30 March 2012
I remember asking this question to a relative many years ago. This relative had a loved one who was in the hospital facing a severe illness. My relative felt that God's will for a believer was that God's children should all be healthy and wealthy. This was a sign of God's blessing and that a believer is where God wants him to be.
Recently my lovely wife has come down with a very painful oral condition. After four visits to the dentist, many prescriptions, and a two week ordeal, the question which I asked my relative comes back to me. "Is it always God's will to heal?"
For reasons that we do not always know, God allows pain and suffering in the world and in the lives of His children. The Bible certainly gives testimony to this. Job did nothing wrong and yet he suffered greatly. Joseph is another patriarch who comes to mind. Obviously, many of God's servants have suffered and been persecuted through no fault of their own (Abel, Elijah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Daniel,etc.)
Let me encourage you to slow down when reading the end of the New Testament epistles. There are some rich nuggets at the end of those books if we take time to consider what they say and at times, what they don't say. 2 Timothy 4:20 comes to mind.
"Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick." Such a simple verse, yet profound in evaluating whether or not it is God's will to always heal.
Did Paul have the gift of healing? Yes (Acts 28:8)! Yet even he could not heal his own personal ailment (2 Cor. 12:5-10). And though he had the gift of healing, he did not heal his co-laborer and friend Trophimus. He left him in Miletus sick.
For whatever reason, God does not always heal. In such times, we ought to do a lot of personal evaluation and spend much time in prayer (cf. James 5:13 ff.). Sometimes God will raise up the sick. Other times He does not. But He always has some great things to teach us if we will but listen to His still small voice.