The subject of sickness and infirmities has continued to affect the Christian community. Conjectures, theories, and opinions abound with biased rhetoric. The people who are most affected by this subject are usually those who are suffering from the physical challenges in their lives. Those who are relatively healthy tend to express their opinions, based not on Biblical understanding, but on their own comfort zone. Over the years, I have heard the “pain-free” people judge the suffering individuals with a callousness that has caused the afflicted to suffer even more pain. I know that the initiators of verbal assistance mean the right thing, but many times they have caused more damage than resolve. To question why a person has not been healed is to elevate themselves to the position of an interpreter of God’s will. Before we release our tongue, let us make sure what is behind our motive. Are we motivated by Grace and love or are we Christian Pharisees that try to defend our interpretation of the Scriptures without having compassion.
The Bible tells us of a man named Trophimus whom Paul had left sick at a place called Miletum. (II Timothy 4:20) The question immediately arises as to why Paul had not simply laid his hands on him and healed him. Was there sin in Trophimus’s life? Did he lack the faith to be healed? Was he possessed with a demon? Was he a true Believer? Was he in a backslidden condition? Was his prayer life almost nonexistent? Was he hanging around with the wrong crowd? Was he missing worship gatherings? Had he failed to call on the elders? Had he failed to have hands laid on him? Was he anointed with oil? We don’t know much about Trophimus’s life, but we know he was a part of Paul’s missionary team. (Acts 20:4) He also had accompanied Paul to Jerusalem where he was misidentified as being in the Temple. (Acts 21:29) I doubt any true Biblicist would find any of the above questions that would fit Trophimus!
I have found many wonderful, faith-filled, God trusting, Jesus praising, Holy Spirit guided individuals who have entered the dimension of suffering. They have done everything Biblically required of them, yet their healing has not become a reality. What I have seen in these individuals is their unfailing love of Jesus. When I see their relationship with their Lord, it almost generates jealousy within me. They see more of Heaven than they do of earth. I believe that many sufferers are also drawn closer to Jesus because other Believers fail to bring the comfort they so dearly need.
I am not about to give a dissertation as to why God-loving saints are not healed. All I know is that we are called upon to read and follow His Word. If we have done our part in achieving healing, the rest is up to God. Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through fellowship with those experiencing life-challenging situations. You will be surprised how much you will learn and experience through the one who is suffering with a rebellious body. There is no faking their Faith, for they are living the Faith. The next time you have the courage to visit a “suffering servant” do not monopolize the conversation, but listen, for you may hear God speaking through your friend.
For those who believe that healing is the only option, please be tolerant and understanding. Every Believer is answerable to the Lord and will have to give account for their spiritual walk. If you have achieved healing, rejoice! If another has not received healing, be supportive. We must never judge, for we never know all the facts. Jesus heals, but we must acknowledge there are people today like Trophimus, Epaphroditus, (Philippians 2:25-30) and Paul. (II Corinthians 12:7-10) May God grant us understanding!