How Did I Miss That? Part 1: Faith Heals

Life Notes

How Did I Miss That?

Part 1: Faith Heals

Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak., for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. Matthew 9:20-22

The relationship between healing and faith is difficult to understand, impossible to predict, and a connection Jesus mentions many times throughout his ministry. He often healed someone, only to give credit to that person’s faith. I used to believe Jesus was being modest. After all, he was a humble man. He credits faith with healing so many times, however, that I find myself rethinking his modesty. Dare we believe that faith truly does heal?

I have tried to apply faith with instances of serious illness in people I know, but with ambiguous results. I remember praying hard for my mother’s recovery from a stroke. She had been a healthy, determined woman, and I could easily visualize her fighting her way back to health. But she never did. Rather, she slipped into a steady decline and passed away 10 weeks later. The times when an unlikely healing has occurred, and there have been a few, I find myself wondering if it was a God-healing or a talented physician. Clearly, God works through the hands and hearts of God’s people. If I were keeping score, however, of the number of times I believe my faith brought the outcome I prayed for, faith would be losing by a landslide. Is this due to my weak faith, or my lack of understanding about healing?

Not all healings are equal, nor all they all physical. When we pray for healing, we are generally praying for restoration to a prior state of being. We pray for what we, in our limited understanding, believe to be the best outcome. Do we possess the perspective to know what is best in any situation? There are numerous examples of physical healings in the Bible, but we can assume all those people died of something, eventually. There are also instances where God does not heal the physical ailment of a faithful person – Paul comes to mind. Paul used his infirmity as a reminder of his total reliance on grace. Even Jesus, the night before his crucifixion, prays for God to “take this cup from me.” Ultimately, he yields by saying, “Not my will, but yours be done.” I have often wondered why God did not rescue Jesus from the cross. But wait – Jesus was rescued, just not in the way we humans would have requested.

If faith truly does heal, there is a lot of pressure on us to be well. Wellness comes under our control, instead of our being victimized by illnesses we can do nothing about. Faith is our connection to God – it is the thread by which the human meets the divine. Faith assures us there is more to life than what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell – there is more beyond our human knowledge and efforts. Would God grant us a desire contrary to our ultimate good? There were many times, as a parent that I refused to grant a desire of my children, knowing they were better off without having their wish granted.

What is out there, and how and when it may or may not bless us remains a mystery. Dare we believe that faith heals? Dare we believe it does not?

One thought on “How Did I Miss That? Part 1: Faith Heals

  1. Hi Greg,

    Not to sound like a know-it all (none of us will know that much in this life), but healing has been

    the #1 scriptural topic I’ve spent time seeking & studying, especially years ago when I was more fervent & consistent about persuing spiritual things.

    The two main eye-openers for me were the passage on Communion, 1 Cor. 11:23 – 30, especially v. 28-29-30, where we’re asked to examine whether or not we partake worthily, ‘discerning the Lord’s body’. I understood the symbolism of the wine, blood shed for the remission of sins & its parallel to the Old Testament animal sacrifices, but how by the the broken body/his stripes, we were healed had never sunk in. Verse 30 says, for this reason, many are weak & sickly and many sleep, or die prematurely. It may be only the King James version that states it so clearly.

    The second ‘ah-ha’ revelation for me was Romans 3:21 & 22, “But now the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law (not by being good enough), even the righteousness of God, BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, unto all and upon all who believe, for there is no difference.” Again, I think this wording ‘faith of Jesus Christ’ is used only in the King James. I remember considering, have believers really been given the faith of Jesus Christ, the ability to believe as he did & get the same results? Now I’m convinced that this is true, to the extent that we walk in his presence, his footsteps, which is the constant challenge. Now I pretty much take good health for granted as long as I maintain a sensible diet & lifestyle. I can’t read in the scriptures that I should struggle with cancer @ 40, arthritis @ 50, dememtia @ 60, etc. so I don’t buy into the world’s statistics.

    I even composed a song over 15 years ago (and I almost never write songs, not my forte) titled Do You Discern the Lord’s Body? Suppose I should dig it out & try to have it recorded it before it’s too late. It needs a male vocal.

    Anyway, not to ramble on & on; this post just struck a chord with me. Todd is doing awesome. We miss Panama so much.

    Hope we can get together more often in the years to come.

    Best to you & family. xo Gwen

    ________________________________

    Like

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