Divine healing in the Bible – Part 21
“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.” (Is 38:5)
I have Heard Thy Prayer. God’s statement that Hezekiah must prepare for death and Hezekiah’s prayer to God (v.2) have important implications for our relationship to God.
1. All the things that God declares about the future are not necessarily irrevocable (cf. Jonah 3:1-10). When believers are confronted with tragedy, we can rest assured that God cares about what happens to us; He is compassionate and sensitive to our experiences.
2. Our prayers do have an effect on God, His purpose and the outworking of His sovereign plan; thus what happens in our lives or in the life of the church is determined by both God’s plan and our prayers. We must always maintain the Scriptural conviction that prayer does change things (vv. 4-7; cf 1 Kgs 21:29; Ezek 33:13-16; Jas 5:14-15).
• When Healing Is Delayed
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6: So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7: Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again,” Jn 11:5-7.
Jesus loved this family and often stayed with them. He knew their pain but did not respond immediately. His delay had a specific purpose. God’s timing, especially His delays, may make us think He is not answering or is not answering the way we want. But He will meet all our needs according to His perfect schedule and purpose (Philippians 4:19). Patiently await His timing.
He Stayed Two More Days (v16).
Jesus delayed going to the family He loved (v.5) in order to give this family, and His disciples, a faith that had the dimensions of depth and breadth. Initially, Jesus’ actions appeared to indicate that He was unconcerned by their suffering. However, John repeatedly emphasises that Jesus loved the family and shared their sorrow (v3, 5, 35). Jesus’ timing and purpose was different than theirs. God’s timing and will amid our trials, may perplex us as well. God answers us according to His greater wisdom, perspective and love.
• Even Those Jesus Loves Fall Sick (John 11)
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,” (John 11:4-6)
When we suffer or are sick, it does not mean that Jesus does not love us. “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus,” and they loved Jesus with strong friendship, affection and devotion (vv. 1-2; cf. Luke 10:38-42). Nevertheless, they experienced sorrow, sickness and death. Today, these troubles can and will happen to God’s faithful and chosen believers.
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