How far can we trust God to be in control of our life and our health and to even trust Him for our afflictions and sicknesses? There are many books written on the subject. There are many theories, so I can only go by what Jesus said and how he operated, while he was on earth and what is written of him.
At the last supper Jesus explains that his blood is shed for the remission of our sins. Whether we are good people or bad people, we are all sinners, because we have all fallen short in loving others, which is the new commandment that Jesus gave us (John 13:34). Those that think that they are not sinners are probably the worst of all, as is it difficult for them to show love to those that they feel are not as “perfect” as they are.
If his blood was shed for our sins, then why all this violence, gore, bloodshed, sadism, cruelty, and final crucifixion? He could have just gotten decapitated like John the Baptist and his blood would have flown. Simple as that and our sins would be forgiven.
The prophet Isaiah writes, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).
“His stripes” are the lashes of the Roman ‘flagrum’ whip, which had pieces of led embedded at the end of their leather straps. Usually there were 3 leather straps fixed to a short handle. These whip lashes tore his flesh and shredded his body and upper legs.
Can you imagine what that excruciating pain felt like? Many died while getting a whipping like that. However Jesus had a strong body, being a carpenter till the age of 30. Yet he was so weakened “by his stripes” that he fell three times carrying his cross, and had to be helped.
Now my question is: if he allowed that to happen to himself, so we could have healing, then how could we possibly think or say that we are not sure if the Lord wants us to be healed? What more proof of his love for us and that he wants us healed could he possibly have given us?
“Jesus said unto him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes’. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help mine unbelief’”. (Mark 9:23,24) Maybe we should stop asking the Lord “Why me? Why don’t you heal me?” But ask the Lord instead to help our unbelief, like the father that came to Jesus about his son.
Awhile ago I met an old friend whom I had not seen for thirty five years. After some catching up we talked about the subject of healing. She explained how a certain person who was on his deathbed with cancer had read the scripture, “by his stripes we are healed.” Suddenly the value of these words had dawned on him, “By his stripes I am healed.” “Hey, wait a minute, I am healed by his stripes.”
As the truth of these words entered his mind and heart he started repeating this particular part of scripture over and over again “By his stripes I am healed. By his stripes I am healed. Yes, I am healed by his stripes, whether I see it, feel it, or not, I am healed, because it says, ‘by his stripes I am healed, I am healed because he already took these stripes, so I am already healed. That’s it!”
This particular person was not looking at his personal condition, but was looking at the promise that was made in God’s word. He believed that those words were personally promised to him. “Okay God, you said it, you promised it and you cannot lie. So thank you so much, I believe what you said is true.” So he kept repeating those words ‘by his stripes I AM healed’, as it had dawned on him that this was the key to unlock his healing.
Although he only had a few days to live, he started getting better and better as he held on to that phrase. It did not take very long before he was declared healed and was released from the hospital.
The test before healing
I don’t think that healing will be handed us on a silver platter, but God will expect us to put forth the effort to believe his word to us. Jesus expected most of the people that he healed to believe him, and he tested most of them before he healed them.
I always admire the blind man that went and washed himself.
Do you realize that Jesus spat on the dirty, dusty ground and mixed his spit with the dirt? If your child did the same you would most likely tap his hands and correct him. Yet, Jesus smeared this ‘yucky’ mix on the blind man’s eyes and then he told him to go and wash it off.
Most of us would not think that he was handling a disabled person in a politically correct way.
The man could have lost his cool and given a stream of curse words, but no, he did not! He passed the test, he humbly accepted and obediently washed and as a result he came back seeing. Now this blind man was not a mental case or a pushover, because later on he puts the priests and theologians in their place. Read John chapter 9 for the complete account. He did what was requested of him and he was healed.
Does the Lord request us to switch our thinking from our personal trouble and sickness, to thanking him for incredible pain that he endured from the lashes, so that we could have healing available to us? The medical study on the pain that he suffered with these stripes, emphasizes that there was just no possible greater way to show that he wants us to have healing.
“By his stripes I am healed.” We can humbly ask the Lord to light in us the faith to believe his words, as his words do have the healing power. “My words are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63)
“He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction.” (Psalms 107:20)
When he makes his words come alive, who knows what will happen.
What if the patient is not healed and dies?
Should the Lord however see fit to take any of us to a higher level, as we have completed our basic training here on earth, then it is like we have graduated and left our loved ones for higher studies. That is why there is a wall or veil between them and us, as if the departed would see our tears and hear us missing them, then it would be too difficult for them to do well in the next grade.
In conclusion: whether God sees fit to heal us, or take us home to enter the eternal now, either way we come out as winners.
For us that stay behind and are devastated about the loss of our loved one:
Let me, broken in heart, accept what God may bring,
Although in pieces I have resolved to sing,
“My pain is overwhelming, my sanity in defeat,
Yet, by trusting in God, my life will again be complete,
As my tears roll down, I trust that he knows best,
I give him my heart, so he can take care of the rest.”