It is hard when someone asks us (or tells us) why we are not healed, isn’t it?
And even if we kind of know how we feel, it can be difficult to grab those correct scriptures. We hope this helps offer you a resource when asked about your spiritual beliefs and how they address suffering?
We believe that God can and does heal in our current day. We also believe, however, that God offers strength in our weakness and, at times, allows us to grow spiritually, although not always comfortably, by allowing the “thorns” into our lives, (2 Cor. 12:9).
We believe that God can heal despite our lack of faith, if it is his will, therefore, we are not able to meet a formula of “praying harder,” and be guaranteed an outcome of healing (Mark 6:5,6). Illness is not necessary a sign that we have done something wrong (John 9:3) nor that we have “hidden sin” in our lives, (John 5:14).
We caution against worshiping “the idea of healing” rather than God, (Exodus 20:3). Although we encourage people to pray for God’s healing, we also comfort them in their pain; as we believe that we are called to comfort others in their pain, as God has comforted us in our own (2 Cor. 1:3-5), even when we are still living with pain in our own lives (1 Peter 4:10).
We believe that scripture tells us that we will suffer (John 16:33) and Romans 8:17 is very clear on why we suffer: “we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” Everyone defines “suffering” differently but for many of us here at Rest Ministries we see one of the purposes in our suffering is to bring glory to God–even if we don’t fully understand how. This is not to say God can’t heal us–He can! But if He does so the reasons are one of the mysteries of God.
Like King Herod, (Luke 23:8-11) people want to see a sign–they like physical healings because they are much easier for us to understand (and more fun to celebrate!). But God is holy and not here to entertain us. He is much more concerned about our character and who we are in Him rather than our temporary comfort.
Paul also wrote Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Even when our suffering seems pointless, God has a plan.
John 16:33 starts out kind of depressing, “You will have suffering in this world.” But the scripture continues. . . “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. But be courageous! I have conquered the world.” He has conquered the world! It doesn’t say He will conquer the world–He has conquered the world.
So why does He allow so much suffering? Because He is just waiting for more to find Him. “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”To me, that’s evidence of a loving God, that He would care that much for you.” (2 Peter 3:9)
As Ecclesiastes 7:8 states, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”
Copyright Rest Ministries, Lisa Copen. You can share, but please list us as the source.
Looking for more resources? We recommended When God Weeps, Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada