THE very words are misleading—as though all healing were not the work of God. But of direct healing without any intermediate agencies we hear much today, and that usually is called “Divine Healing.”
Our Lord’s ministry upon earth was one of preaching, teaching and healing (Matt. 4:23). Power to heal was to be a sign for believers (Mark 16:18). The apostles healed (Acts 3:1-11; 9:32-42; 14:8-10). Healing is listed as one of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:9). James declares that the prayer of faith shall save the sick (Jas. 5:15).
That God heals today in direct answer to prayer is proven again and again in undeniable instances, some of which all of us have known. In some cases He heals through the agencies of doctors and medicines. In other cases where healing is asked just as earnestly, for some reason best known to Himself, He does not heal at all. There is no uniform rule here that fits all cases.
Paul healed, yet he himself carried a “thorn in the flesh” which God did not take away in answer to prayer. He left Trophimus at Miletum sick (2 Tim. 4:20), and he advised Timothy to use a little wine for his stomachs sake and his often infirmities (1 Tim. 5:23).
These facts, with the facts of everyday experience, bear out the truth that God is not always pleased to heal the sick even in answer to earnest prayer. The “prayer of faith” that shall save the sick is prayer that is in line with God’s will to heal in a given case. The true attitude of faith is “Thy will be done,” and when it is God’s will to heal in a certain case, and the prayer is in harmony with His will, it is a true prayer of faith.
It is the same principle where we read that if we delight ourselves in the Lord He shall give us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 37:4). One readily can see how that if everyone got from God what he desired we should have hopeless confusion; with two men, for instance, in the same community praying, one for rain and the other for dry weather. The antecedent conditions are that we delight in the Lord, rest in His will, and then the desire of our hearts will be that His will be done. In other words, as we abide in Him He creates within us such holy desires as He is pleased to answer.
The true attitude toward healing is to trust one’s condition with the Lord, commit it to Him at the outset. Then, it is well to use such agencies as we can for healing and recovery, for they, too, are the gifts of God. Committing one’s case to a doctor does not exclude the participation of God, for whatever good results are obtained come from the giver of every good and perfect gift. God often uses means as He did with the poultice of figs in Hezekiahs case (Isa. 38:21) and as our Lord did with the blind man (John 9:6). Still, He can and often does heal when all earthly means have failed, so our attitude should be that God does heal and sometimes uses means—rather than that nature heals us with the aid of medicine and sometimes God may heal. This attitude allows for the possibility of Divine Healing.