Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Affliction and suffering are a God-ordained part of the
normal Christian life.
One of the reasons God ordains affliction, suffering and illness in the Christian’s life is that he or she can in turn help others who are going through similar affliction, hardship and illness.
Many Christian groups have dedicated “Healing Services”. Typically, the pastor calls the diseased, disabled or despairing person to the front and claims their healing in Jesus’ name.
However, in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, we read that God has ordained that Christians face affliction for a purpose – to help, encourage and comfort others facing affliction.
It may well be God’s will to heal the diseases, disabled or despairing Christian (through miracle or medicine), but that’s God’s work not ours. We should certainly pray for God to heal people, but it’s always with the caveat, “Your will be done, not ours”.
It may also not be God’s will to heal as God may have an even greater purpose in mind.
Pastors certainly do not have the power or authority to
claim healings in Jesus’ name.
I know this is a very sensitive question as many Christians struggle with all kinds of illness, depression, mental illness and genetic disorders.
Note that the question is not, “Can God heal me?”
We know that God can.
If God can create the universe by speaking words, he can do anything.
The reason I ask is because some churches are teaching that Jesus died to take away all ours sins and sicknesses. They teach that physical health demonstrates a robust faith and physical weakness, or illness, demonstrates a weak faith. Health is therefore an indicator of the strength of one’s faith.
One of the characteristics of the Word of Faith Movement is that it emphasizes physical healing.
According to them Jesus’ atonement not only secured our spiritual healing, but our physical healing too. Christians should simply claim God’s promises by faith and the sick will be made well and the ill restored. Sickness and disease are enemies from Satan and God wants his people to be healthy and prosperous.
If, as a Christian, you are not healed it is because you do not have enough faith or because you have unrepentant sin in your life.
Many Christians as a result have left Word of Faith churches disillusioned and damaged.
When we read the New Testament we read of awesome miracles of healing and restoration. Blind people are given sight, the deaf hearing, paralytics are walking and the mute speaking.
What is the purpose of these miracles? Why did Jesus and his close followers perform them? Was Jesus just being nice? Well, Jesus was being nice but there is more to it than that. Hundreds of years earlier Isaiah the prophet spoke about the new era of God’s salvation that was to come.