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Does God Heal?
Over at Joy Unexpected there's a debate going on about what to do if someone tells you that God told them that you would be healed. In other words, what if someone pronounces healing over you? Do you believe it? Do you question it? And should we pronounce healing over others?

Here's my take.

When I was pregnant with our second child we found out that he had a serious heart defect that would eventually likely kill him.

I was devastated. How are you supposed to watch your only son die?

Then one day, about three weeks before he was born, I was at a March for Jesus rally in downtown Toronto. A woman I didn't know asked me about the baby, and I spilled everything. She looked at me and said, "God has told me this baby will be healed." And she prayed on the spot. And she said to me, "If you have faith he will be."

I think that is a very mean thing to do, although I'm sure the woman meant no harm. I've written books about this since, and I speak at women's conferences about it.

But here's the thing: I did have faith that God could heal Christopher. But did I have faith even if God didn't? That's the more relevant question. And this woman, who did not know me and who would never see me again, could feel great about herself because she pronounced healing on me, though she bears no responsibility should my son not be healed.

And she so much as told me that if he weren't healed it would be my fault. I think God does work healing through people, but on the whole, I think we should make sure that we have something invested in the person's life before we pronounce such things. Make sure you're there to stick it out if the healing doesn't occur. We'd be far less likely to be cavalier about hearing God's voice if we had to stick around and see if God did actually intervene in the way we wanted Him to (God did intervene in my case, though my son did die. But we had a peace about it, and God has used my story to touch many. And He let me write a book about it. It was not what I would have planned, but I'm grateful for it). And that's why I don't think we should be so certain that we hear exactly what God is saying. Let's leave room for God's will, because His will is not always what we would like it to be.

God does heal, but it's rare. On the whole we have to walk through difficulties, but Jesus did, too. Suffering is not something He is indifferent to, or unfamiliar with. He watched his own earthly father die. He watched John the Baptist die. He saw people he loved die. He cried with us. He knew that life was not supposed to be this way, and He probably felt the injustice of death and injury far more than any of us do because He lived in a time when such things did not exist. He hurts, too. But that suffering is part of who He is, and it's part of our life on earth.

So yes, we need faith that God can heal. But we also need faith even if he doesn't. Our faith should be based on who God is, not what He will do for us. And that, I think, is ultimately more important.

If you want to listen to a talk I gave on this subject, here's one called "Do You Believe God Loves You?".

I also have a full conference that deals with a lot of these themes called Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition. You can download them right to your computer and listen in!

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5 Comments:

At 4:57 PM , Anonymous christine said…

same thing happened to me... well, similar. When we found out that my babe was sick and would probably de we had so many people say that God would heal him... "never mind the doctor's report, whose report will you believe?, just have faith, don't doubt." I tried my best. I even whispered life to him when he was born, full term, after him being dead for a few days...
"Life to you kiddo"
I believed. I was giving it all I got. I do feel foolish, but I will tell you that I prayed over his ashes. Long asfter everyone that told me he would live had forgotten his existance. I left church for some years after that... I came back to God after a while and went to a church where I met some people, who, when I told them of my lost son, didn't try to explain it away, didn't just say "Oh well, God took him back home"... they just said. "how hard. I am so sorry"

I have a God now who is not a genie in a bottle, not a God who'll grant my every wish. A God, who will weep with me... I could never accept that God before, cos I was always looking for the miracle. God has healed my broken heart. I can look back at my baby and the things I learned from that whole experience and smile. And THAT is a miracle.

 

At 8:05 PM , Blogger Jia said…

In my Church, the men have the ability to give blessings in regards to healing. Sometimes they are directed to give a blessing to heal, while other times, they give a blessing that the person will be given the strength to endure their trial.

I would be very freaked out and upset if something like that happened to me. I mean, what if you DO have faith but God's plan needs the child to return home. When the baby dies, does that mean you're faith wasn't sufficient? No! Of course not. It's just not in the plan.

Jia

 

At 5:17 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

The answer to your query is: yes. And healing IS relevant to our world today. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Heb 13:8. If that is indeed true (which I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, so it HAS to be true) then He still heals today. Why don't we see more healing in churches like there was in the early church in the New Testament? As I am not God, I don't know but I offer a theory. We are so lax about spiritual things. We put God on a shelf and only bring Him out when we need Him (I'm preaching to myself too). Consequently, we have no RELATIONSHIP with Him and do not know what is our's by birthright and heritage. Satan keeps us so busy and unconcerned with what is truly important. God wants us well and whole. He has made that abundantly clear throughout the whole Bible. Healing is not just Old Testament! There are also different types of healings too. Most people think of instantaneous, but you can also receive healing from doctors (who are given the knowledge by God to help your body heal itself, like God intended), there are also gradual healings.
Lest I sound like the people who have hurt you with touting all of that "you have to have enough faith" ridiculousness, I will recount my story.
Last year, I was on birth control (we had two boys already and weren't sure we wanted any more kids, but didn't want to do anything permanent yet) and I miscarried. Prior to being put on birth control, I researched all of the options and found one that I believed would not prevent a fertilized egg from growing in the uterus. At least, that is what the doctor told me. She even said I wouldn't ovulate on the Nuvaring. She was grossly misinformed. Anyway, I found out I was pregnant and within the same week, found out I was in the middle of a miscarriage. It was heartbreaking. But I believed that God could keep the baby healthy and safe and that everything would be okay. I believed, confessed Scripture, prayed long nights, and cried out to God. I had never believed for anything so hard in my entire life. I had FAITH that the miscarriage would stop and the baby would be fine.
Everything wasn't fine. My HCg levels continued to drop (which is the hormone that tells how pregnant you are) and I continued to bleed.
I don't know why God didn't stop the miscarriage. There are things this side of Heaven we will never be privy to. It was a hard lesson to learn. But I found out that He was there for me, to walk with me through the pain. And no, that isn't just trite Christian-talk, He helped me to realize that I may never know why and that is okay. He is still on the throne and in control of my life.
My husband and I decided that we really did want one more, so three months later we got pregnant with our beautiful baby girl, Miss Precious. She is now nine months old. And I know that one day when I leave this earth, I will meet up with my other daughter in Heaven. (It was too early to tell the sex of the baby, but my husband and I felt like it was a girl, so we named her Alegria Corazon --joyful heart in Spanish.)
So, I understand how it feels for well-meaning friends AND family to say the DUMBEST and most insensitive things. There were times that other's words wounded me almost more than the whole experience did. People often just want to say something to make it all better, and sometimes you can't. Sometimes the best thing is just to say nothing at all and let your actions speak for you. I vowed never to be that way to someone who was hurting, because it just belittles their pain.
And lastly, God is God. He is sovereign. We cannot comprehend His plans.
But yes, He does heal today.

 

At 5:24 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

Oh, I forgot to add...
Yes, I believe that people are VERY cavalier about pronouncing healing on people nowdays. And yes, you are right, it is because they don't have to stick around and look like a fool if their "prophecy" doesn't come to pass. In Bible times, if a prophet's prophecy didn't come true, he was stoned for being a false prophet. Maybe we should keep that in mind before we profess to "hear from the Lord"? Of course, I realize that I am preaching to the choir...lol...the people who really need to be reminded are ones who will likely never read this comment of mine!

 

At 12:48 AM , Blogger Julie said…

Sheila,

I'm so sorry for what you went through... especially losing your son, but also for the false hopes and false guilt that woman brought about.

The Bible has a great deal to say about false, careless prophecy. Mrs. Q is right - the Biblical standard for God's prophet was 100% accuracy or death. (Deut. 18:20, lots more in Jer. 14, 23, and 50, and Exekiel 13, which - if memory serves - speaks to female false prophets.)

We don't understand God's purposes, but we are called to trust and follow.

Keep the faith. (c:

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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