Do you have the faith to be healed?
Someone told someone near and dear to me that he obviously didn’t have the faith to be healed, as he has been suffering with severe neck and back plus nerve pain for many years. The “logic” went like this: “If you had real faith, you’d be healed. The fact you’re not healed is proof you don’t have faith – or enough faith.”
Hmm. What would you say to that? Haven’t many of us thought that about ourselves or others at some point in our lives? After all, James 5:14-16 says we should be anointed and prayed over by the elders when we’re sick and the prayer of faith will heal the sick and if sins had been committed, they will be forgiven. Then we’re admonished to pray for one another so that we may be healed. We know there are people being healed, but it does seem like there are far more people who seek healing who aren’t being healed. Are the ones not being healed simply obvious cases of people without faith, or without enough faith?
We’re coming up to Passover soon and as we take of the unleavened bread and red wine we are reminded “by His stripes we are healed”. But quite a few aren’t being healed. Too many even die, without being healed. I’ve experienced significant healings in my own life, as well as times when I saw no change in the conditioned for which I prayed.
I think the challenge comes when we make black-and-white dogmatic conclusions from a verse here or there. It does seem to say that according to our faith, may it be done unto you. It does say that some in Nazareth were not healed because of their unbelief. So where does that leave us when someone who is a man or woman or child of great faith – is not healed, after repeated requests and lots of prayers going up in their behalf?
Click on “Continue reading” to find out if you will always be healed, in this life, here and now immediately, if you did/do have the faith to be healed.
It breaks my heart especially to watch people suffering who apparently did nothing themselves to “bring on” a particular disease or condition. Maybe it’s a baby or young boy suffering from ongoing issues. I watched a show about a young boy whose skin, from the time of birth onwards, constantly blistered and looked like he was a constant burn victim.
On the other hand, I prayed for a man and his wife at one of the recent Feasts of God. The man had had a stroke, was weak, spoke haltingly and often lost his train of thought. His wife suffered from serious back pain. Both of them were healed instantly that day. The man’s stroke symptoms disappeared immediately, his mental clarity returned, his voice was strong and clear – all within minutes of our prayer. And then I found out his wife was healed of all her pain instantly as well. Instantly. That was very, very encouraging and inspiring and the glory goes completely to YHVH our Healer.
So that was very encouraging, but we also had prayed for 5 others at that same time – but they were not healed instantly. Some of them still await healing. Did those 5 lack faith necessarily? Were they less righteous? You know what? It’s easy for the unhealed folks to assume that and get discouraged. It’s also easy for onlookers to assume all that. But is that necessarily the case?
Let’s go back to a few basics about faith:
YHVH God does promise healing to those who look to him in faith and ask for his healing. God is the one with the power to heal. Exodus 15:26 says “…I am YHVH who heals you.” And Psalm 103:3 says YHVH is the one “…who heals ALL your diseases.” It is not the minister who heals. Our heavenly Abba may give the gift of healing to certain ones, but it is always God who heals. When I pray for people I often even end the prayer by saying something like, “Father, I have no power to heal. We ask you to send the command to heal. We ask Yeshua (Jesus) to place HIS hands on this person, rebuke the illness and bring healing and restoration and wholeness back to this person, from head to toe. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.”
So God claims to be the Healer, and so He is. But then why are so many people of faith, who ask for healing, who are prayed over – why are so many not being healed? Is it necessarily a lack of faith on their part, or on the minister’s part? In some cases, it could be! Even Yeshua himself could not heal like he wanted to in Nazareth, and he marveled at their unbelief” (Mark 6:4-6). Another time he told his own disciples they could not cast out certain demons “due to your unbelief” (Mark 17:19-21).
So obviously lack of faith can and does play a part. But then should we always jump to that conclusion when we see no healing going on? Could there be more?
God does promise healing, though He does not promise WHEN. But I caution also: do not assume in your heart that you have to wait a long time. It is in the resurrection when this corruptible flesh will put on incorruption. WE have to remain faithful whether we are healed now, or in a few weeks, or have to wait until the resurrection. In any case, true faith keeps looking to Abba and to our Yeshua for healing in their time and in their way, no matter what is going on inside of us. Here are a few examples:
- ALL the faithful patriarchs, all the holy men and holy women of God DIED without having received God’s promises yet! ALL of them. Read the last 10 verses or so of Hebrews 11 and see how men and women of God were sawn in two, tortured, afflicted – and how they all died not having received the promises (Hebrews 11:35-40).
Many of the early fathers of faith died with unhealed physical issues. Isaac was blind. David could not keep warm (1 Kings 1:1)and then he died at a relatively young age of 70, compared to today’s life expectancies. David’s sick baby also died, in spite of David fasting, repenting and praying for a week (2 Samuel 12:14-23).
- The Apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” that God refused to remove and heal, because it was in his weakness caused by that “thorn” that God’s power was evident. Could it be that your faith, confidence in God and faithfulness in your trial could be the very blessing God is using to inspire others from the way you handle your pain and trial? Read 2 Cor. 12:7-10. Neither is there any statement that Paul somehow miraculously never felt the pain or suffered the consequences of the beatings, stonings and many things he went through for Christ.
- Elisha, who was used by God to heal and even resurrect so many, himself died of an illness from which he was not healed! 2 Kings 13:14.
Timothy, a great evangelist, had “often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23). Why didn’t Paul just heal him? Because GOD decided not yet. Remember, it wasn’t Paul, Peter or anyone else who healed. It was God or his Son Yeshua the Messiah who heals.
So any of you who would be so quick to injure someone’s faith and heart by telling them they must not have enough faith and that is why they remain unhealed – would you have said that to the Apostle Paul, or to Elisha or to Isaac or to King David? So don’t say that to your brother or sister either! Who are we to judge our brother or sister in Christ?
Faith is the evidence of things NOT SEEN (yet) (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith is measured the most by when we don’t yet see what we hope for. It’s easy to proclaim your faith when everything you asked for materializes instantly. But it requires true solid faith to remain undoubting when we don’t yet see any changes after the prayers. Otherwise, if we already see it, why would we need faith? For example: if we have faith in the life and resurrection and righteousness of God which is by FAITH – as scripture says over and over – we may not yet always see that righteousness evident in our own lives all the time – yet. If we pray and someone is not healed, FAITH must remain strong, even when we do not YET see the healing or any change going on. Our faith must remain strong even if in fact, our condition and pain worsens! For our faith is based on what we don’t see, not on what we see. Our faith is based on GOD, on Jesus Christ (Yeshua), who WILL do everything God has promised. But in their way, in their time. Please take the time to read, on your knees as you pray about it, 2 Cor. 4:7-12.
True faith is evidenced especially when God doesn’t move according to our hoped-for timetable or plan.
Paul was such a great example of this. In prison chains, with bleeding stripes on his back, what do we see Paul and Silas doing? Praising God in song and prayer (Acts 16:22-26). The other prisoners heard it and received strength. Paul says he was beaten, he was shipwrecked, he was stoned – and in all of this, never gave up faith or hope (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Isn’t that the model for us, for anyone who is looking to our wonderful God even as He allows us to go through pain and suffering for HIS purposes?
WHY would a loving God allow us to go through pain and suffering day after day? And I’m including emotional and mental pain as well in this. Maybe you’re estranged from one or two in your own family. The pain from that is unbearable, and it’s a real pain. Maybe you have abusive “friends” who denounce your faith in God. Or maybe you have real physical pain that is just unbearable.
I do have a sermon on this website on this specific point: WHY does YHVH allow so much suffering? Look for it on this website in June 2013.
It is through suffering that we grow, that we become perfected, that we grow in wisdom. So many scriptures say so. Even Christ learned obedience and was perfected by that which he suffered (Hebrews 5:7-9). Can we expect anything less? As we receive comfort and answers in our suffering, we are supposed to use that experience to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-5). And that becomes another one of the reasons for suffering: so we can comfort others with the comfort we received from the God of all comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
So as the suffering continues, it is normal and natural to, at times, just want to give up and walk away from our dear Father and Savior, but then we pause, listen to Yeshua’s heart in us – and instead, lift up our eyes and cry out “We TRUST you, Abba Father. WE TRUST you, and we love you even in all of this. We know You know what you’re doing, even when WE don’t understand all the reasons why you won’t take away my pain and illness and suffering, when you have the power to do so.” And then we go turn on an inspirational hymn or two and sing our praises to Him, even in our own emotional prison and even as we feel our own bleeding stripes, as Paul and Silas did in that jail so long ago.
Start thanking God for having already healed you, even if you do not yet see the immediate healing. Please read that again. I have a whole sermon on thanking God before we see his answers. Please hear it. (March 5, 2014—“Praising YHVH before we see His answers”.) I believe it was a very inspired message. Daniel’s three friends knew God could deliver them from the fire, but then they said those words that still ring through the ages, “BUT IF HE DOES NOT, we still will not bow down to that idol” (see Daniel 3:16-18). But since we know God sees the end from the beginning, and because he is already working behind the scenes, and because we know he definitely will heal all diseases at least by and in the resurrection – start thanking him now. Don't wait.
I also recommend you hear the three sermons given in 2004 on “Faith”, available on this website.
As we learn all the lessons from this life, we come to the point of growth where – even IN our pain – we praise Him, we thank him IN the pain (1 Thess 5:18 – IN all things”) and even FOR the pain and trials we’re going through (“FOR all things” - Ephesians 5:20), knowing He’s working His perfect work in us.
I titled this blog: Do you have the faith to be healed? I hope you understand. Your healing can be instantly, or in the resurrection. But it is coming. Stay in faith. Stay faithful. HE is faithful to do all that he has promised. And please don’t tell someone who is struggling in their pain that they aren’t being healed because they lack faith. That’s for God to say, if it applies. Otherwise, our job is to encourage, love, support and pray for them.