Of course, the primary source of our faith is the Word of God, as Smith Wigglesworth declared so powerfully: "The Word of God is spirit and life to those who receive it in simple faith.…Know your Book, live it, believe it and obey it.
"Hide God's Word in your heart. It will save your soul, quicken your body and illumine your mind. ... Increase [in faith] comes by action, by using what we have and what we know."
Whether our pain is physical or emotional, we can choose to rely on God's Word to sustain us through the dark days. When we believe, obey and act on His Word, God brings us into a deeper level of intimacy with Him. He uses our time of testing to conform us more and more to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29).
Asking the 'Why' Question
Do you ever ask God, "Why?" in the midst of your trial? One woman we know did, and God answered her.
Hilda was just 40 when she had a boating accident that almost took her life. She survived, and then underwent 22 major surgeries to put her crushed face back together.
Five years later, a cancer surgeon discovered a malignant melanoma and removed most of the upper arm muscle and all the glands under her left arm. He then grafted skin from her leg onto the affected area.
"Possibly only three months to live," the doctor told her.
"I returned home in excruciating pain because the skin graft didn't heal," Hilda remembers. "After God had seen me through all my surgeries following the boating accident, I had taught on faith and healing in many churches. But now I was facing the loneliest time of my life."
One day Hilda simply prayed, "Father, until now I have not asked You why the boat propeller sliced my face. But now I am going to ask You why about this cancer."
Immediately she sensed God's presence fill the room. She felt as if Jesus sat on her bed and said: "Until now you have learned what I can do for you. Now I want you to know Me."
As she lay there weeping, she thought of a verse: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15, KJV).
"I repeated those words, and the minute they came out of my mouth, the pain left," she says. "From then on I began to heal. I was on a new path of not only trusting God, but seeking Him with all my heart."
Hilda pored over Bible passages for hours, learning a new dimension of prayer as she spent more time with the Lord. Although the doctors did all they could, she knows it was Jesus who did the real healing in her body and heart. Now in her 70s, Hilda is still teaching God's Word.
Walking in the Spirit
Answers to prayers for healing don't always come instantly. We must be careful not to judge those who are still trusting God for healing—as well as those who suffer from illnesses we don't fully understand.
One businesswoman who struggled with clinical depression felt that people in her church looked at her as though she had leprosy. Later, when she was diagnosed with cancer, they showed more compassion. But God strengthened her to persevere until she saw victory over both conditions.
In some cases, making lifestyle changes and obeying the Holy Spirit's leading can make all the difference, as Lynda Brooks discovered in her quest for healing.