God’s Promise to Heal
By Gerald Flurry • August 14, 2020
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). Through the Apostle John, God is saying He wants to give us good health—and healing when we’re sick. Vibrant physical health and spiritual prosperity are gifts and promises from God.
The best way to enjoy ultimate health is by meeting God’s conditions of obeying and trusting Him. God will never break a promise, including this one: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).
Healing is a type of the resurrection to eternal spiritual life, a future time when we will never again suffer from sickness, disease or injury. The Apostle James writes here about physical sin—breaking God’s health laws. If you are sick, it is a result of physical sin, whether yours or someone else’s. God will forgive physical sins if we follow this formula in James 5. Whether we committed the sin or someone else did and we are suffering the consequences, sin is involved, and the forgiveness of physical sin is what these verses are about, as well as spiritual sin.
God is speaking to us spiritually, but He always wants to heal us. He is talking here about spiritual problems, but He is also talking first of all about physical health problems. God heals! He wants us to have real abundant life today and in the future. His statement in verse 15 is a tremendous promise that He makes to all of us! But this is a promise that takes more faith to believe than most: “[T]he prayer of faith shall save the sick.”
It can be easy to fall into the trap of saying, “God can heal me, if it’s His will.” Your Bible never says anything like this! It is always God’s will to heal.
Some will be healed in the resurrection and be forever free from ailments. But God is talking mostly about being healed right now. We must repent of physical sins like poor diet and drug use so He can forgive us. This means surrendering to God. Then, pray fervently to let Him guide you.
A major obstacle to surrendering to God and fervently praying to Him and getting to know Him is devoting our time and attention to society and to physical wealth. This wipes out faith! We cannot have faith and be wrapped up in material things. God expects us to believe His Word and His promises more than anyone or anything physical. Be grateful for His blessings, and you will be more joyful than you can even imagine.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Strong prayers energize you, physically and spiritually! You can pray for others, and they can pray for you. This helps us endure through health trials. God listens to and honors fervent prayers.
Jesus Christ asked a sobering question: “[W]hen the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Loving pleasures more than God destroys faith. This is a common pitfall in the end time (2 Timothy 3:4). Without faith, we won’t be healed!
God may try us and test us as we are sick, but “above all things” He wants us to be healed! God’s healing promise has proved true throughout my life. But you need this kind of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). You have to know God will heal you before you can see any evidence!
Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul and others were just ordinary men. Ordinary men of the Bible became extraordinary when they did what God said and God gave them the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20). They had the very same faith that Jesus Christ Himself had when He healed so many people so powerfully. These men studied God’s Word and knew all about His promises. They believed those promises. This is how to build the calm, assured, steadfast faith of Hebrews 11. It has nothing to do with the five senses.
One of the greatest booklets Herbert W. Armstrong wrote was The Plain Truth About Healing. Even if you know a lot about faith already, this booklet will help you understand faith like you have never understood it before!
Mr. Armstrong heard someone define faith this way: “Faith is the assurance that the things which God said in His Word are true and that God will act according to what He said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God’s Word, this confidence, is faith!” Faith has only to do with God’s Word. Our feelings are irrelevant. All that matters is confidence, assurance and relying on God’s Word—believing what God says!
Here is the promise God made to the ancient Israelites: “… If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26). He makes the same promise to anyone who obeys Him today. Do you believe that? “The Lord that healeth thee” is Yahweh Rapha in Hebrew—God is our Healer yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8). “… I will take sickness away from the midst of thee,” He says in Exodus 23:25 (see also Deuteronomy 7:15).
Notice that the Bible absolutely links salvation and physical healing! “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3). Professing Christians believe that God forgives our sins, but do they really believe the second half of that verse?
Modern medicines and doctors cannot heal! Doctors can do many good things, but they cannot heal. Only God can. Only God heals and forgives spiritual sin and physical sin.
What is it that makes forgiveness of spiritual sin possible? Jesus Christ’s death. What is it that makes physical healing possible? “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus Christ’s brutal scourging before being crucified paid the penalty for our physical sins (1 Peter 2:24).
The biblical Passover is a memorial of the death of Jesus Christ. Its symbols are explained in 1 Corinthians 11:23-30: bread for Christ’s broken body, wine for Christ’s blood. Christ’s body was “broken,” or torn apart by scourging, before He was crucified. God the Father and Jesus Christ made an unparalleled sacrifice for you.
Notice the last few verses of that passage: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (verses 28-30). Not partaking in the Passover symbols with the right mindset brings consequences. Some have died unnecessarily because they did not rely on God for healing. Jesus Christ paid a massive price to uphold the healing promise. The reason He wept in John 11:33 is because the people lacked faith in God, in Him, in His sacrifice, in His promise to physically heal! We must never neglect that price. Does God love us? Oh, yes! How can you even describe that level of love?
To God and Christ, death is hardly different from sleep—it is temporary (verse 11). Christ raised Lazarus from the dead and was glad to do so in front of witnesses so they would believe (verses 14-15). Christ declares, I am the Resurrection! All who have ever lived and died will live again! That is the ultimate healing. But realize what God is telling you, from Genesis to Exodus to Deuteronomy to Psalms to Isaiah to John to Galatians to Hebrews to James to Revelation: “I am the God who heals you!”Read More