Gal 4:13-15 [Brethren], you know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.
We have spoken of some of the objections to the gift of divine healing today, and also of the basis for divine healing in the whole of the Bible upon the ground of Messiah’s suffering unto death on the cross on account of our sin and rebellion in order for believers to receive the blessings promised to our father Abraham by YHVH God.
In general, we see God’s desire and power to heal through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet. . .there are many examples – which to us seem inexplicable – when God does not heal. It may be an issue of unconfessed sin and/or of unrepentance from known sin; or, as it may be that in God’s wisdom, our lack of healing may enable Him to be glorified in and through us more than if He had healed us – especially, I would say, physically. We want to strengthen our faith in God with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Job 2:7-10 Let’s remember Job, who was used by God to prove to Satan that true faith and love for the Lord is not based on personal wellness and prosperity, but on the reality of God Himself.
Gen 32:24-32 (25-32Heb) Let’s remember that YHVH handicapped Jacob in his thigh when the Man wrestled with Jacob, and afterward changed his name to Israel. Jacob/Israel remained limp for the rest of his life (Heb 11:21), but probably gave thanks when he looked back and remembered the greater blessing which he received at that time long before.
2Sam 4:4; 9:1-13; 16:1-4; 19:24-30; 21:7 Let’s remember Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, King Saul’s son and the dear friend of David. As a child he became lame in both his feet, and remained so for the rest of his life. But who knows if God did not use this disability in Mephibosheth’s life to preserve his life when the family of Saul rebelled against David? In any case, David had mercy on Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake, and gave him a place at the King’s table, and they would eat together as a father with his children.
1Tim 5:23 Let’s remember Timothy, whom Paul advised to drink some wine for his stomach disorder and his frequent infirmities. Paul did not judge Timothy as being unspiritual, and gave him some practical advice on how to take care of himself with his ill-health.
2Kg 5:1-15; Lk 4:27 Let’s remember all of the lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet. None of them was healed, but only Naaman the Syrian. Could it be that also today, most of the miraculous healings are amongst unbelievers in order to glorify God and to bring praise to His name by those outside His own people? Can it also be a way for Him to provoke both nominal Jews and Christians to come back to their God and Savior?
Gal 4:13-15; 6:11; 2Cor 12:7-10 Paul himself apparently had an eye disease that he may have suffered the rest of his life. It is unclear whether his famous “thorn in the flesh” was a health issue or a companion who always annoyed him, but whether yes or no, Paul goes on to say that for the sake of the glory of God, he took pleasure, he preferred to boast in his infirmities, in order that the power of Messiah would be effective through him and his life and ministry.
This is to be our heart’s desire: the glory of God and the proof through our weakness that it is the power of Christ which abides upon us by His grace and mercy. We are effective and true witnesses of our new life in Messiah only insofar as HE IS OUR LIFE! Jesus did not prove Himself to be God by showing how strong and healthy and wealthy He could be, but rather by how meek and lowly in heart and willing to suffer for our sakes in His love and obedience to God His Father, going around doing good as the Light of the world, and speaking the truth in love and righteousness as the salt of the covenant.
God is for us! He was for all of these examples we have looked at. Let us desire to be healed – even as Paul did from his “thorn” – but let us do so with integrity of heart, and receive from God our Father what He knows best for us. . .and for the glory of the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.