Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home! And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. (Luke 5:24-25)
One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed? … Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. (John 5:5-9)
I don’t know about you, but when I read verses like these, I can get frustrated. Do I WANT to be made well? Really? Of course I do! The fact remains, there are hundreds of thousands of people living with chronic or permanent conditions or injuries. So, why do only a small fraction of these get a “Yes” from the Big Man when it comes to being healed?
God is not our get-well genie:
I know it sounds harsh, but the reality is that God does not owe it to us, or anyone, to provide healing. Never forget that the only thing we truly deserve is punishment for our sins. It is only by the grace of God that we are forgiven and made co-heirs of Heaven. Considering that we bring nothing to the table when it comes to our salvation, this is quite the deal of the lifetime!
When you’re struggling with God on the issue of not being healed, it is good to at least start from a place of having the right perspective. Consider what Paul writes in Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Bottom line, God is above all things and over all things. His thoughts and ways are above our own. “To Him be glory forever.”
You are made for the glory of God
Did you catch the last verse there? This life we live is not our own…it is for HIS glory. Heck, it never was really ours to begin with! Is it possible that God is best glorified in your life THROUGH your infirmities? Don’t get me wrong…pray for healing. Have the church pray. Seek the Lord on this! But remember that whatever happens…
You were bought with a price and you are made for HIS glory.
The apostle Paul was not unfamiliar to suffering. Even though he was handpicked by God to be His representative and passionately followed Him from that day forth, even he had pain and hardship to deal with daily. Side note: following God doesn’t exempt you from the junk of life.
Here is what Paul wrote about regarding one of his areas of suffering:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Bible commentators believe this “thorn in the flesh” was his either his losing his sight, having ongoing physical ailments from being beaten many times, or a constant tormenting of a demon. Whatever it was, Paul’s ailment was a big deal.
Notice the steps Paul took:
God heals some people...for His glory. God doesn’t heal others (and maybe that’s the group you’re in)…for His glory. It can even be through this suffering that God gets the MOST glory.
So…what are you doing today to LIVE for HIS glory?
No one wants to be paralyzed or go through any kind of suffering for that matter. And, you may be a ways off from being able to say “Hey, I’m gonna live for God’s glory and embrace all this.” But, could you at least be open to letting God move in your heart? Could you ask God to help open your eyes to see how He may want to use you? There IS hope.
Some good news…
God loves you. God has a plan for you. God will work out ALL things together for GOOD (Romans 8:28). That’s His promise, not mine. Are you looking for the good in all this? Pray for God to reveal it to you. Cling to His promise. Live for His glory!
And, might I remind you that there is coming a day when there will be no more pain or suffering (Rev 21:4). Not only this, but we, as God’s children, get glorified, resurrected bodies to fully experience life in heaven (2 Corinthians 12:35-44). There ARE great days to come!
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