us--most of us, I’d say--have grown up thinking
that God decides whatever happens in our lives: whether we
prosper or not, whether we get healed or not, whether we die
of a heart attack or not, and so on. The idea is that God
dispenses good things with one hand and bad things with the
other, usually for "sovereign" reasons too
"mysterious" for us to understand.
Sometimes the attempted explanations are worse than the
"mystery." A priest of my acquaintance told the
parents of a beautiful 18-year-old girl that their daughter
had died in a car crash because God needed another angel in
heaven. A devout woman I know damaged her car on the way to
the airport, and told me that God arranged the accident
"to teach her something." A well-known pastor near
where I live insists that God gave him prostate cancer
"to teach him something." What the lesson might
have been in such cases, I have no idea.
down in pious unbelief
These beliefs come with a long list of pious
rationalizations: We have to leave room for God’s
sovereignty. Who are we to judge the Most High? Every trial
comes for a good reason. God moves in mysterious ways. Who
are we to question them? Unless we’re sure that God wants
to heal us, aren't we putting Him to the test when we ask
for healing? Etc., etc.
The sad truth, dear ones, is that the Body of Christ is
bogged down in pious unbelief, and most Christians have no
clue how to get out of the swamp. God is regularly accused
of doing things to us that we’d be jailed or hospitalized
for doing to our neighbors. The underlying idea seems to be
that God maintains two standards, a relaxed one for Himself
and a stricter one for His children.
does no injury
Yet Scripture is clear. (1) We are to be
perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, not in some
"mysteriously" different way (Matthew 5:48). (2)
No good tree gives forth bad fruit, and Scripture makes no
exception for the Lord (Matthew 7:18). (3) As God’s
dear children, we’re to try to be like Him, not
"mysteriously" otherwise (Ephesians 5:1). (4)
Love does no injury to one’s neighbor--and God is Love
(Romans 13:10; 1 John 4:8).
Much more needs to be said, because dealing with toxic
tradition is critically important to effective prayer. In my
next two or three Briefs I intend to offer responses to a
list of unhealthy notions that paralyze believers in their
search for healing.
uncomplicated goodness of God
Meanwhile, if you have doubts about the
uncomplicated goodness of God, I suggest that you memorize
John 10:10 and bring it out whenever the devil tries to mess
with your faith: "The thief comes only in order to
steal, and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and
enjoy life, and have it in abundance."
Let Scripture--not tradition--purify your
thoughts about God and His Providence. Then when a crisis
comes your way, you can take your stand on John 10:10 and
face the trouble confidently, knowing that the Lord is on
forget that . . .
God should be our
resort, not our last resort. Start taking time
right now to build up the faith you need to
receive His healing.
God is ready to
heal us in every
physically, emotionally, and mentally.
God heals all
types of disease, pain, sorrow, and
infirmity. Nothing is too hard for Him.
us to be healed, to be "whole"
persons enjoying abundant life.
God expects us to
with Him in getting healed—through
medicine, diet, exercise, and straight thinking.
Everything that promotes healing is a gift from
Healing Briefs here