False Teachings on Healing

The following devotional is taken from the devotional book Comfort in the Storm: Devotions for the Chemically Sensitive by Janine Ridings. (Comfort in the Storm contains a total of 94 devotionals)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).

Having lived with a chronic illness for over ten years, one thing that deeply saddens me is the unbiblical teachings within the church on the topic of healing. Along with many others, I have experienced unnecessary guilt and pain due to false teachings. For years I tried to figure out why I hadn’t been healed after being prayed for on numerous occasions. Was it because of my lack of faith?  Was it due to sin in my life? Or was it simply because God didn’t like me? I will discuss some of the false notions in regard to healing that are prevalent today, and seek to show from Scripture why these teachings are incorrect.

First, a popular teaching that can be very damaging to people is the idea that if a person has enough faith, healing will occur. The implication is that people can control their destiny in regard to healing simply by mustering up an adequate amount of faith. The reality is, God is not a genie waiting to grant our every whim simply because we have enough faith. As God of the universe, He chooses if and when to heal people; the decision is not ours to make. The apostle Paul is a great example of a Biblical character that prayed but was not healed of his infirmity. Let’s read about his thorn in the flesh:

There was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. Be he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

Did God refuse to heal Paul because of his lack of faith? Not at all! Instead, this passage teaches that God promised His power would be made perfect in the midst of Paul’s weakness.

Another false teaching that is common today is the idea that sin in a person’s life is always the reason for sickness. To be honest with you, in some cases, if people abuse their bodies in various ways such as taking drugs, then sin could be a cause for illness. However, to say that sin is the cause of everyone’s illness is simply not true and is certainly not taught in Scripture. The story of Jesus healing a blind man illustrates that sin is not always to blame for a person being sick. John 9:1-2 says:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

Here we see very clearly that the man’s blindness had nothing to do with sin in his life. Rather, Scripture teaches that the man was born with an infirmity “so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” God had a divine purpose in allowing the man to be born blind. When it comes to the issue of healing, the most important thing to remember is that God alone chooses if, how, and when to heal people. He knows the plans and purposes He has in allowing a person to suffer from an illness or affliction. Listen to what God says about His sovereignty:

The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. (Psalm 135:6).

There are a variety of reasons people become ill, and only the Great Physician knows the reason for each individual’s illness. One reason people get sick is simply because we live in an imperfect, fallen world where viruses, bacteria, and disease exists. Some may become ill from poor lifestyle choices including lack of proper nutrition, rest, and exercise. Others may become sick from chemical exposures that attack various systems of the body. Still others may become ill due to the stress level in their lives or unresolved emotional issues. Regardless of why we are ill, for those of us who are believers in Christ, we know we will all be healed someday, whether it is in this life or the life to come. Take comfort in that. I Corinthians 15:51-53 says:

Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

Today if you suffer from a chronic illness and haven’t been healed yet, look forward to that day when you will get a brand new body that the Bible promises will be imperishable and immortal!


Categories Comfort In the Storm Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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