Summary: None of us want to miss out on the wonderful things that God has in mind for our lives. Let us listen to what the Spirit of God is telling us through these examples as we filter them through our understanding of the scriptures. Throughout the ages we know
How God Can Use Sickness and Healing to Work All Things Together for Good - Rom 8:28
None of us want to miss out on the wonderful things that God has in mind for our lives. Let us listen to what the Spirit of God is telling us through these examples as we filter them through our understanding of the scriptures. Throughout the ages we know that God has used sickness as well as healing for His purposes. Often God punished idolatry, rebellion, and all forms of disobedience with disease. Take for example, the case of greedy Gehazi in 2 Kings 5:20-27.
When Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, became angry with his master for not demanding payment for healing Naaman’s leprosy, he deliberately lied to Namaan. He said,
"My Master has sent me to tell you something, two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver ($1,000) and two sets of clothes."
When Gehazi returned to his Master, he lied to Elisha about where he had been. But Elijah said, "Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes...? Maaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and he was pure, as white as snow.
Disease was God’s divine punishment for greed, deceit, and disobedience. Today, many are sick and suffering for similar reasons, but sometimes God allows it for His greater purposes which may not be immediately understood.
Although we must resign our minds to the reality that all the writings and human reasoning will never disclose all the purposes of sickness and healing, we seek to uncover some of the mysteries of God’s will and seek to better understand His personal characteristics.
It is always left to the sovereign will of God who is healed or not and for what reasons. Remember what the Lord told Moses in Deut. 32:29, "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal and no-one can deliver out of my hand." God’s miracles include works of healing, but also works of judgment.
The judgment of God works repentance in mens’ hearts and subsequent salvation. The discipline and chastening of sin gives men a sense of the fear of God and His hatred of all things contrary to His nature. Lest we abuse, misuse, or distort the true message of the grace of God, He allows sickness in our lives to bring us to a closer dependence upon Himself.
Application: He ultimately approves of certain afflictions in order to create greater holiness, humility, and submission to His Spirit’s working in us.
Faith, not always reason, must satisfy us. The ultimate plans of God will be accomplished through the power of His will. It is a matter of our discovering how we can better facilitate His maximum will in our becoming more like Christ and helping the church to fulfill its potentials.
Let us look at some of the reasons why God allows sickness and afflictions to come into our lives:
1. God uses disease to chasten and discipline people for their disobedience.
2. God uses illnesses as a sign of greater judgment coming unless there is repentance and trust in Him.
3. God uses sickness to punish people for their sin.
4. God uses disease to humble the proud.
5. God uses illnesses to warn people of impending disasters and plagues.
6. God uses illnesses to help us to know that His grace is sufficient for us as His power in perfected in our weaknesses.
7. Illness keeps from depending on our own insights, skills, positions, powers, or educations.
8. God can show His power sovereign will through deliverance from sickness, handicaps, and illnesses.
9. God can keep us mindful that His sovereign will is beyond our human finite levels of understanding.
10. God can show how Satan uses illness to afflict His servants, like Job.
11. God can show how show how He is more powerful than the devil through delivering us from illness and suffering.
12. God uses national pestilence sometimes to bring national punishment to a nation for the sins of the leaders.
13. God uses illness to force us to be more disciplined in our study of medicine and scientific cures.
14. God uses illnesses to create in us a greater sense of holiness and intimacy with Himself.
15. God uses illness at times to teach us that sickness is not always a result of sin, but His will in humbling us before Him and causing us to rest.