types of people find their way to the doctors when sickness comes hard upon them. Trusting God is easy when you are well; it is also easy to impose on others.

Let us be fair to the Scripture and our fellow man regarding trust in God for healing. A person must be born again of water and Spirit and then live a holy and godly life if he is to be saved. No passage of Scripture teaches, neither does the spirit of the Word imply, that a person will be lost for going to a doctor.

However, due to financial affluence and health insurance, we sometimes fo to the medical profession too quickly. We should go to God first in prayer and obey James 5:14. Remember, Asa was condemned for seeking the physician rather than God (2 Chronicles 16:12). Oh, what God could do for us if we would only ask and trust Him!