'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
When we are sick, ill, or just do not feel well, we all look for causes - or at least we should. We are often our own worst enemy in these things; the way we eat, the way we think, the way we do things, etc. But, we all desire to “get well”. We want to feel energetic, vibrant, alert and in top shape to meet life each and every day. If we feel bad enough, we look for healing. If we are believing Christians, we certainly will take it to Christ, lay it before Him and ask for our healing.
As there is a sin “not unto death” 1 John 5:16-17), there are many sicknesses not unto death. With time or treatment in some way, we recover. Sometimes the recovery is partial - certain maladies or residues linger, and plague us. Not enough to handicap us, but enough to remind us that everything is not quiet right, or like it used to be.
More often it seems that there is no apparent intervention direct from God in our situation. Whatever we can do on our own, we usually will follow in various ways according to professional advice or personal efforts.
It is evident that some have been healed directly by God, either instantly, or manifested through a relatively rapid recovery that appears to be miraculous. Many, after their own prayers, and the prayers of others, gradually recover. In all of these situations, there is often room for someone to doubt in the sense of whether it was God’s intervention, or whether God used the laws of nature to facilitate the healing. Unless the recovery is instantaneous or near instantaneous, there is a vacuum of doubt and uncertainty over whether the healing was direct, or only a function of the laws which God set in motion and sustains.
But what about the very evident fact that someone does not get better at all - with or without prayer, treatment, or personal actions?
The question arises as to why does God not facilitate a recovery. There are many times when regardless of what anyone does or can do, the condition remains the same, or get s worse. Why?
God is love. God is good to all that He created, even in a sin-sick world that has rebelled against Him in every way possible. For those of us who believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ, we know, hopefully, that His hand is on us and with us, and that His purpose in us is being and will be fulfilled. Everything that He does, every action in response to any event in a Christian’s life is remedial. In some way, His purpose is to remedy, to put things back the way He intended them to be. He is doing this even at this moment with all His creation (Romans 8:20-23).
Therefore, the lack of healing must be for a great purpose, even if none can be seen. Everything God even allows is remedial, and for His overall purpose - with all His creation - especially us. There is nothing that has occurred, is occurring, or will occur that God does not garner into His infinite knowledge and wisdom to save, fix, or heal. Regarding healings, He has gifted man with abilities to offset the consequences of his own nature, to ease sufferings, etc., which, although second best, is according to His mercy. He then uses man’s shortcomings in these things, to show His power and wisdom. Many lessons are learned through sickness (lack of healing). This calls forth greater faith and patience in those whose trust is in Him, which increases faith in other areas of life as well. Faith that is seen is not faith - it is sight (Hebrews 11:1).
All of God's actions, and lack of actions, are remedial - there is always a greater purpose. Many times, we grow in character more through lack of being healed, than we could possible grow with perfect health and well being. This is extremely difficult to accept when in pain and discomfort. None the less, it is true.
After Christ was resurrected and had ascended to the right hand of the Father, miraculous healings seemed to diminish in frequency. During the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys he was healed at times miraculously, and others were healed by his hands. But when he asked Christ to heal him of a particularly handicapping affliction, he was not healed. Some have speculated that it was caused by some of the beatings, etc. which he had incurred. He asked Christ three times for healing. The third time, Jesus told him that “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness” - 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Herein lies a key to healing and lack of healing. The decision to heal directly and miraculously or not, is strictly God’s option. He is the God Who heals us (Psalm 103:1-3), but He does not say when. In James 5:13-16, we see that prayer for each other is imperative regarding healing, whether directly from the had of God, or by the natural course of the laws God set in motion for the body to heal itself. James shows that prayer and confessing faults with each other is important. Therefore, healing by God is not just healing for healings’ sake. It can be an instrument in His hands to cause us to grow spiritually in Christ. He has a greater and more important healing in mind for us.
Therefore, let us be patient in regard to healing which can be a great cross to carry (Romans 12:12), but it is enabling a greater healing that will outlive the present burden forever.
“For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God. Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.” - 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (AmpBible)
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