God Heals in Response to Faith
Do I need faith to be healed? What if my faith is weak, or non-existent? What if I fluctuate between faith and doubt, can I still be healed? What part does my faith play in praying for the sick? Is it God’s will to heal me? These are all important questions that need to be answered.
Faith is the main component as far as appropriating, or administering, healing. Ultimately, do we believe He is not only able, but also willing, to heal?
Faith for Healing. The following are some examples from scripture that demonstrate the necessity to involve faith to receive healing:
“ and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”
- James 5:15
“And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.”” - Matthew 9:2 (later, Jesus healed the man - vs. 6-7)
“ And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.””
- Mark 11:22-24
“And at Lystra there was sitting a certain man, without strength in his feet, lame from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he leaped up and began to walk.” - Acts 14:8-10
Faith and God’s Ability.
As stated, it is important to believe that God is able to heal. This is obvious, since He is God, and since He is the Creator of the human body. The following scripture demonstrates the need to believe that He is able to heal:
“And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”” - Matthew 9:28
Another example of the need to believe He is able to heal, is evident in the deliverance of a demonized boy, in Mark 9:14-29. When asked if Jesus was able to do anything, He responded, with great emphasis, by saying:
“‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.” - Mark 9:23
Faith and God’s Will.
Is healing God’s will? If we don’t know this, then we won’t know whether or not to exercise our authority when praying for the sick, or if He desires for us to be healed. If there is a question in our heart about this, then it will affect our faith – negatively! People still doubt healing as being God’s will, despite the following truths:
· Our covenant relationship.
· The fact that Jesus bore our sicknesses on the Cross as well as our sins.
· Man was given dominion over things, including bacteria.
As stated, although most believe God is able to heal, the problem of unbelief usually is whether He is willing to heal. A biblical story concerning this is found in Matthew 8:1-4. A leper made the statement that, if Jesus were willing, He could heal the man. Our Lord’s response was, “I am willing,” and the man was healed (v. 3)! This is important, not as verification that God is willing to heal all sicknesses, for an isolated verse will not do that, but rather to encourage us that, even when our faith isn’t strong or clear, God may still bring healing.
Sometimes we err, promoting faith when all that is happening is an attempt to create some kind of psychological certainty. Instead of pumping ourselves up emotionally with a lot of positive thinking, remember that faith is an activity of the heart (Rom. 10:9-10). We ought to realize that the Lord will heal us, not because we have pumped ourselves up, nor because we’ve got our confession correct, but because he is gracious, compassionate, and willing to minister to His children whom He loves!
Many Christians feel forced into the position of being responsible whether God heals them or not. They feel that the pressure is on them, the onus is on them, and ultimately the blame is theirs also if they are not healed. This is not fair. Rather, we must understand God’s goodness and willingness to heal.
Consider again this scripture passage:
“And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” - Matthew 8:2-3
The key to this, missed out in the English translation but found in the Greek, is that Jesus could have responded one of two ways. He could have said:
· “I am willing,” using the Greek word, ‘boulomai,’ which would have meant that it was Jesus’ will or wish that the person be healed – but no action taken. This is a passive term. It refers to the intention of the heart only. (Key Word Study Bible - #1014). Instead, Christ did not use ‘boulomai,’ but used another word.
· “I am willing,” and used the Greek word, ‘thelo,’ which He did. This meant that, not only did He wish it to occur, but He also willed its execution – He decided that it would be so! This is active in nature. It refers to an active urging on, or pressing on, to action. (Key Word Study Bible - #2309)
Faith and the Word. Hebrew 4:12 informs of the inherent life that is in God’s Word, yet, Hebrews 4:2 says that even the Word is unprofitable without faith:
“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” - Hebrews 4:2
Faith is the catalyst for the Word to work, and the Word is the catalyst for faith to develop.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
- Romans 10:17
A word of caution concerning the objects of our faith. The Word of God must be the focus of our faith, His promises being what we stand upon. However, some tend to base their faith, first on the promises, then on their experience. For instance, a person begins receiving a healing but the healing hasn’t been totally realized and completed because it is still in process. Unfortunately, the person being healed takes note of the changes taking place and then bases his faith in what is seen and takes it off the Word. Then if the healing appears to regress or slow, his faith wanes, and he may lose all the gains received. One might be found to say something like, “when I first began to improve, I thought I had been healed, but now . . .” Therefore, it is important to continue to look to the Word. This is because many fail to understand that often healing is progressive - cf., Mark 8:22-25. Divine healing may be an instantaneous or progressive intervention by God in the laws of nature, or a natural process supernaturally sped up by the power of the Spirit.
A common mistake is to believe that healing should be instantaneous. If we expect the Gift of Working of Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10), we may miss out on the simple ministering of healing. It’s important to believe that healing begins the moment you administer it, or receive it – regardless of whether immediate results are seen or not. To help understand this, consider how Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:11-23). The results of His curse were not evident till the next day. The disciples also saw that the tree had withered “from the roots up” (v. 20). Observe that Jesus had cursed it, and from that moment the roots began to die. However, the evidence of His power was only visible as the curse eventually progressed upward to where human eyes would see it. So it is with healing, by exercising authority over the sickness, it begins to die from the roots upward. Eventually we will see the completion. Therefore, have faith!
“And as they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.” - Mark 11:20
“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.” - Mark 11:23
God Is Greater than Our Faith. Jesus responded to the plea of a man who confessed his own lack of faith, saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). This serves to remind us that God is full of grace and mercy! God may heal sovereignly, in spite of our unbelief. Again, it is due to His gracious love and mercy!
Radical Faith! Jesus was often amazed at the faith of some people, radical faith that procured radical healings! People sought to be healed by just the shadow of Peter falling upon them (Acts 5:15)! The woman with the issue of blood believed and received a healing by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Mark 5:24-34). Then others began to seek to touch the border of His garment for healing, and they too were healed (Mark 6:56). This leaves a theological argument, for it was not Jesus’ garment but His Person that brought healing, yet Jesus neither counselled otherwise nor withheld the power. He responded to her faith and those who believed and similarly were healed as a result of following her example.
Full Gospel Healing Room. We understanding that the sick, and often their loved ones too, are very focused on their pain, discomfort etc., and so may not be as able to exercise faith. It’s difficult to be objective with one’s faith when your life, or body, is in a state of turmoil due to illness. Consequently, when we administer healing during an appointment with our Healing Room ministry, we endeavour to exercise faith on your behalf. Yes, your faith is significant, and we will inspire you with the Word, and encourage you to feed on it at home, even as you might take medication prescribed by a doctor. However, be encouraged, and know you are welcome, for by God’s grace we will believe with and for you!