Jesus said we would continue His healing ministry.
Jesus said we would continue His healing ministry. (Pixabay)

God's revelation for His desire to heal people's bodies did not begin with Jesus' ministry. The Old Testament is filled with examples of people who received healing from God. For example, King Hezekiah became deathly ill and received a word of the Lord from the prophet Isaiah that he was going to die of his illness. The king cried out to God to heal him, and God heard his cry and granted his request. After he was restored to health, King Hezekiah wrote this poetic praise:

"What shall I say? For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I shall wander about all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and make me live! ... The Lord shall surely save me; therefore, we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the house of the Lord" (Is. 38:15-16, 20).

The psalmist also acknowledged the healing power of God and praised Him for healing his body: "I will extol You, O Lord, for You have drawn me up, and have not caused my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You, and You healed me. O Lord, You have brought up my soul from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (Ps. 30:1-3).

The Scriptures teach that physical healing is God's will and sickness is an oppression of the devil. The promise of God to Israel to keep them from the diseases of Egypt is still relevant to believers today. When Jesus walked on the earth, He demonstrated the Father's desire for people to walk in healing and health. And He sent out His disciples with these instructions: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8).

Faith for Healing

Childlike faith is a necessary aspect for receiving divine healing, as Jesus confirmed. Often He commended people who came to Him for healing for their faith.

To the frightened woman who had dared to receive her healing by touching the hem of His garment, Jesus said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction" (Mark 5:34). He saw the faith of the four friends who lowered a paralytic through the roof to get to Him (Mark 2:4). He was impressed with the faith for the Roman officer whose servant was very ill. The office did not ask Jesus to come to his house; he understood that Jesus heal his servant by simply speaking the word of authority. Jesus was astonished at such faith (Matt. 8:5-10).

Faith should not be considered a difficult thing to which we cannot attain. Jesus taught us to simply ask, like a little child, in His name, and He would do what we ask (John 14:13). As we fill our hearts and minds with His promises, our faith is strengthened to receive what we need from our loving Lord. We begin to truly understand His great desire for us to be whole—spirit, soul and body—when we simply obey His Word to ask in His name. As we meditate on the testimonies of healing recorded in the Scriptures, our faith grows, and we can believe that God will do the same for us.

In faith, we can simply obey the instructions in the Scriptures as our "Rx" for healing: "Is anyone 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 will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much" (James 5:14-16).

God's Power for Healing is Available to All

The Scriptures declare that Jesus went throughout the country and "healed every kind... (Matt. 4:23, 9:35). No disease proved too difficult for God's healing power to cure. As we learn to focus our minds on Jesus, His love, His compassion and His promises, we can dare to believe He is greater than any life-threatening oppression of the devil that would afflict our bodies. And we will understand that it is God's great desire to heal us.

When Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples, He gave them power to cast out unclean spirits and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease (Matt. 10:1-8). He meant for His followers to engage in the same healing work that the Father had sent Him to do. He promised that, as believers, we can expect to do the same works He did and even greater works.

T.L. Osborn explained the Apostle John's declaration, "Whoever practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).

He said this verse reveals God's purpose to heal: "Sickness is part of Satan's work. Christ, in His earthly ministry, always treated sin, diseases and devils the same; they were all hateful in His sight; He rebuked them all; He was manifested to destroy them all."

This article is an excerpt from God's Healing Words: Your Pocket Guide of Scriptures and Prayers for Health, Healing and Recovery. Copyright 2011 by Siloam.

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