A frequent question that is asked is “Why does God not heal people like He did in the Bible, or still does in poor countries?”
I think a big part of the answer to those types of questions has something to do with faith.
In my devotional time today, I read this:
8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
Acts 14:8-10 (NIV)
We have a lame man who has heard the gospel message from Paul, and he has faith to be healed. Paul sees this and says “Stand up!”, and the man is instantly healed.
In Acts 3 there is a similar story also involving a lame man, but it is Peter and John who are used by God to heal the man. The way the story is told, the man has no expectation of being healed, but Peter is the one with faith in the name of Jesus.
It seems to me that faith is an important ingredient in miracles generally, including healing.
But in the West, even the most miracle- believing people have more faith in the medical profession than we do in God. In Australia most procedures are readily available for free if you go through the public system or at fairly low cost if you have health insurance. We can see a doctor any time and pop a pill for many ailments.
I am not denigrating the great work of health professionals. In fact over recent months I have been greatly helped by doctors, nurses, sonographers, pathologists and many more. I thank God for these wonderful people and the excellent facilities we have in this country.
We all need to learn to call out to God first, to put our trust in Him like we say we do. Then we might start to see miracles happen.
So how do we learn to grow our faith?
There are two things here:.
Firstly, just start praying for yourself and family members. Just do it! Faith is like a muscle that gets stronger with use.
How about next time you get a headache, instead of reaching for paracetamol which takes 20 minutes to kick in, try praying for 20 minutes instead? Praise God for His goodness, praise Him for the miracles and healings you read about in the Bible, thank Him that He wants to heal you.
Secondly, as you learn to pray for more serious issues, perhaps chronic pain and disability, start to visualise what it would be like for the person to be healed. The man in Acts 14 could imagine himself walking, something he had never done. What would it be like if you were healed? What might you do that you can’t do now? Start to declare healing and to thank God for it.
It is time for all of us to rise in faith, and to learn to take hold of God’s blessings for us, for our families and for the people around us. Many of us have faith, in fact all christians have a “measure of faith,” we are told in Ephesians. Let’s go for it, believing that the God who put us together has the power to restore the parts of us that are broken.