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Why Isn't Everyone Healed?
The prophet Malachi said in Malachi 4:2, "But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of rightousness arise with healing in his wings."
This was not just a metaphor for spiritual healing and health; the same thing was spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
Combine this with the example of Jesus healing all who came to Him, the undeniable truth that healing is a part of Christ's Atonement, and the fact that Jesus said He did exactly what He saw His Father do (John 5:19). The conclusion is that God wants you well.
As the Apostle Peter put it in Acts 10:38, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing ALL that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
Notice the word "all" in that verse. Notice also that those who were sick were oppressed of the devil, not of God. Sickness is not from God; it's from the devil. Healing is not from the devil; it's from God.
Since healing is a part of the Atonement, does that mean that Christians don't get sick? No, not anymore than those that have received forgiveness of their sins never sin again. Freedrom from sickness and disease has been provided just like freedom from sin. Christians still sin and they still get sick. However, it's not the will of God.
This leads to another major factor, which causes many people to reject the truth that it is always God's will to heal. It's often said or implied that sickness is caused by sin in a person's life. That's too simplistic. That is one reason, but only one reason.
Jesus told the man He healed at the Pool of Bethesda, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14). Sin can be one reason for sickness, but God is not sending sickness as punishment. Sin allows the devil to release his death in us. Not all sickness, however, is a direct result of individual sin.
Failure to present this truth properly has caused many people to believe it's not always God's will to heal. According to their thinking, if all sickness were the result of sin, all sick people are bad or evil in some way. But they know there are many godly people who get sick and even die.
Regardless of the cause of sickness, there is always something we can do about it: We can believe God and He will heal ALL our diseases (Exodus 15:26 and Psalms 103:3).
So if it is God's will to heal all our diseases, why isn't everyone healed? That's a simple question with a complex answer.
There are three major reasons. First, it's our own personal sin. God doesn't "get us" when we sin, but we reap what we sow. An alcoholic gets liver disease. Drug abusers get brain damage. Sexually promiscuous people get sexually transmitted diseases. God isn't punishing them; they do it to themselves.
Second, the devil is a foe that fights us with all types of problems. We make his job easier when we yield to him through sin, but he also uses ignorance as an inroad into our lives. Other times, satan's opposition doesn't come because of sin or ignorance, but just because we are in a war. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
Third, many of our problems are just the natural results of living in a fallen world. A wound gets infected not because of your personal sin and not because of a demon; it is just the result of the corruption that entered the world through sin.
It's not to say that all sickness is a result of sin or ignorance or failure in our lives; It's faith in God's healing Atonement is what overcomes sickness.
But it's not just faith that God can heal; it has to be more specific than that. A person can have faith and yet have that faith misdirected.
In Matthew 17, Jesus' desciples were not able to cure a boy who had a demonic spirit that caused seizures. His response to them was enlightening, to say the least: "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me" (Matthew 17:17).
Notice that Jesus didn't try to console His disciples by telling them it was not their fault; He told them they were faithless and perverse. Do you really think He would have a kinder, gentler response for His follower's today?
Jesus spent much time training His desciples to do the same works that He did. He wasn't pleased with their inability to meet the people's needs. He expected them to do as He did. He still wants the same for us (John 14:12).
Today the carnal church is sending the sick to doctors, the poor to bankers, the disturbed to psychiatrists. But it's God's will for the church to meet these needs. This is one of the main reason's we've seen a decrease in the influence of the church in our culture. People don't see the relevance of the church for everyday life, but only for the hereafter. That's our fault for not meeting the needs of people the way Jesus did.
After Jesus rebuked his desciples, He cast the demon out of the boy, and he was completely whole.
"Then came the desciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?" (Matthew 17:19).
This is the same question many people are asking today. "Why isn't everyone healed when we pray?" And this question didn't come from people who didn't believe God wanted to heal. If the desciples had doubted that God wanted to heal this boy, they wouldn't have asked this question. The reason they were puzzled was because they believed it was God's will to heal him, and they had seen others healed through their prayers. So why wasn't this boy healed?
Jesus' answer comes as a total shock to most people. He didn't say it was because they had no faith or that their faith wasn't strong enough. He didn't even mention their faith. He said it was because of their unbelief.
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17: 20).
Someone may be thinking, Wait a minute. If you have unbelief, then you aren't operating in faith. If you are truly in faith, then there won't be any unbelief. That's not what the Word teaches.
Jesus said in Matthew 21:21, "Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."
Notice that Jesus said to believe without doubting. If believing excludes doubting, then it would have been unnecessary to say that.
The Gospel writer Mark recorded this same instance where Jesus cast the demon out of the boy, but he gave a little more detail than Matthew.
The Scriptures record in Mark 9:21-24, "And he asked his father, How long is it ago since since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straighway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
Notice in verse 24 that the father of the child believed, but he had unbelief too. Jesus didn't correct him for that statement. It's true - you can believe and disbelieve at the same time.
Imagine that you hooked a horse up to a wagon. Under normal circumstances, the horse could pull the wagon. But if you had another horse of the same strength hooked to the wagon and pulling in the opposite direction, the wagon would not move, even though there would be great force exerted. That's the way it is with faith and unbelief.
Every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ was given "the measure of faith" (Roman 12:3). That faith is sufficient to accomplish whatever they need. The problem is not that they don't have faith; the problem is that you have unbelief that negates, or cancels out, the force of their faith.
This has to be the point Jesus was making to His desciples, because He goes on to say in Matthew 17:20, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
If Jesus was telling His desciples that their faith was too small, then why would He have told them that a very small amount of faith was sufficient to move a mountain? That would not have made sense. However, if He was telling them that their faith was not the problem but that unbelief was negating their faith, then it makes perfect sense.
Many Christians try to increase their faith but do little or nothing to decrease their unbelief. A simpler and easier solution would be for them to starve their doubts. How is that done?
Unbelief comes the same way that faith comes. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17), and doubt, or unbelief, comes by hearing. Unbelief is actually belief. It's just belief in the wrong thing or direction. When we focus our attention on God through His promises, faith rises. When we focus our attention on this world and it's deceptions, unbelief rises.
To decrease our unbelief, we have to decrease the influence of the world on our thoughts. However, we can't just cast out thoughts; thoughts have to be replaced. Until this is done, using the faith we have is counterbalanced by the unbelief that comes at us through the world. The result: We aren't delivered and we aren't healed.