I don’t know anyone who wants to be sick. Everyone wants to be healthy. That’s evident in the huge amount of money that flows into hospitals, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies. People will do just about anything to retain or regain their health. That is a universal desire; you could easily say it’s one of the most compelling desires of everyone who has ever lived.
That’s because mankind was created by God to live forever. There is a God-given aversion in every one of us to sickness, disease, and death. God didn’t create us to be anything less than perfectly healthy. Sickness came upon us as a result of our rejection of God and His ways. Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Death, including sickness, was our choice, not God’s.
If total health is God’s original plan for man, and one of the most universal needs of man is total health, doesn’t it make sense that the Lord would address this need? Why is it that so many Christians are opposed to divine healing? Why do others who believe in healing fail to receive? I want to try and answer these two questions.
First, one of the main reasons I think Christians don’t believe that it’s always God’s will to heal is that it is convenient to believe that way. Instead of making their experiences match God’s Word, many seek to make God’s Word match their experiences. It is obvious that not everyone gets healed, not even all those who desire healing receive it. To deal with this dilemma, the doctrine that it’s not always God’s will to heal has arisen. That’s convenient. That makes it God’s fault and not ours if things don’t go right. That is not what the Word of God teaches.
The prophet Malachi said in Malachi 4:2, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” This was not just a metaphor for spiritual healing and health. The same thing was spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53:4, which says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
There has been a great effort by many theologians to spiritualize this to say that the healing provided in Christ’s atonement was only spiritual and emotional, not physical; but that is not true to God’s Word.
Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus bearing our grief and carrying our sorrows was quoted by Matthew in the New Testament in relation to Jesus healing every single one. Matthew quoted Isaiah 53:4 this way in Matthew 8:17: “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
Matthew, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, substituted the words “infirmities” and “sicknesses” for Isaiah’s words “griefs” and “sorrows.” Indeed, a study of the Hebrew words in Isaiah 53:4 will reveal that they were always speaking of physical healing. The following verse, Isaiah 53:5, makes it very clear that this was speaking of physical healing when Isaiah said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Couple this with the example of Jesus healing every single person who came to Him for healing, and the truth that healing is a part of Christ’s atonement is undeniable. Jesus said that He did exactly what He saw His Father do (John 8:28). If God is the author of sickness, as some teach today, then Jesus failed to follow His Father’s example. He never made one person sick, and He never failed to heal a single person who believed. As Peter put it in Acts 10:38 (emphasis mine), “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing ALL that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Notice the word “ALL” (emphasis mine) in that verse; and also notice that those who were sick were oppressed of the devil, not God. The Lord would no more put sickness on someone than He would make a person sin. We’ve been redeemed from both.
Am I saying that since healing is a part of the atonement, Christians don’t get sick? No, not any more than those who have received forgiveness of sins never sin again. Freedom from sickness and disease has been provided just like the freedom from sin; but Christians still sin, and they still get sick — not because God wills it but because of other reasons.
This leads to another point that I believe is a major factor in causing people to disbelieve that it is always God’s will to heal. It is often said or implied that people who get sick are sick because of some sin in their lives. That’s too simplistic. That is one reason, but only one reason.
Jesus told the man He had healed at the pool of Bethesda, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). Sin is one reason why people are sick. It’s not God who sends the sickness as punishment, but sin allows the devil to release his death in us; but not all sickness is a direct result of the suffering individual’s sin.
Failure to present this truth properly has caused many people to disbelieve it’s always God’s will to heal because according to their thinking, the sick person would have to be bad or evil in some way; yet they know there are many godly people who are sick and die.
Not all sickness is caused by something we do. Regardless of the reason, however, there is always something we can do about it. We can believe God, and He will heal ALL our diseases (Ex. 15:26, Ps. 103:3).
If it is God’s will to heal all our diseases, why isn’t everyone healed? That’s a simple question with a complex answer.
The bottom line is faith. The prayer of faith saves the sick (James 5:15). Prayer doesn’t save the sick; the prayer of faith saves the sick.
I know some of you are accusing me of violating my own teaching from a couple of paragraphs ago. I said it’s not always something we do that causes sickness. Now you think I’m saying it’s our failure to believe that brings the sickness. That’s not what I’m saying. Let me clarify.
There are three major reasons why all our problems happen. One reason is our own personal sin. God doesn’t “get us” when we sin, but we reap what we sow. An alcoholic gets liver disease, not because God is punishing him, but because he did it to himself.
Second, the devil is a foe who fights us with all types of problems. We make his job easier when we yield to him through sin, but ignorance is also an in-road for Satan to our lives. Sometimes, we experience Satan’s opposition not because of sin or ignorance but simply because we are in a war, and we are a threat to him.
Third, many of our problems are just the natural result of living in a fallen world. A wound can get infected, not because of your personal sin and not because of a demon; it is just the result of the corruption that entered the world through sin.
I’m not saying that all sickness is a result of sin or failure in our lives. There is always something we can do to stop the sickness, and that’s to believe God. Faith in God’s healing atonement is what overcomes sickness, but it’s not just believing that God can heal. It has to be more specific than that. A person can have faith and yet have that faith misdirected.
On November 15, 2000, I was ministering in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I ministered a message at the Shepherd’s House, where my good friends Richard and Dorothy VanWinkle are pastors. A woman named Chris Ochenski was there that night. Her daughter, Niki, was near death due to fibromyalgia and a host of allergic problems that had her in constant pain. She was so weak that she couldn’t go to the restroom by herself. She was totally dependent on her mother for everything.
Niki and her whole family were fanatical believers. They didn’t do something bad to make God punish them with this terrible sickness. It came as the result of a head injury sustained in a car wreck five years earlier while they were driving home from church. They were believing God for healing, and Niki was very open about telling everyone that she was going to be healed.
However, in my message that night, I said that we aren’t waiting on God to heal us. By His stripes we WERE healed (1 Pet. 2:24). It’s misdirected faith for us to just wait on God for healing. This was totally opposed to what Niki and her family had been believing. Niki had actually had a vision where the Lord appeared to her and showed her His stripes and bruises and promised her a progressive healing.
Chris took a tape of my message home and asked Niki to listen to it. She was blessed but confused about the statements that healing doesn’t have to be progressive. She asked the Lord about that, and He told her that her healing was coming progressively because that’s what she was believing for. That was not His best, though.
The Lord will meet us where our faith is, but His best is now. “Now faith is” (Heb. 11:1). Faith must believe that God is (Heb. 11:6), not that He was or is going to be. Faith is now! We have to aggressively take the authority God has given us and bring that healing into manifestation.
I went over to pray for Niki the following afternoon. I didn’t know how bad she was. I just knew she had been in pain for over four years and was really hurting. Niki’s faith and the faith of her parents had been redirected, and they were ready to believe for a healing NOW!
What happened then was an awesome thing. God instantly healed Niki in a very miraculous fashion. Her doctor later testified that he didn’t expect to see her again. She was that close to death.
We have some great news for you. My television crew spent more than 15 hours interviewing the Ochenski’s, and they have produced a 50-minute video documenting Niki’s healing. When I viewed it, I was moved to tears. I didn’t realize how miraculous the healing really was. The video impacted me more than actually being there. This is one tremendous video!
We would love to send you a copy of Niki’s testimony. I know it will bless you, and it is a powerful tool for sharing the healing power of God with others. Even unbelievers will be impacted by this. Order a copy of this testimony today. This is a must-see video.
I also would recommend my four-part album, God Wants You Well. It covers all the things I mentioned in this article as well as Paul’s thorn in the flesh and reasons why people are not healed. This is a lot of practical teaching that I’m sure will help you. Lastly, let me offer you a copy of the exact message I taught the night Chris Ochenski received revelation on this truth that you can make God’s healing manifest NOW. Order the teaching “Grace & Faith & Healing.”