The How-tos of Healing
By Maria Fontaine
For the longest time I tried to figure out the how-tos of divine healing. I had wanted to be able to boil everything down into a step-by-step, one-two-three healing formula so I could say, “If you want to get healed, all you have to do is follow these steps.” But I finally concluded that it doesn’t work that way.
If two people followed the same steps, one might get healed and the other might not. The more I studied various cases, the more I saw that each situation was different. The Lord seemed to handle each individual differently and tailored their healing to their particular needs and His will for them. No two people are exactly alike, and the Lord works differently in each of our lives—not only in the matter of healing, but also in our circumstances, the lessons He teaches us, the tests He puts us through, and the blessings He gives.
Trying to give universal counsel on how to get healed is just not possible, because the Lord doesn’t follow a set pattern. That’s why, if you read many accounts of healing, some seem to conflict or even contradict each other. Sometimes the Lord heals without any help from anyone or anything, sometimes He uses natural remedies, and sometimes He uses doctor’s prescriptions and skills.
When we realize the Lord works differently in each of our lives, we can better understand why in some cases He heals us and in other cases He doesn’t—at least not right away. If we can grasp this point, it will help us to not feel condemned when we pray to be healed from whatever is ailing us and it doesn’t happen immediately. It will also help us to have more compassion and be less judgmental of others when they’re sick or suffer long-term afflictions.
Divine wisdom at work
Each of us is a complex physical and spiritual being. The Lord has bestowed on each of us different abilities, physical and spiritual attributes, and strengths and weaknesses. No two of us are alike. The Lord, our Maker, knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows everything about us—our every thought, our every weakness, our every joy, our every need. He knows exactly how to teach us the lessons He wants us to learn. He knows what tests and trials we need to endure to make us into what He wants us to be, and He measures these things out to us in just the exact portion that He knows we need—never too much and never too little—and so it is with our afflictions and our healing.
Two people could have precisely the same affliction, they could both pray to be healed, and one could get healed immediately and the other could continue to be afflicted for years. Does this mean that the one who gets healed immediately is stronger spiritually or closer to the Lord than the other? Not necessarily. The reasons the Lord allowed these two people to be afflicted in the first place may have been completely different. If His reasons for allowing the afflictions are different, then His reasons for healing or not healing are different as well.
Perhaps the first person needed to be more humble, so the Lord allowed them to be afflicted. When the affliction had accomplished its purpose, the Lord healed them. In the second case, maybe the Lord knows the person needs to endure the affliction longer in order to learn patience or accomplish some other purpose He wants to bring about. Whatever the case, afflictions are good things in disguise because they have the potential to bring about spiritual blessings in our lives.
Faith for healing
I suffer from a serious and supposedly incurable eye problem, yet I consider that I have faith for healing. I have faith that the Lord is going to heal my eyes in this life, because He’s given me His personal promise that He would and I believe Him. Faith is a gift from God that comes from hearing the Word of God (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:17), and I’ve heard the Word and believe it. I don’t know when my healing will happen, because the Lord hasn’t told me that, but I have no doubt that He will do it sooner or later. If He doesn’t want to heal me right now, then He’s not going to give me the gift of faith for immediate healing, but I do have faith for eventual healing. I know the Lord will heal me when He’s ready.
I can trust my life and my health and my eyes to the Lord, because I have faith in His love and know that His ways and thoughts are far above mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). I believe that He knows what’s best for me, and that He will heal me according to His plan and His timetable. To me, that’s the best kind of faith—knowing that the Lord is in complete control, trusting Him to make it all turn out the way He wants it to, and expecting Him to carry me through till it happens.
It’s not just a question of having faith for healing; it’s a question of having faith to accept the Lord’s plan and design for your life, whatever that may be. Those who suffer long-term illnesses or injuries have to keep believing even though they aren’t healed. When the affliction persists month after month, they have to hold on and trust the Lord to either heal them eventually, or to give them the grace to continue to bear the affliction and try to learn whatever He wants them to learn through it. They have to find and accept the Romans 8:28—“All things work together for good to those who love God”—in their situation. In each and every case where they trust the Lord and hang on and don’t give up, it bears good fruit in their lives through the lessons they learn.
Who really has the most faith?—The person who is instantly healed of an affliction, or someone who has to bear that affliction and still carries on loving and trusting the Lord even though they may not understand why they haven’t been healed? They both have faith, but the one who has had to suffer long-term affliction has had to have enduring faith—not necessarily for healing, but faith to trust the Lord day by day to take care of them and bring them through.
In God’s time
Sometimes the Lord may not heal you right away because He knows you’re more useful or more yielded or more open to His lessons when you have an affliction. If the Lord isn’t ready to heal you, then how can you have faith for healing? If He intends your infirmity to be long-term, if He’s made you that way and wants you to stay that way, should you be condemned because you don’t get healed? No, because under those circumstances, the Lord doesn’t want you to have faith for it. Faith is a gift of God, and He’s not going to give you the faith for your healing until He’s ready to heal you. In a case like that, what He wants to give you is faith to endure it, faith to praise and thank Him for it, and faith to be a good testimony to others in your affliction. Then, when He’s ready to heal you, He’ll give you the faith for that.
Sometimes people don’t have faith to be healed because it’s not the Lord’s time, but other times it’s because they’re not immersed in God’s Word, they’re not claiming His promises in the Word or meeting His conditions. Without taking in and obeying the Word, it’s impossible to have faith for healing or anything else.
But if you’re doing your part and the Lord doesn’t choose to heal you, you shouldn’t feel condemned. Perhaps you are weak in faith for healing, but that can be remedied through the Word. Or perhaps it’s not yet the Lord’s time to heal you because there are things He wants to teach you first. Or perhaps He wants to use you as an example of someone who is very strong in faith that He’s going to help carry through the difficult times, because He knows you’ll remain cheerful and positive, come what may. Whatever the case, real faith is doing what the Lord tells you to do for your situation and trusting that He knows best, whether you get healed or not.
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