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What to do when God doesn't heal

Recently someone asked me the following question. "What do I do when God doesn't heal me?" They went on to share how they had prayed many times and healing had not come. They had also asked others to pray for them and even gone forward in church for someone to pray too. Still no healing had come.

I knew from the tone of the conversation that the person did not want some stock answer or a cliché. They wanted something to keep going with that would encourage them on their journey until healing came. Here are several things I shared with them.

1. Realise the need to be patient

Someone once said that the only way to learn patience is to go through a situation where we need to be patient! I have found this to be true in my own life, especially in regard to healing. Many times I went forward at church for prayer or a special meeting and believed God would heal me of various conditions. Sometimes He did, but at other times nothing happened straight away. There were times when I would wake up the next day with a sense of disappointment because nothing happened. I would feel angry or let down by God.

During these times when nothing seemed to happen and it seemed like God was not listening, I learned that I had to exercise tremendous faith and patience. I believed God could and would heal me or He could change my situation, but ultimately it was up to God to work His miracle or bring His solution in His perfect timing. More often than not I have found that He has worked in my situation and brought a great outcome. Being patient on my part and trusting God was a key to this.

2. Realise you can be a testimony

In my time as a Christian I have heard some awesome testimonies of the great things God has done in people's lives. These have encouraged me tremendously and have helped me to believe for bigger things in my life. Just as these testimonies have inspired me, there have also been testimonies of people's faithfulness in the midst of suffering that have uplifted me also. I have heard of people suffering for many years while testifying to God's goodness and mercy. While they suffered tremendously their faith remained rock solid.

The Old Testament character Job is a perfect example of this. He lost nearly all his possessions, his family and was struck down with chronic illness. During this whole period of his life he remained faithful to God and trusted Him. His strength of faith and decision not to curse God was a powerful testimony and still remains several thousand years later.

3. Realise God may be working in the background

We can get a glimpse of God's character and actions from reading the Bible and seeing what He has done throughout history. Many times He intervened miraculously in situations like the parting of the Red Sea. At other times He seemed to do nothing, but as time panned out we see He was working away in the background. Imagine how the disciples felt when Jesus was crucified on the cross. They would have felt a tremendous sense of disappointment at first, only to find out three days later Jesus was raised from the dead and it was all part of God's plan.

If we are looking to God for healing we need to keep this in mind. We must look to God and acknowledge that He can heal us, but at the same time realise He may be working in the background. He may be preparing us for a miracle by increasing our faith and trust in Him or He might be waiting for the right time for other things to fall into place.

4. Realise God's ultimate plan

While the Lord is interested in every minute detail of our lives, we have to remember that His ultimate plan is for each of us spend eternity with Him. It breaks God's heart to see people suffering, but His heart is that we will turn to Him for help in the midst of this suffering. The Bible tells us God's ultimate plan in John 3:16 when it says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". God loved you and I so much that He sent His Son to die a painful death for our sin to take our punishment. He suffered so we won't have to.

This love that God showed towards me was one of the greatest revelations of my life. To get to this point though, God "allowed" me to suffer a crippling disease to bring me to the point of where I would turn to Him. He didn't cause my suffering, but in His wisdom knew that is what I needed to look to Him. Looking back now I am glad He did bring that into my life as it brought me to the foot of the cross where I found Jesus.

Closing

If you or someone you know is suffering from illness, I would encourage you to look to God for healing and for your salvation. The Bible says in Psalm 103:3 that God is the God who forgives our sin and heals our diseases. In the meantime be patient, try to be a testimony and trust God is working in the background. Your miracle may well be on the way!

Do you want to trust God now?

Dear God,
I come to You and ask You to move in my life in the midst of my illness. Please comfort me in my suffering and help me to look to you. I pray that in Your perfect timing and in Your way my miracle will come to pass. In Jesus' name, Amen.

If you would like to trust Jesus for your salvation, please visit my "Peace with God" page here.

By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSION Australia

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