Healings can be tricky things. Sometimes people get healed. Other times they do not. You can have a whole church praying for someone, and then they die. I have also heard of non-Christians who pray to God and receive a miraculous touch.
Injuries, sickness and disease can cause us to stop and ask some very touch questions. I don’t believe that many of these questions are healthy. Why get all worked up over questions that you aren’t likely to get answered?
Most humans want to know why God works a particular way in regards to prayer. I am reminded of Job in the Hebrew Scriptures who asked a lot of why questions to God.
Although God restored Job back to health, He never answered Job’s questions. Instead, God proceeded to provide His credentials to build up Job’s faith. He also asked tough questions to Job in response.
Why questions tend to lead us down rabbit holes that cause more heartache than we may want to endure. While we may be perfectly free to ask these questions, it may not be the best thing for us in the end. It may be a necessary part of the healing process in some cases. So I am not against asking this question. I just think we should be ready to really wrestle with it and have people around us who can help us get to a godly end.
Some people like to say that people don’t get healed because those praying for them lacked enough faith to believe for the miracle. This is a fairly common response from those within the Word of Faith movement. I have friends who hold to this theological viewpoint. Their belief may be true at times. We could all use more faith. However, it can be very dangerous to make this a blanket statement in response to God “not showing up.”
I have seen statements about a person’s lack of faith cause them to stumble down a road of self-hate and condemnation. That is not God’s desire; it is a tactic of Satan.
Even in cases where the faith justification may be true, it is generally better not to say that to others, especially those dealing with a deep loss. The reason is simple; most of us aren’t willing to help people really process through what it takes to get more faith. That requires lots of time and faith on our part.
Word of Faith proponents point to the fact that Jesus always healed those who came to Him. Thus, they claim that God always wants to heal us but can’t because of our lack of faith to receive it. For starters, I agree that God desires to heal, redeem and bless. This is His heart.
At the same time, God allows many evil things to happen because His plan of reconciliation is still in action even as the enemy is trying to prevent it. Christians are called and commissioned to petition and project God’s life to these situations. Our responsibility is to pray in faith and trust the outcome to God. Many times the desire to explain what happens and why it does comes from our own hubris not a godly motive.
It can be tempting to want to put everything into a nice systematic theology. This is where we explain God and His world by categorizing everything into units that fit together like a giant puzzle. A+B=C But life is much more complex than that. And let’s not even try to explain God because His wisdom and purposes are far higher than anything mankind can come up with.
When Jesus performed His healing ministry, He generally didn’t do things the same way twice. I believe He did this because He didn’t want us to think there was a formula. God doesn’t like formulas because we tend to want the secret and not Him. More important than most physical healings is the spiritual work that God wants to do in our lives. The bigger miracle is not in the physical body but the spiritual realm.
In the New Testament, the Pharisees asked Jesus to explain why a man had been born blind. They naturally thought it resulted from either this man’s sin or that of his parents. Jesus said that it had nothing to do with sin. Instead of explain its cause, He pointed to its purpose. Jesus said the condition existed so that God could receive glory and His power could be manifest in the earth. The right question is to ask how God can use this situation not why didn’t God do what I asked.
People get sick or are born with terrible diseases for a wide variety of reasons. Some of them have nothing to do with their sin. Likewise, I don’t believe there is a simple formula to explain why some people get healed and others do not. Sometimes God does more through a person’s death then was ever possible through their life. One example is a young man who is a believer today because one of his friends lost a parent and still held strongly to her faith. This girl’s strong faith convinced the young man that she knew God in a way that he didn’t think at first was possible. There are a number of people who have come to Jesus through this particular situation.
Our lives are about much more than just us. If you are a Christian, your life belongs to God. And whether we live or die, the ultimate goal is to glorify God.
Why ask why?