Does God always heal his children or take away what afflicts them? It’s a difficult question because we know of Paul, who was a faithful, fruitful, and powerful witness for Christ, and yet his thorn in the flesh remained even if he asked the Lord to take it away. Personally, I know of committed Christians who died because of sickness and disease, even if they prayed and their families prayed hard for God to cure them.
So does God always heal? We know he can, and he is able to relieve us of our physical sufferings, to remove our pain and what ails us. He can certainly do that. However, the truth is he doesn’t always do so, not physically, at least.
My brother challenged me one evening, while he listened to me express my frustrations over this idea of God and healing. “What if we thought of ourselves more accurately, as spiritual beings who just happen to have a body, then perhaps we wouldn’t put so much emphasis on what happens to us physically.”
He was right, but I didn’t like it when he said it at the time, when I was dealing with my recovery from surgery, wrestling with many unknowns and feeling like my future health was bleak. However, now that I have spent more time pondering on the reality that we are spiritual beings more than we are physical beings, I am convinced that God heals everyone who trusts in him for their salvation.
This morning I read this passage again: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”
(ISAIAH 53:4-5 NASB)
The passage says we ARE healed because it’s referring to the healing of our souls from sin. God loves us so much, he gave us the healing that matters most. Years of physical pain versus an eternity of suffering and separation from God because of sin? The latter is undeniably worse.
Therefore, does God always heal his children? The answer is he already has, in Christ, and through the cross. If he removes all the physical problems that we go through then that’s the bonus bit, but if he doesn’t, we can still cling to the truth that he has lovingly healed us. We are healed.