Health. It’s one of those things most everyone wants. (If you don’t your probably not human), but is health our priority? Is health something God has promised us? Should we be healthy if we have faith we can be well? Today we look at those questions.
So, I have good news:
Matthew 9:35 English Standard Version (ESV)
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.
That’s good news:
Jesus has the power to heal.
If you read through the Bible there is no question about that. There is verse after verse of the power of God to heal. There are even multiple instances where that happens in today’s age: where people are healed miraculously.
Often when people are presenting the case for why God wants you to be healthy, they will take a verse like this:
Matthew 8:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
At first glance, it looks like the prophet Isaiah is saying that Jesus also bore our sickness on the cross when he bore our sins, but I must stress that we must always take the Bible in context. If we look at the fuller version:
Matthew 8:14-17 English Standard Version (ESV)
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
Jesus was actually fulfilling one of the many prophesies about him, this one where he was actively healing the sick.
Are there any other verses that might implie Jesus died or was wounded for our healing? Let’s take a look at a verse that may seem to say that.
1 Peter 2:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Ok, so healing can, of course, mean literal healing, but (according to Blue Letter Bible and other places in the Bible) here it can also mean:
- to make whole
to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one’s) salvation
Frankly, in context, the rest of the chapter mentions nothing about physical healing, while it seems to focus on our sins and how Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. Let’s take a moment to reconsider why Jesus died.
Ephesians 2:4-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Ephesians 2:11-13 English Standard Version (ESV)
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ok, so we were condemned to death because of our trespasses (sins) against God and had no hope of being with Him. God is perfect and without sin. Sin actually caused sickness and pain to enter the world among other things (Remember all the bad things that came about because of the first sin?). Sickness was a result of our separation from God, not a cause (Adam and Eve did not first become sick so that God took them out of the garden).
Isaiah 59:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
Isaiah 53:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Jesus was not wounded for our sickness, but our transgressions. His torture and mockery leading up to his death were all part of him being the perfect man yet having to go through pain because of our sinfulness.
Since sin is in the world, sometimes we have to bear things like sickness and pain. Some of the most Christ devoted people ever, have lived all or most of their life with sickness and even died from it. I’ve even met people like that. It is always so eye-opening to see how their love for God never fails, even through the hardship.
Now yes, Jesus does discipline his people when they go against him, and sometimes that might include sickness, but oftentimes God allows the consequences of the world to take their toll on us in order that they might mold us into better people.
Paul, one of my favorite people in the Bible, was not spared from suffering even though he was what some might call (including myself) and “Amazing Christian.” Paul had firm faith that God could free him, yet he also accepted suffering with a willing spirit.
2 Corinthians 11:23-31 English Standard Version (ESV)
Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
With no food and all that torture, Paul was probably feeling pretty sick, yet what does he do? He accepted it for his Lord. Paul’s amazing faith did not always free him from his circumstances, but it did lift his spirit in joy to the Lord.
The Bible is filled with places where God makes promises to heal people and carries through, but it is also filled with places where he has them endure through hardship.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Our life here on earth is fleeting and wasting away. Our goal should not worry about our present problems but the glory to come. How will we prepare for that?
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
^ Sickness can definitely count as a weakness, hardship, and even a calamity.
Jesus absolutely has the power to heal you, but that is not always in his will. You just have to choose, no matter the circumstance, to glorify God, and it’s actually pretty crazy, but if you can glorify God in your weakness it will show the perfect power and strength of Christ to others. Isn’t that how we can prepare for our days with Him to come, by showing others the power of Christ?
It’s not wrong to want and pray for health (God desires for us to come to him with our problems), but we must also be content with where He has us.
This blog is about stories. Your life is a story. If you are saved by Christ, your story will have a happy ending in eternity, but every good story has conflict. That’s what makes the “character” grow, but only if they let that conflict change them inwardly for the better.
How will you choose to respond to life when you are unhealthy? Love to you all! Bye, for now, everyone!