Is God Healing People Physically Really a Thing?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, February 10, 2018 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

It was several years ago now that a man visited the local church I was leading, and as we got to know him he shared that he had migraines and neck pain. It was after the worship gathering, and 3-4 people were hanging around chatting with him. I asked him if he had any ideas about the cause for it, and he said, "A brick... to the face." I laughed at first because I thought he was joking. He laughed too and then said, "No seriously, I took a brick to the face."

As I recall his story, he had been working construction, and one day when the crew he was with was driving back from a site, another truck with bricks on it passed them. A brick fell off that truck and came through the open passenger window and hit him in the face. Since then, he has had these headaches and neck pain.

This was one of a few specific times I have felt the Lord strongly prompt me to pray for healing to restore a broken body part. I remember this one because I was overwhelmed with an urgency to pray, I felt my hands and body get warm and a rush of energy I can't really explain. I asked him if the couple people there with us could pray for him, and he said, "That would be great." Now, keep in mind that I just met this person, and he just met us. I had no idea of his trust level with God, and this was way more forward than I am comfortable being on a first meeting.

We prayed, and as we did, I had an image of his head and neck appear in my mind, almost like an x-ray, and I could see something wasn't right in his neck. I didn't know what specifically, but I knew I had to place my hand there as I prayed. I laid my hand flat on his neck as he stood in the middle of the group of us. There were not many words. I recall asking God to heal, and specifically to re-align his neck and skull, take the pressure off any nerves, and remove the pain, in the name of Jesus.

A week later, he told me that something happened during that prayer, and he didn't want to jinx it by saying something, but he knew he had been healed. He went all that week without pain and was amazed that God did that for Him. As far as I know, that pain didn't return.

I am aware of the scientific fact that something as simple as physical presence can influence heart rate. In fact it has been shown that within just 3 feet, another person's heart rhythm can have a psychophysiological effect (here's a fun link). Perhaps we do have some influence biologically on one another in our desire to help someone be well. But there is little evidence to show that this contact is enough to reverse the types of disease, deformity, and death that has been reversed by praying to God, in Jesus’ name.

Does God heal people? Yes! Does he always heal people when or how we want Him to? No. Do I have a formula for figuring out when He will or won't? No. But, there are some things we can learn from the Bible accounts when God healed people.

1. God healing someone is usually connected to their faith - either the beginning of it or in response to the faith they have. And it always has to do with relationship with Him. (John 5; John 9; Luke 8:40-56)

2. Physical healing by God doesn't mean we never hurt again, or never die later. Even when Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, which was a tremendous miracle, Lazarus still later died. (John 11:38-44)

3. There are no magic phrases or words that make healing happen. It is a God-lead thing, and God-powered thing. (Acts 8:9-25; Acts 5:12-16; 1 Corinthians 12)

4. Sometimes total healing by leaving this life is how God heals or ends suffering. (Acts 7:54-60)

5. If God doesn't heal, it may be that there is more value to us and to His mission in our suffering. (Philippians 1:21-30, Job)

6. Healing or not healing isn't a sign that God loves us more, or less. John 3:16 indicates clearly that God's expression of love was through His total sacrifice of Jesus in our place, so that we could have eternal life with Him. He cares about our eternal destiny more than our temporary journey, and He will do what is BEST for us in this part of our journey. It's a self-centered assumption to believe that what is always BEST for me is for me to always feel my best.

7. We can trust His promise to heal and should freely and openly ask Him for it. We should boldly believe the promise in Isaiah 53:5 that "by His wounds we are healed." But we should understand that THAT healing was focused on the eternal healing of being restored to God. We may see Him physically heal our temporary situation as a direct reflection of that permanent healing promised. But the big thing we need to avoid is bitterness, doubt, and withholding our trust in Him, if in His wisdom He would choose not to heal our temporary situation.

Again, no silver bullets here, but the quick summary is this: Is healing a real thing? Yes. Can we trust Him to do it? Yes. Is it always BEST for us? No. Do we have a greater hope than just temporary healing? Yes. Does God desperately love us no matter what we face in this life? Absolutely yes, and He goes through it with us, not only by our side but feeling our pain and working it toward His good, just like He did with Jesus.

If you are in need of healing, I pray God heals the situation you are asking Him to. And whether He does or doesn't, I pray He shows you how He is carrying you through, and exactly how He will use this temporary hurt for eternal and great good (Romans 8:28).

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