What Does the Bible Say About Healing?

God Chooses Who Will Heal

First of all, the Bible never tells us it is God’s will to heal every person and it never says all sickness is caused by the Devil or by a person’s failure to be close to the Lord, as some people might teach. The Bible tells us God works in ways we don’t understand, yet we can be sure He has a perfect plan for our lives, even if it does mean we must suffer. Isaiah 55:8 says:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

We believe God very definitely wants us to pray for and seek his healing power when we are sick or when others are sick, even though we do not believe in the showy healing meetings that are being held in the name of the Lord today. If you check the practices of the so-called faith-healers, you would find only certain ones are allowed to come forward for healing; many are not cured (sometimes many are not even sick) and many times people are planted in the audience to feign certain ailments so it can appear they have been healed.

Miraculous Healings

We believe in miraculous healings and we believe God does heal today, but not in the way practiced by faith-healers. The Bible never tells us Jesus held meetings for the purpose of healing the sick. He did indeed heal the sick when they came to Him, but His major interest was in healing their sin-sick souls. Everyone who came to Him for healing was healed, not just a select few.

Many of the faith-healers claim sickness is a sign of sin in a person’s life. This is not always true. Faith-healers claim a failure to be healed is due to a lack of faith on the part of those who are ill. Again, this is not Biblical for in James 5:14-15 the Word of God says it is the prayer of faith by the elders through which miraculous healing can come.

God’s Will to Heal

Furthermore, healing can come only if it is God’s will. Contrary to what the faith-healers teach, it is not always God’s will to heal. Many Bible characters suffered from sickness and, though they prayed to be healed, God did not always heal them. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 tells of asking the Lord to heal him from a certain illness. Yet God did not heal him, and in fact told him that “…my [God’s] grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Timothy must have also suffered from some recurring sickness because Paul advised him to drink a medicinal grape syrup for his “often infirmities” in 1 Timothy 5:23.

Oftentimes God works through sickness. Through the patient suffering of His dear children, God sometimes wins lost sinners who see the faith and courage of those who trust in Him. God uses sickness to speak to His children when we are too busy to listen to Him–He asks us to lie down and listen. As one of God’s children, we should just pray His will be done.

When Suffering is a Mystery

Many times, suffering and trouble for a child of God is a mystery.

The Book of Job was, no doubt, included by the Holy Spirit to help us understand we are to serve God and love him during times of difficulty as well as during times of comfort and ease.

Satan actually accused God of bribing Job to serve Him. God responded that Satan would certainly see that Job would continue to love God and serve Him even though great sorrow and great physical difficulty came to Job.

Thank God! Job proved to Heaven above and earth beneath and to Satan that he was not serving God simply because of the blessings which God had given to Him as Satan falsely accused.

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11

Remaining Faithful

This verse shows us that Job was very patient and loving, even in the face of sorrow and physical difficulty and discouraging circumstances. This verse also emphasizes the tremendous blessings which the Lord gave to Job at the end of that test and trial.

Another passage of Scripture tells us that other Christians have been tested and tried across the years:

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might he found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

The following verses tell us of many Christians who experienced terrible persecutions and even death, yet remained faithful to the Lord:

“And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and of Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth– of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom, the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:32-40

These verses show us that knowing God does not always keep us from tests and trials, although He will certainly go with us through them and help us and sustain us in time of need.

These verses also teach that there is a bright and happy conclusion to all of these things in due time, even if it has to be on the other side, with Him in Glory. But in the mean time, we can have the peace and the comfort and the sweetness of the full measure of His presence and help.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

Latest posts by Dr. Elmer Towns (see all)