This is a big one.
Theologically, emotionally, big.
Healing is a “buzz word” for many Christians.
Few things are as exciting as watching God supernaturally heal someone!
In the same vein, few things as confusing or frustrating as the times when God doesn’t heal someone.
I get it. I’ve seen people miraculously healed in front of my eyes, from the blind seeing, to the deaf hearing.
I’ve also prayed for countless people and seen nothing happen, at least immediately.
In my latest book “From Hater to Healer” I shared the following;
“I will never forget, as a young boy, wishing for my father to be well enough to kick the football with me. My family and many others prayed for him again and again, yet he was constantly sick and it was as if our prayers were not being heard.”
When God doesn’t heal someone, but does heal someone else, it can create deep pain in the one not getting the healing they desire and even guilt in the one that does get it.
Is God playing favorites? Does God only hear some prayers and not others? Is it always God’s will to heal? Why do some people get healed, and not others?
Here we go. Hold on, get ready, this blog may challenge you, but I believe it will also serve you.
1.Because God doesn’t always get what He wants.
I believe that God wills for people to be healed, but that people aren’t always healed because God’s “thelo” will does not always come to pass.
“WHAT!?” I can hear you’re thoughts as I type- “BLASPHEMY! ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT GOD IS NOT SOVEREIGN?!?”
No. God is sovereign, in that He can get what He wants anytime, anywhere… but He doesn’t always exercise His right to get what He wills / He doesn’t force His will onto us.
God is in control, but God is not controlling.
The fact that God does not force Himself into anyone is just another reminder of how great His love is for all, for put crudely, forced love is violating and Jesus does not violate our choices, He May seek to interject, but He does not force those that reject Him to accept Him.
God wills all to love Him, but He does not force anyone to love Him. He wills all to taste His grace, but He does not force His grace on anyone.
Let’s dig deeper. Let’s look at the word, “will”.
The Bible (at least most of the New Testament) was originally written in Greek. Greek is a much more complex language than English. Where our English translations use the word, “will”, the original Greek translation had multiple words for will. The word “will” takes on many forms, one being thelo, which from the Greek can also be translated as desire, want, intention, or design (See Biblehub).
This type of will, what God desires, is different to what He can do and what He predestines, that kind of will is His boúlomai. Boulomai refers to plans that are intended to be carried out, especially in relation to the presetting of of history, Biblical prophecy etc. (Helps Ministries, Inc.)
It is thelo will that I’m referencing when I am saying that God doesn’t always get what He wants / wills.
Let me show you an example of how His desired thelo will is expressed in the book of 1 Timothy.
(God)… “who is willing for all mankind to be saved and come to a full knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 Weymouth New Testament, emphasis mine)
The root word for willing here is this thelo meaning desire or want. God desires, He wants people to be saved, but not all people are saved for not all people accept the offer of grace that Jesus gives them (Mark 16:16 makes it clear that some are saved yet some are condemned by refusing to believe).
Similarly, God wants people to be healed, but not all are healed.
Luke 5:13 is a famous story of Jesus healing an individual who asked Him to heal him, on the provision that Jesus was willing. He answered “I am willing”. The Greek translation uses the same root word, thelo! God wills healing!
…But He does not force healing upon us.
Where there is a reason that God’s desire for all to be saved isn’t always fulfilled (because of people rejecting Him and refusing to believe in and follow Him), there are also reasons why God’s desire for healing isn’t always fulfilled.
These reasons include, but may not be limited to,
No prayer was prayed in the first place. (Ezekiel 22:30, 2 Chronicles 7:14 and others show God wills us to pray there are consequences (good and bad) when we do or do not).
The healing required fasting but no fasting has happened yet. (Mark 9:29 suggests that some demons, only come out by prayer and fasting. Demons can be, but aren’t always, linked with sickness as seen in Luke 4:40-41)
No one believes that the healing can actually take place, ie. there is no faith for healing. (Mark 9:23 suggests that there is a link between belief and someone seeing the “impossible” become possible.)
There is no confession involved. (James 5:16 suggests that one should confess their sins to another that they may be healed.)
As I mentioned, this above list may not be exhaustive, but it is a snapshot of some hindering factors to healing.
2.Because God’s will (desire) is sometimes delayed.
I once prayed with a lady for her eyes to be healed. There was no change in her eyesight after praying with authority and confidence that God wanted her healed. The next day, however, she saw my mother walking a distance from her and said, “Hey, lady, please tell that boy that I can see now!” Her healing wasn’t instant, it was delayed.
Daniel 10 tells of a prayer Daniel prayed. As soon as he prayed an angel was dispatched from heaven to come and answer his prayer. However, the angel was caught up in a spiritual battle and was delayed in its arrival, though the angel did eventually make it.
Some people aren’t healed… yet.
But they will be.
3. Because God is mysterious.
Lastly, I will say that sometimes, we simply will never know why God does what He does and doesn’t do what He doesn’t do, because God is mysterious.
He is God, we are not, we don’t always get to see things from His view.
There are times when I have prayed with fasting, with faith, with confession, and seen nothing. Did God hear my prayer? I believe so. Did God desire to heal? Yes, I believe so. Did God heal? No, and I don’t know why.
But let me say in these instances, it is more important to focus on what you do know, rather than what you don’t.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17).
He wants you to have life and life to the full (John 10:10).
He loves you unconditionally (Romans 8:38-39).
The devil comes to kill steal and destroy (John 10:10).
Sin and sickness didn’t exist before the devil got involved in humanity (Genesis 3).
We are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6)
There will be no sickness in heaven (Revelation 21:4).
Put simply, remember that God is good and His desire to give you a new body will come to pass in this life or the next, though the devil may throw all sorts of things at you, in the end he is defeated and if you follow Jesus, you will be gloriously resurrected with Him into an eternity that is pain and suffering free!
This whole healing topic is truly an extremely complex one and I do not claim to be the expert or authority on this, surely only God can take that title! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If you can add depth to this blog, or have any questions, please comment below.
Keep exploring, learning and loving,
PS- This post is part of a series on the supernatural in celebration of the release of my latest book. “From Hater to Healer” shares my journey from skeptic of the supernatural, to participator in it. The book also offers further inspiration and insight on the supernatural aspects of God. I encourage you to order it today by clicking above or grabbing it on Amazon’s Kindle.