Healing for physical and emotional sickness is in God's plan for our lives. Jesus is the Great Physician who healed people throughout his ministry and continues to do so today. He cares about your body and mind just as much as your soul. In the Kingdom of God healing is the default mode for health.
We don't discourage a sick friend from going to the doctor yet we can be wary of encouraging him to pursue divine healing. The Bible is full of stories about people getting healed. The stories are very diverse in the way someone is healed, the process of the healing and who facilitates the healing but one factor is always the same — everyone gets healed of their sickness.
The most practical book in the Bible is James. We can read about how to gain wisdom, how to deal with conflict, how to communicate effectively. And in James 5:14-15 it tells us how to be healed, "If you are sick ask the church leaders to come and pray for you. Ask them to put oil on you in the name of the Lord. If you have faith when you pray for sick people they will get well. The Lord will heal them."
It seems pretty straightforward. Ask to be healed, believe you will be healed and then thank God for your healing. But it doesn't always work that way. On at least four separate occasions the Bible tells us Jesus healed everyone that was sick — every single person was made well. But there were times everyone did not get healed by Jesus.
If you are sick or have an illness you want to be healed. If you have been diagnosed with a disease you need God's healing touch. If someone you care about needs a healing you want to do whatever you can to help. What is it that can keep us from being healed? Here are ten possible reasons.
Lack of Biblical Faith
This is a slippery slope that can end with someone believing it is their fault they are not healed. Much like the people who asked Jesus if the reason someone was sick was because it was their fault. Even a little faith is pleasing to God. But no faith hinders healing. In Mark 6:5-6 it says, "Jesus could not work any miracles there, except to heal a few sick people ... He was surprised that the people did not have any faith." Biblical faith produces certainty, conviction and action all needed for God to heal.
Feel Undeserving of Healing
Someone can feel they are not worthy of being healed. They think their request is simply not important in all that God has to do. They believe they are not deserving of such a miracle. No one can earn healing, it is God's gift just like the rest of his grace toward us. But you can put yourself in position to be healed.
Refusal to see Medicine as a Way God Heals
Prayer for healing and medical care should be pursued with equal vigor. To think there is only one way of healing is to limit what God can do. God may use another avenue for your healing. Medicine can be the course God has for you to travel in your healing.
Some people cannot be healed because they believe God's healing ministry has ceased to function. They are Cessationists. They believe we are in another dispensation where miraculous healings no longer occur. It's hard to be healed when your theology does not allow for divine healing anymore.
Sin Is a Hindrance
Sin can cause sickness. I Corinthians 11:29-30 tells us, "Those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick." We are to repent of our sins during the celebration of communion (and other times as well) so we can be forgiven and receive the healing God has for us.
Prayers are Incorrect
Our prayers may not be specific enough for us to be healed. Jesus always encourages specific prayers. We may pray for physical healing when the real need is for emotional healing. Our prayers may be too surface and not get down to the root issue that needs to be healed.
Neglect of Natural Means of Health
God has designed us to function optimally with the appropriate amount of sleep. Our bodies are made for physical exercise and healthy eating. When we neglect our bodies we limit the healing God can give us.
Accommodation of Sickness
Some accept their sickness as a way of life. They give up hope for healing. Like the man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years they have accommodated themselves to their lot in life. Jesus initiated the healing of this man and commanded him to take action. When he did he was instantly healed and could walk.
Root Issues Bar Healing
Your healing can be blocked by unforgiveness. Mark 11:25 says, "When you stand up to pray you must forgive what others have done to you." Anger can lead to bitterness taking root in your life and hinder the healing work God wants to do.
Belief that Sickness is Required by God
Some respond to sickness by believing God uses it to teach them a lesson or to share in the sufferings of Christ. While this may be true it can convince them God requires them to be sick and thus they do not seek out or believe God for a healing. There are powerful lessons to be learned in battling sickness and pursuing healing.
If you need to be healed make sure you are doing whatever you can so Jesus can do what only he can.
This article was originally published in The Christian Post.