The why and how of divine healing
The Lord your Healer
Jesus Christ is the Great Physician, who is on call day and night. His surgery never closes, and we do not have to wait for an appointment. He specializes in all kinds of troubles, whether sickness of the soul, afflictions of the body, or the ills of society.
The first page of the Bible says that God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good (Genesis 1:31). The last page says that there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain (Revelation 21:4). Things began very well and they will end that way.
Sickness in God’s good world is like weeds growing among wheat, but make no mistake – God did not sow the weeds. An enemy has done this (Matthew 13:28). God sent Jesus who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38).
God planted cures in nature, and medical research keeps finding them. However, the God who heals naturally also heals supernaturally. Scripture denies that sickness is God’s will, and it credits healings to God. Throughout the world, many supernatural healings take place every year, proving that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
WHY WE CAN BE HEALED
We can expect healing because Jesus never changes
Jesus healed multitudes. That was His mission. He came to heal as well as to save. He did not come only for those people who happened to be alive at the time. He did not come to bring relief merely to a few thousand people. That was only the beginning. The Bible says it was what Jesus began both to do and teach (Acts 1:1). By his deeds, He showed us what He wanted to do, so that we can see what He was – and still is – like. He came to heal them so that He could heal you and me. Healing was a major part of His mission, and Jesus said that God had sent Him to do those very works (John 5:17; 9:3-4).
We read that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus is alive, just as ready to heal now as He ever was. What Jesus was, He is – constantly and forever. Miracles are part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not something added on as an afterthought. From start to finish, Christianity is supernatural, beginning as resurrection life and power. Healings demonstrate the essential truths of Christianity and show us Jesus as He really is.
We can expect healing because God started it
Healing originated with God. It was not our idea. At the beginning of the Bible, when nobody had ever thought of such a thing, He healed people. “So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants” (Genesis 20:17). Nobody suggested healing to God, or begged Him for it. He did it because it was His nature. He loved to do it.
When Jesus came, He offered to heal people, without anybody suggesting it. It was His idea.
We can expect healing because of God’s name
God’s name is Yahweh Rapha – I am the LORD who heals you. That is like His badge of office as the Great Healer. The Lord who heals was His name not exclusively for Israel, but for everybody. What God is in one place, He must always be – everywhere. There is not one kind of God in Israel and another in Europe or Africa. I AM WHO I AM. I am the LORD who heals you. I am the LORD, I do not change (Exodus 3:14, 15:26; Malachi 3:6).
We can expect healing because God’s mercies are for everybody
After Jesus had been away from Nazareth for about a year, He went back and preached in the synagogue, which He had once so faithfully attended (Luke 4:16-30). In His sermon, He talked about Naaman. This man was a leper, a foreign army general from Syria, who had taken some Israelite people captive – but God still healed him (2 Kings 5). Jesus also talked about a widow, who was also a foreigner. God sent Elijah to her, and during a famine, fed not only the widow and Elijah, but the widow’s family as well. Jesus was showing that God was concerned with people everywhere, not just the ‘chosen people.’ He does not only heal great saints, but sinful people as well.
We can expect healing because of God’s promises
It would need a book, not a Bible study, to quote all the promises of God, but one quotation, which is typical, can be found in James 5:14-16, The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Every time Christ healed someone, it was also a promise. Whatever God did, He did it to show us what He will do. The works of Jesus are prophecies and signs.
We can expect healing because Jesus said, “I will”
To create trust in God the Bible gives us story after story. The New Testament turns the spotlight first on a leper (Matthew 8:1-3). He said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” That is the crucial question for many people. Will God do what He can?
First, we all need to know that He can. God is the ‘Almighty.’ In Jeremiah 32:27, we read God’s question: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” No answer was needed. God calls Himself the God of all flesh. God can heal flesh.
So He can, but will He? Matthew 8 gives us the answer. “Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Immediately afterwards, we see in the same chapter a Roman centurion whose servant was ill. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him” (verse 7). Those two words ‘I will’ reveal God’s heart.
God’s ‘I will’ includes His will to heal
God says, ‘I will’ countless times throughout the Old Testament. The words are the key to God’s covenanted promises to bless the world. When Jesus said, ‘I will,’ it gathered all God’s hundreds of ‘I will’ promises and focused their power like a laser beam on the leper, burning out his disease. God’s ‘I will’ includes His will to heal.
We can expect healing for the greatest reason of all: Christ died for us
Here are two wonderful encouragements from the Bible. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32) “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17). The Lord made heaven and earth. Jesus conquered death. He does not give up at the sight of a mere handicap or a cancer.
HOW WE CAN BE HEALED
We can be healed by the laying on of hands
This is the normal Scriptural pattern. Jesus said of those who follow Him, “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). The ordinary hands of an ordinary person bring about a miraculous change in an afflicted person. How? Mortals become retailers of His wholesale blessings. Divine power operates through ‘manpower.’ That is a great principle. It runs through all creation. We plant, and God gives the increase. We lay on hands, and He heals. We preach, and He saves.
Why did God plan it like that? First, God wants us to be channels of His love. Second, God wants to share His pleasure with us. If we work with Him, we share His delight.
We can be healed by praying when afflicted
Divine healing is a branch of the subject of prayer. Many thousands of people have recovered as they prayed. God always hears your prayers. Sometimes, God does not give you a direct and personal reply, but sends the answer through a human channel such as the ministry of one of His servants. The gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:9) are for that purpose. God gives healings to somebody as to a steward. That person is responsible for bringing healing to sick people who have prayed. You pray, and God sends the answer through them.
We can be healed without doing anything about it ourselves
A woman was carried into one of our campaign meetings in a coma. By the Holy Spirit, I became aware of it. When I declared that God had whispered this information to me, He immediately touched her, and she became conscious and well. God touches children and babies, who cannot understand. He heals people too ill to think. They cannot do anything themselves, but they recover, simply by a sovereign act of God. Sometimes God cannot wait for us to act. He is there to heal, and He does what He is there to do – He heals.
We can be healed through other people’s faith
James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him … and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up … pray for one another, that you may be healed.
In Mark 2:1-12, a man was brought to Jesus on a stretcher carried by four others. We read that when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic … “arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all.
Prayers in our services have brought deliverance to people miles away who did not know they were being prayed for. Indeed, do not we all pray for absent friends – successfully?
We can be healed through our own faith
Take special note – God does not do the impossible only by impossible faith. He only wants possible faith – faith that is possible for you.
The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, but He did not! He explained that faith is not a matter of size. If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you (Luke 17:5-6).
Here are five facts about faith:
- Faith is your spiritual hand simply accepting what is offered.
- Faith is not a possession. It is decision, action, believing.
- Faith is greatest when you are least aware of it, when you act like a trusting child.
- Faith is letting God pick you up, and carry you like a trusting child.
- Faith is leaving things to God.
If you feel that you lack faith, do not worry, you can get faith, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). The ‘why’ part of this booklet brings you the Word of God. Read it again and again, then go and hear it preached. Cast your doubts away, repent of unbelief, change your mind, and ask for the laying-on of hands.
One final word: if you want healing only, you will miss a lot. Healing was made possible by the Cross, but Christ died to be more than a doctor. He died to bring us the far greater blessing of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and peace with God. He is not only a Healer but also a Savior.
To accept healing but reject Christ is disastrous. In fact, millions of people are never healed because they reject the Healer. He does not send healing. He brings it Himself. It is better to be saved than healed. Even better still is to have both: to receive Christ Himself, the Savior, and Healer. How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
Excerpt from “The Lord your Healer” by Reinhard Bonnke