Why are some people not physically healed through prayer and even die prematurely? Some friends have said to me “perhaps we need to see the big picture—the one which God alone can see”. And “God’s ways are so hidden to us”.
Now that sounds nice and spiritual. But are God’s ways so mysterious and unavailable to us?
No. God has already has given us the “big picture” in sending His Son to us. “In these last days he has spoken to us by His Son!” (Hebrews 1:2). There are many things in God’s big picture and these he does not keep from us, his friends! He makes his ways known to his friends. Let’s see what the apostle Paul says in 1 Cor 2:9-10 . . .
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (NASB)
Many preachers just quote verse 9 and leave out verse 10. This is terribly wrong.
Verse 9 is from the prophet Isaiah (Isa 65:9) who looked forward to its fulfilment. Now it is fulfilled! Now we have a better covenant with better promises.
The Lord Jesus calls us “no longer servants for the servant does not know what his master’s plans are, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15). We, in the New Covenant, in Jesus, are His family, His friends.
So, He does not keep from us the bigger picture of what He has in store for us. They are revealed to us …. “even to the depths of God”. What a privilege! And what a responsibility! His big picture is to save us—from our sins and from our sicknesses and deliver us from oppression and set the captives free (Mat 8:16—18, Luke 4:20—21). That is the big heart of the Father. It is why Jesus came. It is why he suffered for us. And it is why he calls us to heal the sick and do what he did—by the Holy Spirit.
Wait a moment. Can you really imagine Jesus praying for a paralysed person like this: “Father if it is your will, heal this paralysed man?”
Of course, that would be utterly foreign to the Gospel accounts.
No. “Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil” (Acts 10:38). Please note that Jesus never prayed for the sick. He did not need to ask the Father whether it was God’s will but he consistently spoke to the sicknesses and diseases and commanded wholeness. God has revealed his will to us.
This power and authority he has given to his followers and that has never been withdrawn. As Jesus was in the world, so must we, his followers be.