Jun 302013 32 Responses

Your Faith Does Not Heal You

Some say: “If you have enough faith, God will heal you.”

They point to numerous examples in the New Testament where healing took place.

“By His wounds we are healed,” they say. God is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” they proclaim. Because God has healed in the past, he still does so today.

With this thought, the key to healing is our faith. If we have enough faith, we can be healed.

Good Intentions

For many, this idea comes from good intentions. The Bible often uses the picture of healing to explain salvation. The death of Christ on the Cross, healed our sin-sick souls. “By His wounds we are healed,” as Jesus makes a way for us to experience the forgiveness of our sins and spend eternity in heaven. Yet we cannot take this promise about salvation and make it universally true to every illness.

God does not heal every person who has enough faith or who prays the right prayer or who gives enough money or who makes the right touch point with a person of faith. “By His wounds” our sin-sick souls can be healed, but we may, or may not, be healed from cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

The greatest proof that God has not made healing available to all people at every time is the life of Paul. In Acts 14, Paul heals a crippled man in Lystra. In Acts 16, he heals a demon possessed woman. In Acts 19, he healed many in Ephesus. In Acts 20, he raised Eutychus from the dead.

But when Timothy had an upset stomach, Paul told him to take some wine for it. When Ephraditus was sick, Paul couldn’t heal him. And three times Paul prayed for his own condition, but to no avail.

If healing is available to everyone and we just need enough faith to experience it, why couldn’t Paul heal Timothy, Ephraditus, or himself? Why does everyone eventually die? Do they just run out of faith?

God has not made healing available to every person leaving the outcome of healing in our hands if we just have enough faith.

Bad Intentions

For some, this idea comes from bad intentions.

If your faith is the source of healing, you will do anything in your power to prove your faith. This includes giving large sums of money to people who claim they can help you.

This line of thinking makes someone very subtitle to abuse.

Bad Outcomes

Whether from good intentions or bad, the consequences of this line of thinking can border on abusive.

It can produce tremendous guilt for those who are sick. It gives the impression that their illness is their fault. It implies their faith is not meaningful.

It can give false hope to those who are healthy. If God heals all who are sick based on their faith, an absence of sickness can lead some to believe that health is a sign of holiness. For many this is a false hope.

It can create a judgmental attitude toward those who are sick. Why can’t they just believe and get well? Instead of seeing our tasks to assist those who are sick, if we aren’t careful, we begin to judge them.

Another Perspective

God can do as he wishes, however he wishes, whenever he wishes.

If he desires to heal someone, he can.

However, he is not limited by our faith.

And unfortunately, we cannot manipulate God by our faith.

Sometimes people believe and are healed. Most of the time they are not.

Either way—in life or death—a believer can trust the sovereign plan of God and the great hope of heaven.

32 Responses to Your Faith Does Not Heal You
  1. […] Some proclaim that God has made healing available to all people and all we need is the faith to rece... kevinathompson.com/healing-faith-sickness-and-the-bible
  2. Christine Reply

    I agree totally with what you teach about ‘ your faith does not heal you’ and yet Jesus said to the woman with the issue of blood ‘ your faith has made you whole’ .
    Healing is God’s prerogative?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Christine, I would say so. God can heal whomever he wishes. He was highlighting the woman’s faith but it was still his choice. I assume we would agree that Paul didn’t lack faith, yet he prayed three times about his thorn in the flesh and didn’t receive healing.

    • Dan Reply

      Your point is pretty good. I have read the lives of great men of GOD WHO seen many healing. CHRIST TOLD Peter that the things he had done that he could do even greater. I have asked myself questions on this topic. We have heard that we have not because we ask not. What things you ask in my name I will give them to you. When we are very close to GOD we te d to see healings and other miricals. CHRIST TOld Tomas to have faith. I find it hard to beleive rhat i will be give anything if it only comes when GOD desires it. How can we trust in God if he only answers at times? I have seen a lack of faith in myself when prayers dont get answered..good question though.

  3. […] you’ve heard this phrase afterward, you’re not alone. Some people have twisted the Scripture to ... eurasianorthwest.org/healing-scriptures
  4. Stanley Zantarski Reply

    Interesting points. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Natalie Reply

    You referred to the thorn in Paul’s side, we cannot know if that was physical or SPIRITUAL. It very easily could have been guilt for what he had done. I think when Christ tells the woman with the issue of blood “Your faith has made you whole” it is s pretty cut and dry. I don’t think we have to analyze it. Yes, it was Christ’s decision to do so but it was a result of HER faith. Matthew 13:58 says “he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” Again we see it was his decision but his decision was a result of their faith. We see both sides of the coin with these stories. Faith and lack of. The same thing happened with Jarius’ daughter, he made everyone leave because of their lack of faith.
    As far as you saying most will not be healed, John 21:25 says the Christ performed so many miracles the whole world could not hold all the books written about them.
    I absolutely do not expect to convince you otherwise, but just like me telling someone “Your faith is not enough, or you wouldn’t be sick.” I believe you saying “Your faith will more than likely not yield results” is just as wrong. I also did not read where a single scripture was quoted to back up your words. Yes, there were a few instances in the Bible where God did not use PEOPLE to heal but Christ himself never turned away a single person who needed healing. Never did he say “this is God’s Will.” Like I said, according to John there were more miracles than not. Like I said, I don’t expect to change your opinion, I just hope that instead of listening to you, or me for that matter, people will go to God’s Word and let Him reveal to them what his Will is.

    • Stephanie Reply

      My husband passed three years ago from a very short battle with cancer. Many people were praying for him to be healed, and I don’t mean three people. There had to be at least a hundred. So, with that being said, did we all not have enough “faith?” I find that hard to believe. I believe that my husband fulfilled what his assignment was down here on Earth and God gave him his reward! He died two days before his 36th birthday. I believe that not everyone receives a healing down here, our great reward is in heaven. If we were to all be healed on Earth, then Jesus’s sacrifice would have been for nothing. There would be no heaven to look forward to because it would be here on Earth. As long as we have faith, even the size of a mustard seed we can do all things through Christ! We have to remember though that God is the Beginning and the End. He has the final say through His will!

  6. Ifeanyi Reply

    I totally agree with Natalies view… The ability and willingness of God to heal those who come unto him in submission and faith is not a “flip a coin, head or tails scenario… Though God reserves the right to grant healing, more often than not faith is a catalyst to that request being granted… Hence the words…. “go..ur faith has made you whole….

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      No doubt faith plays a part in that story, yet this article is warning against assuming faith is a magic key which forces God to do something. Many great people of faith did not receive healing–Paul would probably be one.

  7. Alexander Maclean Reply

    If what you say is true surely this makes a liar out of jesus , whatever you ask of the father in my name he will give it to you, i would expect that statement to include healing wouldnt you ?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Alexander, I think I have a fair test to see if that verse means what you think it means. Go to a local children’s hospital and ask God to heal each person there. If it doesn’t work, will that be a sign of your lack of faith? I don’t think it would be, but using your argument it would be.

    • Kay Reply

      Taking one verse and running with it without looking at the whole Bible is quite dangerous. Forgive me if thats not what has happened here- it’s just what I took away from this comment.
      Yes, Jesus said that. However, reading onward to 1st John 5:14-15, the Holy Spirit gives more insight. We can be confident and believe that God will answer any request made in Jesus’ name- if the request ALIGNS WITH GOD’S WILL. If we don’t look at 1John for the full picture, we’ll unintentionally be cherry picking the Bible.
      I’m not trying to shout btw- I only bolded for emphasis.

      If somebody think God’s will is always their physical comfort and happiness on this temporary earth, thats a whole nother topic. 🙂

      God bless!

  8. Rose Reply

    Without faith it is impossible to please God. .Faith without works is DEAD. .Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Men fail..not God. Many variables in individual lives are often the deal breaker in the results of believing for healing..dark forces..hidden sin…deception..Unforgiveness …using the healing message for financial gain…idolatry…self glory..etc..Some people get saved, but many don’t! But its Gods will that ALL are saved..To indicate God gives special preferrence To some and not others is to crush pepples hope and faith altogether. We should never stop operating in the faith Jesus examples for us just because humans have failed us. When a great man of God of faith died a few years ago..I did not understand..God said to me..”I want people to stop looking at MAN. Always have hope..always have faith and keep your eyes on Jesus and not man. Do not focus on stuff..running to a man or woman to get something…turn your eyes upon Jesus and get into that secret place.. God will not give His glory to another! AND NEVER STOP BELIEVING HIM FOR YOUR MIRACLE!

  9. Dwayne Reply

    God wants u holy(spiritually healed)more than he wants u wholly(physically healed)…If u conmbine those two as always gods will based on someones faith then how do u explain all the paraplegics who are born again who are still handicapped. Faith healing doctrine would leave them questioning their salvation…sure i believe faith moves mountains but if that mountain dont move then im left with what jesus prayed in the garden. Not my will but thy will be done…and we all can agree that jesus didnt lack faith..amen??

  10. telef fernandes Reply

    just cant understand this healing . mostly no, but rarely yes

  11. BEULAH Reply

    thanks for explaining it so well

  12. BEULAH Reply

    it was very good article

  13. Lilly Reply

    This was what I needed at this exact moment. Thank you

  14. Kathleen O Reply

    Your article is so timely. Just excellent. There’s a surgence of false doctrine being taught around this country that claims “if you have ‘enough’ faith you’ll be healed”. So many Christians are being led astray by these heretic teachers and so-called prophets who claim it all in the name of Jesus. Does God want us to have faith that He can heal? Absolutely. But if it’s contingent upon MU faith, then that minimizes God. It makes ALL healings conditional. As one person commented we can’t cherry pick verses to fit the need. We need to reference one scripture against another. Paul was one of the hero’s of faith. No one can ignore that. He asked God to take away his malady (yes it was some type of physical malady as he asked for Luke to come to him several times…who was a doctor) yet God didn’t take it away. In fact, when you read scripture God says: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Cor 12:8-9. God chose not to heal Paul for His glory and benefit. When it comes to healing, God is always more concerned with our character than our comfort (quoting Pastor Rick Warren). He heals according to His will not ours. Sad to see so many led astray by false teachings.

    • mizzmerck Reply

      Yes, I feel as though people that follow these types of teaching are not looking to submit to God and trust that his way is perfect. We all have a reasonable amount of fear of dying especially when there is reason to believe that the time is upon you, so I understand the desire to want to force God’s hand with eisegesis scripture compilations. We have to remember the loving nature of God, I have a hard time seeing God in this philosophy .. well I want to heal you but too bad you don’t believe enough.. I know a woman that refused treatment of breast cancer and believed God unto death. I would call that steadfast faith .. this teaching just doesn’t hold-up. There is a reason Jesus taught the Lord’s prayer ..”Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”

  15. Deb Reply

    The very fact that you all have problems with God’s apparent contradictions, just goes to show what many of us have discovered. God’s promises in the bible can’t be trusted. He DID promise to give us whatever we ask for, in Matthew, WITHOUT a requirement of faith, repentance, God’s will, or anything. One commenter here says that one can’t cherry-pick, but in the very next sentence, admits that put one scripture up against another. If the bible were true, like it claims to be, then it would be impossible to have one part, no matter the size, go against another. Look, faith is only based on what you’ve been told, early in life by people who you believed would never tell you anything untrue. They may have actually though it WAS true, but that doesn’t mean it was. You can’t possibly have faith in anything or anyone if they’ve proved to you that they don’t honor their word. So, if your god says you will be healed, and you aren’t healed, then you can’t have faith in that god. I have a story about my late first husband, like Stephanie on here. He died too, after being prayed for by well over 100 people. When god said you get what you ask for, then he’s obligated to honor that promise. He doesn’t get to back out, for whatever reason. It IS a heads-or-tails proposition. People get sick, people die, and an all-loving god WOULD stop it–period–he calls himself the father–would YOUR father be allowed to let you die if he could stop it, and still call himself all-loving? He doesn’t get to define those terms, Man does. We are the humans, language is OUR territory. And any deity that plays with people’s lives just for an ego-centric, jealous, selfish thirst for its own glory, doesn’t deserve to be believed in. Bottom line is: hold your god to his promises, and when he doesn’t honor his word, and he won’t, then that tells you whether to still have faith in him or not.

    • Greg Sugg Reply

      You ask if my father here on earth would let a bad thing happen to me. As a child, I had a number of very serious health problems. I remember many times he had to let me hurt with a treatment, for my overall good. I think that’s all we see with God. Just because we don’t like the answer doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. Even Jesus prayed for his death on the cross to be taken if it was possible. He was in such sorrow and agony over it that he “sweat blood”. But he then finished with the desire to see his Father’s will done. “For the joy set before Him”. He most certainly has no regrets that His Father told him no. But He sure was hoping at the time they’d go away. I think God makes many “tough love” decisions that cause Him great pain to subject us to them. In His wisdom, He knows if we knew the outcomes of the options, we would choose the same way. I have 20 years of horrible things from this world’s perspective I’ve had to endure. I don’t think it means I’m loved less. I just can’t see the whole picture. Be honest with God and tell Him you doubt and you’d like to know the truth. If you really do want to know and seek, He’ll open your eyes to the truth. Just be aware that the truth can also be hard to bear. I only say these things out of hope and love for you. I just now have prayed God will move your heart to seek the truth and that you can understand and accept it. If you ever want to chat, gregorysugg —-@—– embarqmail dot com.

  16. Hope Reply

    I would like to both comment and insight I lost my child when he was 6 years old his whole life was nothing but pain he could not walk talk or see he had a brain disorder where he was extremely physically and mentally disabled for 3 years of his life I prayed for a miracle after it didn’t come on earth I knew it would in heaven then I prayed for strength and guidance to take care of him as a single mom his father walked out on us ten years later from his death I am remarried my mother in law had a brain tumor removed this past February she knew she had since November last year but dud not get medical treatment because she saw it as a weakness in her faith to go to the doctor it was removed because she almost died after the removal of the tumor a bisopy showed it was cancer and that she has several places on her lungs and in her stomach upon release from hospital in February she had a follow up with s cancer doctor she canceled it because her husband’s wants treat get through prayer faith and scripture I struggle daily with this it’s it Biblical for her yo mot seek medical treatment did my son only 6 years old not have a faith strong enough to heal him was I wrong to seek the endless medical treatment for him even though it was unsuccessful because he died?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Your son did not die because of a lack of faith. It is right to pray for healing. It is right to seek medical treatment. It is wrong to believe every outcome is a definition of our faith. We pray, see help, and trust God with the outcomes. It sounds to me that you were a faithful parent who loved their child well.

  17. Hope Reply

    also wanted to add my husband showed my the scripture of the woman who was healed of the blood disease because her faith healed her and said his mother is sick because her faith is weak i just need some peace about this and who is right and who is wrong

  18. Astrid Reply

    Thank you so much for your article!
    I personly really struggle with this topic…
    On the one side it is true, that faith is important if you want to get healed – sometimes also faith of the others around you.
    Jesus gave us authority right? Our words are powerful, specially our prayers!

    But on the other side it leaves us with so much preasure. Ok, I prayed. Isn‘t it a lack of faith, if I also go to the doctor afterwards? And take medicine & try different things? Is God disappointed in me, if I struggel to belive in „healing out of faith“ and am I a less good Christian than?

    I love Jesus so much – but I really ask myself, why so few things happen in my life (like healing but also people who get saved) and so many people are going to the esotheric side instad).
    Maybe someone can give me some help here…

    Thanks so much

  19. Craig Thornton Reply

    Thank you SOOOOO much for this article. I have had a long-term issue with my right eye since 2004 and now got to the point where I get daily pain.
    Some “helpful” people have said if I have enough faith I will be healed because it says so in The Bible.
    So apart from struggling enough emotionally with the illness, I now struggle because I think I am not a “good enough” Christian; from what they imply God has a faith measuring stick and if you’re tall enough He’ll heal you!
    Thank you for reassuring me

  20. Mark Reply

    This is bad theology, because it is unscriptural theology. Thinking this way enshrines the thinking that God is feckless and arbitrary. Unfortunately, this is the dominant theology of the Western Church on the subject of healing. It is a faith-destroying theology, which is why there is no power in the Western Church, as it retains only “the form of godliness.”

    God has a,ready provided for our healing the same way He has already provided for our salvation. Is everyone saved? No, because most refuse to believe. Of those who are saved, are all healed? No, because most adopt this theology and refuse to believe.
    As to whether people willd ‘feel bad’ about not having faith, they will assuredly feel worse victimized or dead as a result of the satanic oppression called sickness.

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