Previously, I asked:
So why do we so often make excuses and try to find reasons to justify ongoing sickness?
A possible reason is that sections of scripture, even the New Testament, can be cited as examples that seem to suggest that God doesn’t always choose to heal.
As you know, it was because of an illness that I [Paul] first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn (Gal 4)
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses (1Tim 5)
Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. (2 Tim 4)
Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier… longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him.(philippians 2)
Surely those examples of sickness in the lives of Paul and his companions offer countering evidence to the idea that God always desires to heal?
It seems so – but do they?
Firstly, none of those illnesses led to death. They recovered.
At best those examples can show that God doesn’t always heal miraculously or instantly, (but He didn’t leave them sick), while the last one actually credits God mercy with Epaphroditus’s recovery, so is not a good example of God not being willing to heal.
And then there’s the favoured anti-healing reference to Paul’s thorn in the flesh; often linked to the illness mentioned in Galatians, but with no real justification for doing so. According to Paul the thorn was not an illness, it was a satanic messenger (angel) sent to torment him because of the great revelation he had received (and was sharing).
I addressed this issue here many years ago : Thorny Thoughts so won’t go over it again here.
Compare those four references and one dubious thorn interpretation to the many cases detailed in Jesus’s healing ministry and the continued ministry of the church throughout Acts, and the provision of healing gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit, and the instructions given by James , and Peter’s reaffirming of Isaiah’s prophecy and where does the overwhelming New Testament evidence point regarding Gods will and willingness to heal? (examples here).
In closing this post I have two suggestions.
Firstly it might be more productive to take note of that overwhelming evidence of God’s willingness to heal than in trying to find reasons why He doesn’t. Which of those practices do you think would be most effective in building the faith required to pray in genuine faith?
Secondly, also considering that overwhelming evidence of God’s willingness, we ought to expect that IF God’s will is not to heal a particular believer in a particular case, then that outcome ought to be considered SO out of the ordinary that He would give a specific and personal unmistakable direction to that person regarding the denial of healing.
In other words, instead of trying to find if it’s God’s will to heal, be confidently assured of healing according to what He’s clearly revealed in His word. And if He has some reason to withhold healing in a rare particular exemption, expect Him make THAT known through some form of personal revelation.
Expect healing unless personally advised otherwise by divine revelation.