A gracEmail subscriber knows a Christian lady who remains seriously ill although she prays continually for healing and has sought anointing with oil and prayer by a believing elder in the church. Does this lady’s ongoing sickness mean that she lacks faith to be healed?
* * *
I believe that it is very harmful to blame someone’s illness on a lack of faith. Such accusations misrepresent God, pervert faith and discredit prayer. Our faith is in God, not in any formula or theory or teaching. Faith involves a personal relationship between an individual and God who knows us intimately and who will do for us each moment as he sees best, while we unqualifiedly place ourselves in his hands and ask for his will. God promises us perfect healing in the resurrection. He does not always promise it now — regardless of the quantity or quality of our faith — though he sometimes heals now according to his own will and purpose.
I believe in divine healing, and I teach that it is real. I practice anointing with oil and praying for healing. I affirm the reality of miracles and the gifts of the Spirit — all of them — today. But I emphatically reject the practice of any person using any kind of formula to judge other people about these matters, or to presume what God must do on any given occasion. That takes the matter out of God’s hands and puts it in human hands, and it is wrong.
The sick lady in our question above is in God’s good hands, just as we all are, and he will heal her — either now or in the resurrection. I believe we should have the attitude of the Three Hebrew Children at the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:17-18). We can say, “Our God is able to heal, and he will heal. But even if he does not heal now, we will love him and serve him and trust him anyway.” That is the kind of faith that honors God and which God uses to reach and to affect others for good.