Is sickness always a result of God’s judgment for sin or wrong in one’s life? Is it from God or the Devil?
Sickness and disease in the world are consequences of sin committed in the Garden of Eden. Physical sickness and death is a part of life from which saved people are not completely exempt. Sometimes saints are sick as a result of environmental or physical conditions. Death, by whatever cause, is the gateway to eternal life with God.
Satan can bring affliction as he did with Job; however, everything which touches our lives must first go through God. It is also true that God can cause or allow sickness to come upon our bodies. Is it not during times of suffering that we can draw closer to God? Even in suffering we can commit ourselves without fear into His care, knowing He will do that which is best.
In John 9:1-11, Jesus healed a man that was blind from his birth. His disciples asked, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
God often works spiritual good through sickness not only for the individual but also for others. 2 Corinthians 4:15-17 eloquently addresses this question: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Will God always heal physical sickness when people exercise faith?
God desires to save every soul and He promised never to leave nor forsake His children; however, He did not promise to physically heal every illness. There is a balance in the Scripture between asking in faith, believing, and in submitting to the will of God.
Paul had a thorn in the flesh (a trial or affliction of some kind) and he asked God to remove it. Paul prayed multiple times. God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul did not have sin or a lack of faith; but when God’s answer was “no,” he responded, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…. for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
We must pray according to the will of God with faith, believing in His power. Pray with expectation but also with a spirit of submission. When God gives an answer, accept it with faith and confidence knowing His grace will work sufficiently whether in healing or in sickness.
Is “trusting the Lord” to the exclusion of medical intervention?
The Scripture teaches divine healing as a privilege and blessing to God’s children. It also teaches that to please God we must have faith. Many people define faith as relating too exclusively to the healing of the body. This does an injustice to the Scripture. Faith covers every aspect of life and is more about relationship with God than about what someone does or does not do medically.
Romans 14:22-23 says, “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
There are some areas in which the Bible does not list all the particulars and we err to fill in that gap for others. There are varying degrees of faith which means God may inspire and lead differently from person to person and situation to situation. While saints have used doctors in some capacity while maintaining faith, there are times that faith and personal inspiration preclude medical intervention. Excluding medical help when sick should never result from coercion by others but from a personal decision of faith.
It is vital that we place our trust and confidence in the Lord. Seek God and submit to His will and purpose whether in suffering or in health. “Lord, increase our faith!”