Forgiveness, healing and faith.


In my previous post I asked:

If we can no longer believe in the promise of healing, how can we continue to believe in the forgiveness of sins?

Maybe the answer to that is simple.

With the promise of forgiveness the expected evidence of the benefit is in the future. With nothing here and now to convince us it’s not valid, as long as we trust the giver, it’s easy to believe the promise.

However, healing is different. The effects of illness are there to be seen, felt and experienced, and having them remain after prayer easily convinces us that healing hasn’t taken place.

While we are able to accept forgiveness without needing any experienced proof, we don’t view healing in the same way. If signs of an illness remain, it is assumed there was no healing given.

But is that the way faith works?
Surely anything seen and experienced requires no faith.
Faith isn’t needed to accept the reality of something obvious, right in front of us.

The bible’s references to faith speak of “evidence of things NOT seen”.

Faith is described as a prerequisite of receiving, not something we experience when, or after, we’ve already received.

“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you HAVE received it and it will be yours” (Mark 11)

“If you believe you will received whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matt 21)

Believing precedes receiving in these promises of answered prayer. Effective prayer is conditional on believing BEFORE we see evidence of an answer.

But believing that leads to receiving needs to be based on a secure foundation: God’s revealed will (His word), and not merely on human presumption.
And that is why I’ve written so much recently to address God’s will regarding healing.  (The Bible does not leave us in ignorance).

Doubt about God’s will to heal prevents anyone from believing for their healing.

“…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1)”

Find God’s will FIRST and there will be a secure and confident foundation from which faith can not be shaken.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him”. (1 John 5)

 

13 thoughts on “Forgiveness, healing and faith.

  1. Some Christians today explain the failure of some to receive healing by calling into question Christ’s willingness to heal all sick persons. They should then call into question His willingness to save all sinners, in order to explain the fact that so many in the churches are unsaved

    Christ the Healer, FF Bosworth.

  2. I have two areas, out of the ordinary so to speak, I’m considering praying in faith. In one area, I already have prayed and am considering more detail or clarity. I won’t elucidate that here (kinda complicated). The other is about my cousin-in-law who has had treatment for cancer and reached the end of the line. She’s an atheist. So, her being healed wouldn’t be based on faith as you describe it. I’d have to know “God’s will.”

  3. I don’t know what you just quoted, but it wasn’t there before I posted. I’d say, some Christians like to be very simplistic.

  4. You know, we’ve already established that Jesus didn’t heal everyone sick that he saw.

    We could say, based on that quote in the comments, by the same token (with which I disagree): If people should, based on that, call into question His willingness to save all sinners, then He logically didn’t want to heal and save everyone he saw.

    I don’t link these like that. People can “overemphasize” love, healing, tongues, or anything else.

  5. The fact that Jesus didn’t heal everyone is not a reflection of God’s will regarding healing – just as the fact that not everyone is saved means God doesn’t want everyone to be saved.

    Scripture clearly says that God desires ALL to repent and be saved. (“God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” 1 Tim 2)

    Scripture is equally clear about God’s will and desire to heal.

    The reason many are not saved and the reason many are not healed is the same – a failure (even a refusal) to believe.

  6. It usually takes time before we will see the results of our faith. If we received immediately upon asking, it would not require faith. Faith and patience work together.

    We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (Heb 6)

  7. As far as healing is concerned, I disagree. One believes or has faith before one is healed (when one is praying for himself or herself and not someone else), in order to ask in the first place (and be healed in faith). This can manifest immediately (after), or can take some amount of (additional) time. When it comes to salvation, one needs to stick to it for the rest of one’s life (not in the sense of slow rehabilitation but in the sense of it being real in real life).

    I realized, with this opening post of yours, not right away at first reading but after rereading, something you’ve apparently been trying to say over some number of plural topical posts. But, in response, I have to say that time is still time if it’s a half second or a full week or two years or ten. Additionally: when I said there is “such thing as” time, I was pointing to the fact that if Jesus wanted everyone healed he nevertheless didn’t pray for it right away.

  8. As I’ve said before, no one can believe for healing without knowing that it’s God’s will to heal.
    It is easy to pray in HOPE for healing.
    Actual believing (faith) starts with knowing God’s will, then continues until what is believed becomes physically evident.

    There is no difference in the requirements of belief between salvation and healing. Belief needs to be maintained in both cases.

    Jesus didn’t pray for people to be healed, He (mostly) responded to the faith of the person seeking healing and commanded healing.
    A lot of people who probably needed healing didn’t get it because they didn’t seek it.

    While God wants all to be saved, most will not be because they don’t seek Him.
    While God desires all to be healed (in fact issued a command to CHOOSE LIFE) the majority will not be healed because of unbelief. Unbelief starts with not knowing that healing is God’s will, and increases as people deny that its God’s will to heal.
    As a result, those who WANT to believe often find it hard because of the bombardment of unbelieving teaching that has been inflicted upon them.

  9. I remembered this objection or observation (reflected in my 8:38am post) of yours before your new post was visible to me. Whichever word or set of words best fits in the sentence, it applies. I am not sure I should pray for or command healing in my cousin-in-law. It is not the case that people not praying for or commanding healing shows a lack of faith in the believer. I don’t think Jesus not commanding healing in all sick persons at the pool/bath showed such lack.

    Anyway, I can agree with this part:

    …. that so many in the churches are unsaved

    Still, some people not in church (and not being believers) can be healed.

    There IS a difference in the two [in the requirements of belief between salvation and healing] — this time in the context of believers praying for themselves — in that one is definitely for the whole life (before the results are proven). The other, as you have pointed out yourself, and I will speak to you as someone who has spoken and is in a conversation, is until the result is proven out within a lifetime. (This can and has happened more than once in a life.)


  10. I am not sure I should pray for or command healing in my cousin-in-law

    Things to consider.
    Do you believe that it is God’s will that your cousin-in-law be healed?
    Do you believe that God WILL heal them?

    If the answer to either of the above is no then there’s no way you can command them to be healed.

    As for prayer – in addition to the above questions…
    Does your cousin-in-law believe?

    I recently came across sermon notes I made several years ago. The preacher had asked how many in the congregation had prayed for someone to be healed and had seen them getting healed. Seven people raised their hands.
    He then asked how many had prayed for the sick and had not seen them healed.

    The same seven raised their hands.

    The conclusion?
    Praying for healing might result in failures – NOT praying for healing WILL result in failure.

    My conclusion, be convinced that healing is God’s will and pray in faith and teach the one seeking healing what having faith in God actually requires.

  11. I want her to be healed. I believe that if I commanded it (upon knowing), it would happen. Even so, perhaps praying it would be better (I’m not sure). But I won’t command it or pray it if I don’t know God wants me to pray/command it.

    No; she’s an atheist.

    I cry when I think about this… not because of the faith topic (or knowing/not knowing) but because I don’t want her to die. She’s an important part of the family.

    She was going through a whole process to reduce the size of the pancreas in order to eventually have surgery to remove it. The shrinking was successful, but now there is to be no surgery because the cancer spread to her liver. (No, she’s not a heavy drinker.)

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