The Puzzling Theology of Healing

One of the most puzzling things about our understanding of God is in the area of healing.

On one end of the spectrum, some preach that God always heals as long as you have faith. At the other end of the spectrum, they preach that miraculous healing has ended with the age of the Apostles. In between, yet others say that God is able to heal but sometimes He chooses not to for reasons known only to Him and when He does that, He is still good.

The fact is many faithful Christians have died of sicknesses – in some cases, young persons too – and in most of the cases, if not all, strong faith preceded the prayers of healing – yet, these dear saints died. Are there reasons why a family, especially a Christian family, for instance, could suffer the death of a child or young person?

First, some say it is because God was punishing them or their children for their sins. 2Sam.12:13-14 – King David’s son died because of David’s sin of adultery and murder; Job 1 – his ungodly children died because of their sins; Ananias and Sapphira in Ac.5 died because they lied. Punishment may be a reason – but that’s not the only possibility.

Second, it could also be the Lord’s discipline for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves (Heb.12:6) and His form of discipline may include sickness and death.

Third, it could be the work of the devil. The story of Job tells us Satan’s involvement in the death of Job’s children. The New Testament tells us that Satan could inflict sickness and oppression too – Mt.9:32; Lk.13:11; 2Cor.12:7.

Fourth, it could be a consequence of sin in our world and the fallen state of humanity.

Fifth, we just don’t know why. We don’t know everything – we won’t, we can’t. Some things are simply beyond us as our minds are finite. These are five possible reasons amongst others.

For me, the conclusion of the matter is anchored in Who God is. The Bible tells us He is gracious, loving and righteous. He always does what is right. The perfectly righteous God will not and can not do what is wrong. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Ge.18:25) Thus, maybe we should respond like David did after his son’s death, he worshipped the Lord and devoted himself to the Lord which earned David the title, “a man after God’s own heart” (Ac.13:22).

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