The Promise To Heal
It can be difficult for us to believe the Bible’s promises regarding physical healing. Maybe we’ve been disappointed in the past or misunderstood biblical teaching on the subject. Or perhaps we simply don’t believe God will perform miracles today as He did in biblical times.
Dr. Stanley teaches that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Just as physical healing played a significant role in Jesus’ earthly ministry, it is still important to Him today. Dr. Stanley uses personal examples of modern-day miracles and points to numerous biblical passages that emphasize God’s willingness to supply physical restoration.
Dr. Stanley also addresses:
– The role of faith in healing
– The importance of responding correctly to illness in our lives
– How fellow believers should be an integral part of our healing
– How God sometimes uses affliction to capture our attention
– Why we don’t experience healing every time we ask for it
– How to respond when God doesn’t answer our prayers for healing
start your day off, right with the free in touch devotional subscribe today, the In touch with Dr. Charles Stanley celebrating 45 years of God’s faithfulness in sharing the gospel worldwide. Next on in touch the promise to heal. There are many promises God has given us in his word, we love them because they are for our benefit. And so when you think about all these promises, I could ask you do you have a favorite one? More than likely you would say? I do. But there’s one promise that is the most difficult of all the one we have the most problem with. And that is any promise that has to do with healing. Probably because we’ve had disappointments or maybe because deep down inside of us we don’t really believe it. Or maybe we’re just ignorant of what the bible teaches about healing. We’ve seen the exaggerations, we’ve heard about them, we’ve seen people who have claimed to be healed and then the next thing you know, they’re right back where they were before. So lots and lots of questions about it. But isn’t it interesting that being a believer and believing that God is a healing God that when we get sick or something happens to us, the first thing we do is we want to call the doctor the truth is there’s only one position and that’s the great physician who is God and I think it’s very interesting that they say about all these other doctors, they’re practicing medicine, God doesn’t practice. He knows everything perfectly about you and me. And isn’t it interesting knowing that he’s who he is, That we first of all, run to the doctor 1st and then when we get desperate, then we we go to prayer. Don’t you think it ought to be the other way around that? We go to him first and then if not watch this, not if he can’t he loves but if he delays it for some reason or he sends you to the doctor, then that’s another whole story not opposed to doctors. We we need them. God calls them. And it’s interesting that the Apostle paul as Godly as he was and the faith that he had, one of his choice companions was dr luke and was with him in prison at times. So where where is this healing issue with us? That is if we really truly believe that jesus christ is who he says he is that God is the great healer. Why don’t we go to him first? But God is still in the healing business and he’s still in the miracle working business. And he does that according to his will and in his perfect timing and this message, I want us to see what the bible says about healing. So let’s begin. And I want you to turn if you will to the book of genesis and in the book of genesis we find the first mention of healing, which is with Abraham and the Bin Malek in chapter 20 of genesis turned there for just a moment, the 17th, first of the 20th chapter, look there for just a moment, the scripture says, Abraham prayed to God and God healed a bit Malek and his wife and his maid so that they bore Children. For the Lord had closed fast all the rooms of the household of Obama late because of Sarah Abraham’s wife. You remember that little incident where he said, well, no, she’s my sister. The truth is, she is his half sister. And so the bible says that God healed him. If you look in the 23rd chapter of exodus for a moment and I want you to look there too. Look at Verse 25, if you will and notice what’s happening here and God is again and the business of healing. And If you’ll notice in this, in this 25th verse, here’s what he says he says. But you shall serve the Lord, your God and he will bless your bread and your water and I will remove sickness from your midst. They’ve been going through a difficult time because their sin and God says, I will remove sickness from your midst. He was in the process of healing them. And remember in the old testament, usually, they always recognized sickness, but they recognize it as a result primarily of sin. So you’ll see that that relationship all through the old testament that their idea of sin. Part of the problem was that there was sickness that usually went along with it. Then if you look in the 107th psalm for a moment and if you’ll notice what he says there And in the 20th verse he says he sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction. And what does he mean by that, simply this that when God wanted to heal them, he sent his word of truth to remind him of who he was Jehovah God. And the process of believing him God began to heal him. He didn’t just send out some word and they got healed. It was the result of believing his word that brought about healing. Then in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, I want you to look at the passage that’s oftentimes very controversial, 53rd chapter and this is the chapter that describes the messiah. And so the scripture says describing him in verse four, surely our griefs he himself bore and our sorrows he carried. Yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken smitten of God and afflicted, but he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well being fell upon him and by his scourging or his stripes. As some versions are by his stripes, we are healed. And so the question is, is there healing in the atonement that is for example, in the atonement, we know that jesus died for our sins. And so we would say that the crucifixion, the shedding of christ’s blood, atoned for our sins and therefore when we go to him asking for salvation as a result of what he did at the cross. So the question is then, is our sickness involved in that? Remember this? Every good thing that comes our way comes by the way of the cross because that’s the way we have a relationship with him. Otherwise we’re separated from him. Our wellness is in the atoning death of jesus christ. But everything that’s wrapped up in the atoning death of jesus christ doesn’t come in this life for example, all the blessings of heaven, you have to trace that back to the cross. That’s how we got right with him. That’s how he filled their heart. All the promises of God healing is a result of his work on the cross. But it does not mean that I’m gonna be healed every time I come to him asking because that’s one of the blessings of the cross too many of them, but that one for example does not guarantee me that I’m going to be healed every time I ask him to be healed. And at that very moment. So if somebody says they’re healing in the atonement, Yes, there is, but not anytime I want it and the way I want it necessarily because that’s not the way he operates. And so when you go through these scriptures and you realize that God was very interested in the healing process in the nation of Israel, He’s still interested today. Now let’s look for just a moment, the life of jesus and see what he said because it’s very important, if I ask you what was the major part of jesus ministry? Was it on the sermon on the mount teaching or traveling? No, it was healing and that doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing he did. The most important thing he did was to go to the cross. It’s the most important thing you did A second very important thing he did was to teach people who he was and how to live and how to be saved and so forth. So, but I want you to notice what he had to deal with. So if you’ll begin and let’s turn to Matthew Chapter eight for a moment. And look at beginning in verse verse 14 here, chapter eight verse 14 said that when jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw his mother in law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her and she got up and waited on that, Watch this. The scripture says he just touched her and the fever left. And you’ll recall that the lady who slipped up on his blind side, everybody was around him pushing and shoving and touching him and jesus felt something leave him, his divine energy when she touched simply to him of his government would be like touching touching the him or rather the cuff of a man’s trans or other him on a lady’s dress. He felt it. So he was in the business of healing individuals. But he was also in the business of healing. Not only individuals, but crowds of people. And if you’ll notice in this 14th chapter and the 34th verse here, what it says about the crowds and what was going on. And if you’ll notice the scripture says when they had crossed over, they came to the Land of Goodness. And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to him all who were sick and they implored him that they might just touch the fringe of his cloak, as many as touch that were cured over and over and over again. You find jesus doing the same thing that is wherever he’s going, he’s got a crowd. Now, the reason it’s so important is this the reason he healed people by the singles or by multitudes is because that was God’s way of authenticating who he really was, that he wasn’t just another preacher going through town. This was the son of God and in order to drill that into their minds so that it would be unmistakably clear that jesus christ was the messiah for whom they’ve been looking for all these hundreds of years. And so he was, he was healing over and over and over again, all kind of situations and circumstances. And as we said, his primary purpose was not healing, that was a part of it, but the primary purpose of his healing was to authenticate, he was the messiah, the son of God, their savior. So when you think about you think well how does that apply to our life? He’s still in the healing business because the truth is, there are many people today who healed that doctors have no answer for whatsoever. And so we should, we should be expecting God to do the unusual, we should be anticipating. What do you teach your Children for example? Do you teach your Children well, jesus, here’s what he used to do. Is that where you stop, if you’re teaching him about jesus, do you simply tell them the stories and say this is who he was, this is what he used to do? What about now? And maybe it’s because we’re not letting him work in our life that we don’t encourage their Children to believe very early in life that jesus christ is who he says he is, he is who he always has been, he always will be because he doesn’t change because one of his attributes is that he is immutable. He is God and that he does not need to change because when you have absolute total perfection and all power, what is there to change, all knowledge, all power, all perfection, Jesus is stealing the business of healing people, first of all, their spirit, their soul, and then their human body. So let’s look at the apostles for a moment, and you remember that Peter and john going up to the temple earlier to pray and so forth and meet this man lying at the temple entrance there. And so the scripture says in the third chapter, man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to sit down every day at the gate of the temple, which is called beautiful in order to beg arms of those who were entering the temple. And so when he saw them he thought, well here’s an opportunity to get a little something more, looked at Peter and he said he wanted something that Peter said to him, I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you in the name of jesus christ The Nazarene Walk I command walk, then I love this naturally. The guy was probably shocked. What do you mean walker can’t even stand up that long walk if I was says, And Peter seized him by the right hand and he raised him up immediately, his feet and his ankles were strengthened, and he leaped up and started dancing around the temple, dancing around. So Peter realized that at that moment watch this, he said to him, get up, stand up. He knew what he was feeling. All he needed was a little encouragement and little help. And I think sometimes I read that passage, I think about how many people just need a little help. Trust God, encourage them, encourage them to do what God wants them to do to be what God wants them to be. And this is what’s happening. And so when I think about the fact that Peter’s reputation was such, they said he’s coming and you don’t even have to touch him, all you need to do is let his shadow fall on you and you’ll be healed. And so healing was a major, major issue in those days Philip for example, when he was called to the Lord, he began to preach and to teach and people began to be healed. God began to work. And so healing was God’s way of getting the attention of the world of that day and focusing it upon jesus and upon the early church because those things continue to happen now, it’s interesting that the Apostle paul, you would think the apostle paul would be the healer of all healers in the Book of Acts. There is only one occurrence in which the apostle paul heals anybody. And you have to turn all the way to the last chapter of the book of acts, the 28th chapter. And at this point paul hasn’t healed anybody any evidence of it. And if you’ll notice in this 28th chapter and the 7th to the 9th verse. Now in the neighborhood of that place where lands belonging to the leading man of the island named Julius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. And it happened that the father of Julius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery. And paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. Watch this only instance. So now wait a minute. If he was following jesus, why wasn’t surely if he healed this minute? Why why was he healing these other people? Well, he gives us the, the answer in President Clinton’s Chapter one. Look there for a moment. First man in chapter one. And uh as paul writes these Corinthians and explains to them what’s going on? Here’s what he said, he said in verse 13, Let’s go to 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you except Christmas and gas, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. Now, I did baptize also the household of Stephanus. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other, but christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of christ would not be made avoid. So here’s what he’s really saying, God didn’t call him to baptize. He called him to teach the truth of the word of God. He neither did he call him to hell. Imagine what would have happened if paul had had a healing ministry. Well, first of all, he probably would have stayed out of jail if he had stayed out of jail. Number one. Number two, we probably wouldn’t have the epistles. Paul began to teach the truth, paul, listen, paul’s ministry to the world was watch this, paul explained the life of jesus christ, the purpose of jesus christ, the plan of jesus christ, we know more about God as a result and how he works in the human heart through the Apostle paul than anyone else or everybody else put together. In other words, his ex words, he explained the life of jesus, Jesus did many things, but paul’s explanation, his theology, the whole idea of predestination and the whole idea of salvation and sanctification, the whole idea of the indwelling christ, the work of the Holy Spirit. In other words, if you eliminate the epistles from the new testament, we would be lacking greatly. And so when I look at the Apostle paul and how God worked in his life. Listen, the only time he talks about healing. If you’ll turn to first Corinthians again and go to the 12th chapter And here’s what you’ll discover this 12th chapter. The 12th chapter is Paul’s explanation about spiritual gifts. And he talks about gifts, for example, ministry, gifts of different of different sorts knowledge and uh faith and so forth. But look, if you will in this um ninth verse and to another faith by the same spirit and to another gifts of healing by one spirit. Now watch this carefully. Listen say Amen watch this. He speaks of gifts of healing. No one has the gift of healing. God gives gifts of healing for example, let’s say that you pray for one of your friends and God heals them. Did God give you the gift of healing? No, he gave he gave that other person a gift of healing through you, not one of us is adequate within ourselves to do what God has called us to. We need other people’s prayers and that’s why I’m gonna come to this next time in James. That fifth chapter I bet calling for the elders of the church and praying for them and so forth. We all need people praying for us. And if you look at the apostle paul, he didn’t spend his time healing. In fact, he says for example, in 2nd Timothy Chapter four that he left one of his friends. Uh listen, here’s what he says greet Prisca and Aquila and the household of venice arrest us. Listen, remained at current but fema’s, I left sick and my letters, if he’d had a gift of healing in some sort, he would have left him sick. And besides that, how does paul describe luke? He describes beloved luke luke was a physician and on one occasion he’s with him in prison. Why do you think luke went along with the apostle paul? Because he knew the apostle paul had some ailments. And of course, you remember that the Apostle paul talked about this stone in his flesh and everybody and his brother, everybody in the theological world tried to figure out what that was. Let’s say it was some physical thing, and God didn’t heal that either. Now watch this. This is the key. You don’t stop praying because God doesn’t heal something. When you ask him to you ask him, what does he have in mind? Why aren’t you healing me? What’s the issue here? And here’s what Paul said, Paul said many times, he went to the Lord and fasted and prayed. God then healing. He said, here’s the reason maybe you should turn to this because maybe you’re dealing with something like that. Look at that passage in Second Corinthians 12, listen to what he says. I want you to read it because he says, he asked The Lord several times, verse seven because of the surpassing greatness of the revelation. For this reason, To keep me from exalting myself. That was given me a thorn in the flesh. A messenger of satan to torment me. To keep me from exalting myself concerning this. I implored the Lord three times that he might leave me, and he has said to me, my grace is sufficient for you. For power is perfected in weakness most gladly. Therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses. So that the power of christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties for christ’s sake. But when I’m weak then I’m strong you and I would not have the epistles we have. If paul had been healed instantly by jesus, he says, I’ve learned to be content in whatever state I’m in and he was in a bad situation, circumstances, physical body and in different ways. So when sickness comes and there’s no healing, then what we have to ask is God, what are you up to? Does that mean God doesn’t love us? No. Does it mean that they’re sending your life? Not necessarily. It means that God has something, he wants to do something, he wants to say something, he wants to change in their life, whatever it might be, we have to be open to that. And so when you look at the life of the apostle paul, he was God’s choice servant to explain who God is and what he is like. And this whole redemptive plan. What about justification and sanctification? What about the autonomic? What what about reconciliation? All these big words that paul described and and there’s the essence of this whole redemptive plan? He wasn’t the man who was healing anybody. He was a man who was suffering and the great healer strengthened him and lightened him, blessed him, lifted him up. Exalted him and made every single one of us blessed as a result of it. So you might ask the question, Well, how does that affect me? Well, first of all I would simply say this next time you have something coming along that bothers you physically. First response ought to be father. Show me how to respond to this. He may say to you, I want you to trust me or he may say to you, I want you to go to the doctor. I would never tell anybody what to do about going to a doctor not going, not opposed to doctors that God called them. Many of them, I’m sure. And so the issue is I wanna be God conscious. I wanna be conscious that the christ who saved me is still in the business of helping me walk through this life in the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit? I want my mind to be oriented toward him and whatever he does is fine, but we need to get our mind out of this worldly attitude. We run to the doctor quickly. We we just just help. We’re not helpless, we’re depending upon guard, jesus is my savior, my lord, my master and my healer. He hasn’t changed. It’s an expression of his love. So ask yourself the question, do you trust him? Watch this? You’re willing to trust him for something maybe material. I don’t know of anything any more material than this. I know that’s material. Can I trust him for that. Yes, because his God is your heavenly father. So I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart and get your mind on him. If you watch the television and all the ads about This solution and that solution, this medicine that medicine, this tab in that capsule and after they give you two reasons why you should take it and 13 reasons why it could kill you. You know, it’s true, don’t you? Absolutely Don’t you think it’s wiser to go to God 1st? And you see we’re getting and we’re being indoctrinated and don’t even realize it. Our heavenly father has not changed. He’s still in the healing business. Now if you’re one of those persons whose never trusted jesus, as you say, you say, well, how do I fit in all that? You don’t you have no right to claim anything from Almighty God. He is a Holy God. You only have a right to claim something from him. When first of all you accept jesus christ, His only begotten son as your savior. His death on the cross, paying your sin debt in full. Once you’re willing to ask him to forgive you of your sins, surrender your life to him, yield your life to him. Then you have the privilege the authority and the right to ask him to heal you or whatever else may be going on and watch this and he will do in answer to your prayer what he knows is best for you and his will in your life. It’s the wisest decision you ever make in life. I’m afraid that you’ll do it, father, How grateful we are that you really make things simple. We make them complicated. We say we love you, but sometimes we don’t act like it. We would tell others that we trust you. But yet our faith often wavers. And so I pray the Holy Spirit, we’ll just begin to open our minds and hearts to recognize that our first thoughts should always be told you. But whatever that need maybe and we pray this in jesus name.