Just today I responded to friend in the Lord that I respect very deeply. They are struggling with serious physical problems and struggling to grasp how to cope, stand in faith and see results promised in the healing scriptures of the bible. I know there are many who will relate to the cry of this person’s heart, so while I protect my dear friend’s privacy I want to share with you my response:
I just got back from the doctor’s office… (in regard to a serious condition having been diagnosed)… My question….what am I doing wrong? I have done everything I know to do (to believe for health and healing). … I have not seemed to get any better, but seems things have even gotten worse. This makes me feel like I have no faith at all…
Hello <name withheld> … you are in our prayers. I don’t think God expects you to jump through any hoops to receive anything from him including healing. There is a such thing as “leaning to the physicians” like Asa (2 Chron. 16:12) but as long as the physician, the patient and God have the same goals (healing) there is nothing dishonoring about going to a doctor, taking tests etc. I’ve seen people healed of chronic illness and even terminal illness. I’ve also seen these things come back after miraculous remissions that medicine couldn’t account for. You are experiencing what Hebrews refers to as “enduring contradiction…” (Heb. 12:3). You can’t ignore symptoms, or sickness but you can stand in your faith and refuse the right of that condition in your body because of what Jesus did on the cross… (Isa. 53:5).
I also know that there are two kinds of illness – according to James “sickness” and “affliction”. If you are sick someone can pray and you are healed (James 5:14). If you are afflicted James says “let him that is afflicted pray” (James 5:13) implying a regimen of prayer brought online in a physical condition just like a round of chemo or radiation. It must be consistent and long term and carried out by the individual (very hard when you are drained emotionally and physically). Using this approach I’ve seen type 1 diabetics hold normal sugar levels for weeks.
The key is relying on what you know. You cannot allow yourself or your sense of well being to be dictated to by your physical body or symptoms. You deal with the symptoms and stand on the word. That is all you have. When I am down physically I lean on confession of the word. It works. Here is the link that I use:
I listen to it constantly in the background. I do it specifically daily in the morning first thing – particularly when I’m under pressure. My experience is that within 2 to 3 months things will change for the better if not alleviate the problem altogether.
1 Pet. 2:24 says by His stripes you are healed. Either that is true or we cannot rely on God’s word. Healing was provided for by the same sacrifice as salvation. If it isn’t God’s will to heal every time then it isn’t God’s will to save every time and not everyone who prays the sinners prayer is actually born again even if they pray with sincerity. Either these things are true or let’s just throw out bibles away and quit kidding ourselves.
As believers we commit to the word whether we experience it’s provisions or not. We may not ever see what the word clearly promises but my experience doesn’t carry a greater weight of authority than the clear promise of God’s word. We have to crucify empathy and self referral and commit unswervingly to the promises.
In writing this to you – I have chronic physical conditions that haven’t yielded to prayer. When I was first diagnosed it brought real panic in my life knowing here was something that medicine couldn’t fix and that wasn’t yielding to prayer. Doesn’t change the testimony of the word – I can’t deny the symptom but I can deny it’s right to remain in my body based on the clear testimony of the word of God.
I have seen the dead raised. I’ve seen cancers – late stage death-sentence diagnoses miraculously healed. I have been healed myself after doctors couldn’t even tell me what was wrong – walking out of the hospital completely untreated and completely delivered and healed.
Stand your ground. Do the work of faith – get your confessions and open your mouth and start verbalizing. War against the symptoms. I know it is hard but there is no one else to do it – you must. I know people who have lived decades under severe diagnoses but outlived their doctors, did what others with their condition could not do, and maintained a scratch-your-head testimony to all around them.
My heart goes out to you – and I’m praying for you. If you do with your faith what patriarchs of old did with their faith you will see the same results!