God cares not only for the spiritual but also the physical aspect of our life. He created our human body, and I believe he is pleased when we enjoy good health and vigour. However, on this side of life, there is no guarantee that we will always stay healthy. Nevertheless, God promises something much more glorious - a new body, like our present one but yet different, which is a body made for eternity (see 2 Cor. 5:1-4).
As we live in this fallen world, our body is susceptible to illnesses and pain – sometimes because of our polluted environment, our unhealthy and stressful lifestyle, or other unknown reasons, and God does not give us the reason all the time.
God has the power to heal. It is not wrong to pray for healing for ourselves or others. The Bible tells us to pray for whatever we need, and that surely includes freedom from illnesses and pain (see Jer. 17:14, 30:17). However, physical healing is not always the only path he chooses, even for the most loving and God-fearing people. Sometimes, his perfect plan is to allow his child to experience an illness or a hardship in order to learn something that can never be learnt from a book, seminar, or from times of comfort and prosperity.
In my ministry for over a decade, I have seen people affected greatly by the false teaching that if you have faith you will be healed. This has caused them to be disillusioned or feel an immense sense of guilt when they were not healed. The implication of this to them was that they had not enough faith or had been hiding some secret sins. I have seen Christians destroyed in their faith because of this erroneous teaching.
What then is faith in relation to our request for healing? The poem written by Tami L. Fisk, an MSI (Medical Services International) missionary, shortly before her death, gives us a biblical understanding of it. In 1998, while back in the US, she discovered she had melanoma. On
5 March 2005, she went home to be with the Lord. She was 39.
Today I am healed
Perhaps not the way you had hoped for,
Prayed for, waited for ...,
free of pain, full of new strength
Free to run and dance in a place where
God himself wipes my tears away
Immersed in a love, joy, and peace that
We have a mere taste of during our time on earth
In the presence of my God and Saviour,
Jesus Christ, who loves me more than His own life
Know that today I am healed
This is FAITH! – I am absolutely confident of God’s power but I, in humility and sincerity, completely submit myself to God’s will. I believe God is too wise to make mistakes, too kind to be cruel, and too powerful to be subjugated to the natural forces of the universe.