Every encounter we have with Jesus, every experience of the Holy Spirit is a collision of our faith when it meets our lived reality. Where this collision is most palpably evident is the miraculous healing of our physical bodies.
What does miraculous healing really mean?
First, we need to understand that we can’t tell Jesus how He should heal us. We need to ask for the healing and how we want to be healed. Then, we receive it by faith and walk in it. He heals us as He sees fit… according to His sovereign will. It might be immediate, it might be delayed, it might be after several times of asking, it might be through the means of modern medicines, and it might not be the healing we asked for. BUT, He ALWAYS heals.
The prayer of faith will make the sick person well. Wherever we fall in this spectrum of belief, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is our faith.
In our western world, we have access to every kind of doctor and specialist and the best medical treatments in the history of the world. But it’s because of this that we more often forego the healing power of Jesus for our physical healing and run to the medicines first.
I get it…we all understand that. BUT this is why we don’t experience much when it comes to miraculous healing in our churches.
We have been provided with nearly unlimited access to all kinds of treatments for almost every ailment, disease, or issue we might have. But unfortunately, this is why we don’t often see many miraculous physical healings.
If we pray, trusting in Jesus to save our souls, professing Him to be our Lord, we pray the prayer of faith as one having NO other option of how to do it. We recognize that he saves us, and Him alone, and that prayer offered in faith saved our souls.
Well, it’s in that same way that prayer offered in faith saves the sick. But because we have so many other options to find healing, the faith necessary to heal is often lacking.
So, this begs the question of what are we supposed to do in our corner of America? Because it would be foolish to ask Jesus for healing for a broken limb and then deny all modern medical treatment to heal it.
Picture this. A man is on his roof during a flood as the water rises. He cries out to God to save him, and along comes the Coast Guard. He turns them away, saying that God will save him. He cries out to God again to save him, and a helicopter shows up, lowers a man on a rope to save him, and he turns him away, saying God will save him. He cries out a third time to God, and along comes a neighbor in his fishing boat. The neighbor said he had this feeling the man was in trouble and came to check on him. He urges the man to get in the boat with him, but again the man turns the help away.
The man stuck on his roof ends up drowning.
He gets to heaven and asks God why He didn’t save him. God says, “I heard you the first time and sent you the Coast Guard. I heard you the second time and sent you the helicopter. Then, I heard you the third time and sent you the neighbor. You refused to accept it.”
So, we've been given tremendous medical means for healing our bodies, but at the same time, God takes great joy in our faith. AND we receive more and more grace as our faith grows. So, what do we do?
The emphasis of these verses is the prayer of faith. The anointing with oil is a secondary action. So, think faith first. First, we need to go to Jesus for our healing and then to modern medicines.
If we trust in Jesus alone to save us from eternal death and hell by admitting to God that we are sinners, believing in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection to save us from the penalty of our sins, and then confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord…. then, we are children of God.
And as a child of God, because our sins have been forgiven already, the healing of our physical body is a birthright or an inherited privilege. It’s already given to us. We just have to receive it.
The provision for eternal salvation and physical healing were BOTH made through the atoning work of Jesus' suffering and death. This is because our sins have been forgiven.
Sin is the reason why death comes to us all. Sin is why we experience pain and suffering. Sin is why demons can dwell inside humans. Sin is what separates us from God. So, now that it's forgiven, everything taken from us is renewed, redeemed, and restored.
Sin can’t touch us eternally, but while we are alive and remain in this earthly flesh, it still affects us.
Healing prayer is not solely an action for elders, It’s for all of us. The emphasis through these 8 verses isn’t the people. It’s the prayer. The confession of sin to one another to pray for one another is for all of us. And we are assured in this passage that our prayers can be as effective as Elijah's.
Why confess to one another?
It's a hard thing to do, but it brings sin into the light where its shame no longer has a hold on us. Since our souls are only as healthy as the sins we keep hidden in secret, and since that is what Jesus is ALWAYS after first, it's no wonder why sin, left unconfessed, hinders the healing our physical bodies.
We are incredibly complex beings. We have physical bodies, a conscience, and intricate emotions. While we are most often interested only in healing our bodies, Jesus is more interested in healing us where we need it most. His healing might come in the form of the physical healing being asked for, or it could be healing of our emotions, mental states, or spirit.
If Jesus chooses not to heal us in the moment or in the way we've asked Him to, we can't give up. We need to keep going back in faith and receive the healing every time we ask.
Asking consistently is, within itself, an act of faith. Sometimes physical healing is delayed because Jesus calls us to follow Him more closely, and it's not until a habit is formed of seeking His face instead of His hands that He chooses to heal.
So, it's important that if we're going to have a good theology of healing, we also need a good theology of suffering too.
These are some of the most beautiful words in all scripture because they prove that there is meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to our pain and suffering. AND we can experience the fullness of joy, peace, and hope as we walk through them.
Paul uses the illustration of a clay pot.
Such is the nature of a jar of clay.
When we’re put under intense physical, emotional, or mental pressure, we aren’t smashed, we’re not crushed, and we don’t crack.
Such is the nature of Jesus. Jesus may allow our suffering, but make no mistake, our healing has been provided for, and we have free and unlimited access to it.
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