Thursday, January 18

Thoughts on God and Healing

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. --2nd Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

As a Christian who lives with chronic illness,I inevitably find myself involved in discussions about healing. Many people want to know whether I believe that God still heals today as he did in Jesus' time. Can God heal? Absolutely and without a doubt! Does he heal? If you mean miraculous healing, well I would suppose that depends.

I have heard it argued that anyone who suffers physically must be harboring unconfessed sin. Along those same lines is the belief that a person who suffers from a long-term illness must not have adequate faith. This idea is not new. In fact, Jesus' disciples thought those very things when they came across a man who had been blind from birth. (John 9) They asked Jesus whether the man's disability was the result of his sin or his parents'. Jesus told them that the man's blindness existed in order that the work of God might be displayed.

Although miraculous healing is certainly one way in which God's glory is revealed, God doesn't need to prove himself to any of us in such a way. His glory is revealed just as much by those who proclaim that God is their source of strength even in the midst of their suffering.

When God allows us to suffer, whether it be in the short term or long term, we should immediately recognize that we need Him. As we pray for the strength to stand firm in the midst of pain, we need to remember that miraculous healing may not be God's answer for us. Instead of praying for healing, we should pray that God will use the experience to teach us to trust him more fully. His grace truly is sufficient--even for the things that exhaust us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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