I think most of us who call ourselves followers of Christ would affirm that God can heal. Certainly if God could raise His own Son up from the grave, He can also heal any of our infirmities.
But the real question that often divides believers is not can God heal, but does God heal? Some claim that God will always heal if we just have enough faith. Others claim that every once in a while God might choose in His sovereignty to heal someone, but this is rare.
I have always been in the latter camp. I suppose I still am, but recently I have become much more open to the idea that not only can God heal but He does heal.
For some time now I have struggled with a bad knee. About ten years ago, I had knee surgery, and then about five years ago the same knee flared up again. I went to the doctor and he said I needed more surgery. I had to wait to have the surgery until after I returned from the Philippines where I was speaking at a pastors conference. While there, a fellow pastor saw me limping and asked if he could pray for my knee. “Of course,” I said, thinking this is one of those kinds of pastors. He grasped my knee and prayed for healing. I walked away, not thinking a whole lot about it, but within a few days my knee pain was mostly gone, and I never returned to my doctor for his prescribed surgery.
Okay, I was convinced that sometimes, in rare cases, God does heal.
Fast forward five years. My knee pain was back and I am thinking that it is time to see the doctor again. After preaching one Sunday, I was standing in our church lobby. A woman I had recently met approached me and asked if she could pray for me.
“Of course,” I said.
Then she said, “I think it’s your knee.”
There is no reason she would have known about my knee. So, I thought, “Lord, again? What is it about this knee that you care so much about? There are far worse problems you could fix besides my knee!”
She prayed for my knee right then and there. With so much to do that day, I completely forgot about her prayer until two days later. While descending a stairway (something that had been hard to do for a while with knee pain), I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, “My knee pain is gone!”
Again, my knee is not perfect, but it is way better.
It’s quite interesting that the “spiritual gift” of healing found in 1 Corinthians 12:9 is actually plural in the Greek. It is literally translated “gifts of healings.” So, it is not like someone has the “gift” of healing with a guarantee that he or she will always be able to heal anyone they desire. But God does distribute gifts of healing—individual instances where He chooses to use someone to heal.
I am not sure what to make of all this, but I am convinced of a few things:
- God really does care about my knee.
- Not only can God heal, but He does.
- I have often limited God.
- I am thankful for people who listen to the Lord and step out in faith.
- Healing doesn’t always mean perfection.
March 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Thanks, pastor, for sharing these thoughts and for your honesty. As someone who has seen first hand God’s gracious work of healing as well as times when no amount of prayer and faith seemed to bring the desired results, I’ve had to conclude that I don’t have it figured out. On the basis of scripture and Christ’s atonement, I do believe God can and does heal. When needed I pray for such for myself and others and expect healing to come by whatever means he chooses. Beyond that it is in His hands. I have seen the instantaneous, observable miracles of healing…the progressive healings…as well as “doctor assisted” healings. I have learned I can not control those gifts of healings…they are Spirit distributed not Harold produced. lol At the same time I have seen amazing things over the years and pray for all of us a greater openness and anticipation of God’s gracious works that He might be glorified and his people edified. Blessings!! HB
March 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm
I need to meet with your two prayer warriors about my knees nicevto hear your doing much better Gods Speed my brother
March 18, 2017 at 5:22 am
Hi Pastor Mark, I am a true believer of God’s healing and have seen it at work countless times; in big and small ways. One instance was when my brother was diagnosed with a non-treatable, non-curable cancer. Basically you just get checked once a month to watch it grow. We did this for 2 years. Then one day, his Oncologist asked for a repeat blood test stating he wasn’t sure about the first results and wanted to be sure he was seeing the right thing. Of course, we expected the worst – the cancer had advanced. When we met with the doctor he said “I wanted to run a second test because the first one wasn’t making sense so I thought it was incorrect. But the second test came out the same. I have no way to explain it, but the cancer is gone – disappeared!” Through our tears we explained it to him. “We prayed it away!” On the side of caution, the Oncologist wanted to continue the testing each month. I think he still expected it to show up, but it never did. God’s hand at work for sure!! Glad your knee is better and hopefully you can continue running. Blessings, Suzi