I agree with what Selwyn has to say about healing physical sickness and suffering.
He writes: “God can and does intervene to deliver us from physical sickness and suffering, but it is more the exception than the rule. Not everyone who asks for healing gets healed, that is a simple fact. …
Does that mean we ought to forget the whole business of praying for people who are sick? No, for we must not measure the results of our prayers only by what we see. There may be no apparent or immediate physical changes, but who can measure the spiritual changes that come from prayer?
It is right to ask for deliverance and healing for those who are afflicted but let us not limit our asking for physical changes only. (But also to seek healing of our spirit.)”
Not long after my conversion experience, and after I had a reasonably good introduction to the teaching of God as found in Scripture – I often prayed (and still do) for those who were sick; especially those people who were in the same bible study group. On, one occasion I felt that God was telling me that a member of my group, whom I had been praying for pain relief from a cyst growing next to their spinal cord, would be healed within a specified time-frame.
At our next bible study group meeting, I let the person know what I thought God was telling me. Cutting a long story short, this person awoke free from pain on the exact day that I had been given by Jesus. At the following Sunday’s church service, after they were healed, this person shared the news of their healing with the congregation, giving God praise for what He had done. I’ve only witnessed this type of outcome, a few times over the last twenty one years – accordingly, I agree with Selwyn, I think this form of physical healing is the exception – but it does happen!
As, I’m certain of Jesus great love for us, I’m sure that He answers all our prayers in His perfect way; and, I also agree with Selwyn when he says that often God’s answer can be seen in our spiritual growth – after all, this is the prime goal – to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. How we manage our suffering, with God’s involvement – I think – is one of the main ways used by God to refine and mould us.
Do you agree?
The following Scripture (part of the set reading for today), contains lots of good points, the ones I liked the most are highlighted. One, which I think is important right now, is the need for us, to be patient and to stand firm in what we know to be true – for I believe this is the season for Jesus’ return.
James 5:7-16 (NIV): “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”