Notes on Healing: Part Two
Last month, we shared part one and highlighted how it is God’s will to heal, that sickness comes from the devil and gave examples of faith for healing. This month, we will examine the gifts of healing, Healing by Faith in the Word of God, and answer the question — why are not all healings instantaneous?
Gifts of Healing: “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good...and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit.” — 1 Cor 12:7,9. One of the means to be healed is through the gifts of healing. This is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Cor. 12:8-10. It must be understood that these gifts only operate as the Spirit wills, not as a person desires. This gift operates through an individual believer to minister healing to the oppressed and afflicted. The gift of healing shows the compassion of a loving God to minister to a sick and dying world and also serves as a testimony and witness to others. A good illustration of this is when Peter and John were walking to the temple and encounter a lame man. “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” — Acts 3:1-10. If you notice, Peter and John did not preach to this lame man, neither did they inquire about his salvation, nor inquire if he knew who they were. But the anointing came on Peter and he told the begging man that he did not have silver and gold, but simply said that he was to arise and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This was the gifts of healing because it was entirely on the faith and anointing Peter was operating in. Likewise, Jesus also operated in the gifts of healing. One example is the the healing Jesus performed at the pool of Bethesda. “A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.” — John 5:5-9. This was also the gifts of healing. Now, contrast the Bethesda healing to the healing of woman with the issue of blood. The woman with the issue of blood was healed according to her own faith by touching Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43-48). Jesus plainly states to the woman after she was healed, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” So we can see there are times when healing is because of a person's individual faith and also there are healings through the gifts of healing. It is important to recognize the various methods of healings because too many times people think healings are only possible when it is done according to the gifts of healing. However, in the Bible, more healings are actually documented through a person’s individual faith rather than through the gifts of healing.
Healing by Faith in the Word of God: Now, let's examine healing through faith in the Word of God by looking at and example in Acts 14:7-10. In this scripture, a healing of a lame man much like the one in Acts 3 occurs, but this healing came not with the gifts of healing, but faith in God’s Word. In Acts 14:7-10, it states, “and there they continued to preach the gospel. And at Lystra there was sitting a certain man, without strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he leaped up and began to walk.” Many casual readers will state that it was wonderful that Paul healed the lame man, but that is not accurate. Paul did three things: 1. He preached the gospel. 2. He perceived the man had faith for healing. 3. He said to the man that he was to arise and walk. The lame man did three things: 1. He heard Paul speak. 2. He had faith to be healed. 3. He arose and walked. Some ask how did he get faith? The answer is in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Obviously, Paul’s preaching the gospel had elements of faith and healing. If you desire people to be saved, you must preach salvation; if you desire people to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you must preach about the Holy Spirit. If you desire people to be healed, you must preach about healing. When we preach about the truths of the gospel it dispels unbelief and builds up faith. In this healing at Lystra, it was accomplished because the lame man heard the Word, believed it and acted upon it.
Why are not all healings instantaneous? This is an interesting question, and there are points that will become clearer as we probe the scriptures. All healing that comes through the “gifts of healing” is instantaneous, but healing received by faith in God’s Word may or may not be instantaneous. In Mark 16:17-18, it states that believers will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Recover, can mean instantly healed, and also it can refer to recovering over a period of time. Sometimes faith is present for healing, but not strong enough for a complete healing, and as a result, a person begins to recover, but they are not completely healed. Remember, the Lord Jesus Himself could do no mighty works in some places because of the people’s unbelief. This reveals that the Holy Spirit only works in an atmosphere of faith. Even during Jesus’ days on earth, not all were instantly healed, but for some, it took time for the healing to completely manifest. In Mark 8:22-26, a blind man was brought to Jesus. But Jesus took the man by the hand and led him out of the city. He spits on the blind man’s eyes and he laid hands on him. Then Jesus asked the man what he saw and the man stated that he saw men as trees walking. Jesus laid his hands on him again and he saw all men clearly. Afterwards, Jesus told the man to not to go back into the city and tell no one in the town about what had happened. This, to be sure, is a strange story. Some people say Jesus prayed twice for the man, but in fact, we don’t know if he prayed at all. The scripture states that he laid hands twice on the man. He asks if he saw anything and the man saw men as trees walking. Jesus was not operating in doubt by laying hands on him the second time, but rather, stayed with the man until a complete manifestation came for his healing. Sometimes we must stay with people until there is a complete manifestation of healing. This doesn’t mean one should repetitively pray for the same thing over and over again, but instead it means standing in faith for a complete healing until it manifests. Additionally, Jesus would not minister to the man in the town, nor allow him to return. Why? Because this city was one of the cities that Jesus rebuked for their unbelief (Matthew 11:21-22). In scripture, we constantly see Jesus separating himself from doubters and scorners (Mark 5:36-42) because he knows doubt and unbelief will hinder the working of God. Likewise, in your own life, when you pray for healing it is important to surround yourself with like-minded Christians and separate yourself from an environment of doubt.
These past months we have talked about healing because we know there are many people who are suffering from sickness and disease. But praise God there is HEALING in HIM. Healing is for all who believe and ready to touch you now. If you are sick or suffering, we encourage you to pray in belief and receive your healing! Stand Upon the Word of God and know IN THE NAME OF JESUS YOU ARE HEALED! Amen!
Tim and Will