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Healing in Perspective

2006 February 23
by Mike

I weary of the triumphal claims made by some about healing. Here’s the truth: lots of godly people who pray for healing don’t get well–at least not in the way they hoped for. It isn’t because God doesn’t love them or because not enough people had real faith. So much damage is done by supersaints who claim that healing is a done deal to those who believe. Yet on the other hand, we aren’t deists. We believe that God hasn’t retired and that at times there are hints of the future healing even now–thanks not to some super-healer but thanks to the Healer himself.

Typical Ed Fudge balance:

HEALING IN PERSPECTIVE
Edward Fudge
Feb 12, 2006

Someone has said that error is truth out of proportion. Balanced truth takes into account the great biblical doctrines of Creation, the Fall, Redemption, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and the End. In such perspective, biblical revelation resembles a polished diamond which sparkles in all directions. To that end, and after four decades of adult reflection on the topic and praying for the sick, I offer seven biblical perspectives on divine healing — charting a scriptural course, I believe, between some extremes often heard today.

1. We may affirm that God’s will for his creation is health and wholeness. We may deny that God is the author of sin, disease or death. (Gen. 1:27, 31.)

2. We may affirm that sickness, like all the world’s brokenness, is an ultimate result of human sin. We may deny that specific wickness or trouble is necessarily related to any specific sin, or to the sin of any particular individual. (Rom. 5:12; 8:20-22; John 9:1-3; Book of Job.)

3. We may affirm that God, by Christ’s redemptive work, will finally restore to its intended wholeness the creation he has made. This includes our bodies and whole selves. We may deny that God is interested only in our “soul” or “spirit,” or that redemption excludes from its final benefits complete wholeness for the entire person. (Isa. 53:4-5; Phil. 3:20-21.)

4. We may affirm that this full redemption will not come until the resurrection at the End. Until then, even God’s believing people continue to share in elements of the Fall. We may deny that even mature believers can always expect perfect health and wholeness now, or that their sicknesses necessarily reflect any personal fault or lack of faith. (1 Cor 15:42-49; 2 Cor. 4:16-5:4.)

5. We may affirm that, because of Christ’s atonement and resurrection and the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, we may begin even now to share in God’s victory over sin and its consequences. This victory at times includes the healing of the body, mind and relationships, in ways that exceed human prediction, understanding or ability to produce. We may deny that God has stopped working in the world and in our lives, or that we must wait until the End to see any signs of our redemption. (Eph. 1:18-21; 3:16; 3:20; Heb. 6:4-5.)

6. We may affirm that all health and healing is God’s gift, regardless of the means by which it comes or the speed with which it occurs. For all health and healing we should give God thanks and praise. We may deny that health or healing ever occur apart from God’s sovereign grace, or that so-called “natural” processes are any less the supernatural work of God. (Ps. 103:1-3.)

7. We may affirm that God gives us many means of wellness. These include, but are not limited to, the body’s “natural” processes, healthy physical, mental and emotional habits and lifestyles, the special ministry of those who practice the healing arts, the loving attention of family and friends, and also effective, believing prayer. In times of illness, we should gratefully apply all appropriate means, asking for God’s healing according to our needs and his glory. We may deny that Christians ought to spurn or neglect any appropriate means of good health or healing, since to do so violates both Scripture-revelation and common sense. (Phil. 4:3-7; 1 Tim. 5:23; Col. 4:14; see also Sirach 38.)__________________________________

Copyright 2006 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby granted to reprint this gracEmail in its entirety without change, with credit given and not for financial profit. Visit our multimedia website at http://www.edwardfudge.com.

14 Responses leave one →
  1. February 23, 2006

    At this moment, I cannot rationally affirm or deny anything except that my heart is breaking into a million little pieces. I hope God can find all those little pieces and reassemble them into something that can continue to try to live in the “already but not yet”.

  2. February 23, 2006

    Amy, is everything okay?

    Edward Fudge is one of the great theologians of our generation.

  3. February 23, 2006

    David – A young mom from Highland who has been raising two precious girls alone died last night, ending her battle with melanoma.

    I had already written this for today, having saved Ed’s piece a couple weeks.

    I’m writing something about Kerri for tomorrow.

    It’s a very hard day for our church. This was an amazing woman whose smile lit up our light-challenged sanctuary.

  4. February 23, 2006

    If I try to be completely honest about this, it seems that we have to convince ourselves of God’s power and love/compassion for us. I guess we have to constantly convince ourselves because they really aren’t obvious. Non-believers in a Judeo-Christian God are just as happy, live just as meaningful a life, are just as healthy as believers. It just seems (being uncomfortably honest here) that if God were as strong, mighty, loving as the Bible says, it would be more obvious to us. Does it make anyone besides me a bit uncomfortable that the only way we know about his great love, care, strength, etc. is by quoting verses?

    David K.

  5. February 23, 2006

    I believe in healing, divine or otherwise. I believe God can do anything. I have seen divine miraculous healing. I have questioned lack of healing. God is not logical and no matter how hard we want to make Him logical we won’t. The beauty of God is His mystery and how His ways are not our ways. If we could figure Him out, we would be God. And we are not. I have come to this one conclusion. It is not about knowing the answers to the questions, it’s all about knowing and trusting Him. God is Sovreign.

  6. February 23, 2006

    Mike,
    I’m so glad you already know about our precious Kerri. I spent the entire night petitioning the Lord on behalf of Carlee and Jolee. I was listening to the radio and Mark Shoultzs’ song Remember Me started playing and I completely lost it! She has recieved the ultimate healing, now the Lord just has to hold the broken pieces of the hearts of those she left behind. My life is forever marked by Kerri Lane and I am forever thankful.

  7. February 23, 2006

    I am with Amy and my heart is breaking but David, words are not the only way that we know God’s love. My heart is breaking but I knew God’s love through my precious friend, Kerri.

  8. February 23, 2006

    We don’t sing this much but I think our sister, Kerri, would be singing this song today……

    If the skies above you are gray, you are feeling so blue,
    If your cares and burdens seems great All the whole day thru,
    There’s a silver lining that shines In the heavenly land,
    Look by faith and see it my friend, Trust in His promises grand,
    Sing and be happy, Press on to the goal,
    Trust Him who leads you, He will keep your soul;
    Let all be faithful, look to Him and pray,
    Lift your voice and praise Him in song, Sing and be happy today.

    (I love the way you taught us happiness, my beloved sister)

  9. February 23, 2006

    In fact, Kerri said it best here: http://kcjlane.blogspot.com/ And if I know Kerri like I think I know Kerri, even though she wrote this in October 2005, nothing changed her mind.

  10. February 23, 2006

    When your heart is empty
    When your knees are sore
    When the tears have fallen,
    Until there’s just no more
    When your feet are weary
    And you can’t go on
    And you sit and wonder
    What did I do wrong?
    Just remember, just remember
    I Am with you

    When you look to the heavens
    For the healing rain
    But there’s no cloud to hide you
    From the sorrow and pain.
    When the breath of angels
    Brings no relief
    And your legs start to stumble
    From the weight of your grief.
    Just remember, just remember
    I Am with you.

    I Am with you in the darkness
    I Am with you through the pain
    And when you can not feel my presence, I am with you all the same
    I Am stronger than this world
    I will not forsake my child
    Hold on, for just a little while.
    I Am with you, I Am with you

    He was always with her. And now she is with him.

  11. February 23, 2006

    If any one wants healing it’s me. Yet I would not trade my pain for the love I shared with Kerri and her precious girls. When I was first hurt Carlee and Jolee would never miss an opportunity to hug me. I cannot tell you the healing power of a pure innocent hug. Kerri’s blog is on my favorites list right above Mike’s. I go by her sight several times a day and lift her and her girls up. I will continue to do that and pray fervently for Carlee and Jolee. Kerri has fulfilled my dream, to honor God in life and death. I pray that I can honor Kerri by smothering her two precious angels with all my love. God, may Carlee and Jolee always know the love your servant Kerri had for you. And I also love and pray for her loving friend Lenda.

    Rod I can hear you singing.

  12. February 23, 2006

    First, I’m so sorry to hear about Highland’s loss. I liked what someone said about her receiving the ultimate healing; that’s a beautiful picture in my mind.
    But this blog struck a nerve with me. I’ve been battling severe illness since last May, and it almost got me at the end of last year, but by the grace of God I made an unexplainable turnaround about a month ago. And like Mike said, I had a hard time coping with a lot of the super-saints’ notions that healing was some kind of reward for enough prayers or enough faith or whatever, because that’s the kind of thing you hear when you’re really sick. In fact, all those sentiments led me to the other extreme, that God had nothing to do with healing, it was just luck of the draw.
    But Fudge’s article pricked my heart, and along with some well placed admonishment from friends I’ve asked God for forgiveness for my foolishness. This is exactly what I needed to read as I close this chapter of illness in my life.
    Thank you very much.

  13. February 26, 2006

    Healing seems random at best. Fudge seems to weave a rationalization of God’s unwillingness to heal his people.

    What good can come from having two girls without their mother? It seems being with their mother is best.

    What big picture of God’s requires this woman not to be healed? Her life is a testament to doing his will. It seems HE could step in.

    My faith in God’s ability to heal has taken a yet another serious hit. It began with Amy Krazer. I am still deeply troubled by this.

    If I had the power to save someone and did not, I would be thrown in jail. But God gets a free pass on this one. I think doing the PolyAnna thing lessens my chance to see who God really is and is not. If I do not confront the harsh reality of it all my faith crumbles with each growing injustice.

    I am fast becoming a deist or maybe a non-theist.

    No disrespect meant in my comment, please forgive.

  14. February 27, 2006

    In our human logic, God’s healing is random. If it weren’t, then as Candy said, we would be God. Of course, mankind has been trying to be God since beginning of time and it just doesn’t work. What does work though is faith.

    So how do we have faith at this time? Good question,however….. I hear you say these children will be “without their mother”, but that doesn’t really appear to be the case. Sure, they will never view her physically anymore, but to hear others describe Kerri Lane it sounds like she has laid quite a solid, godly foundation AND left a tremendous network of friends and family to be with her children. It seems to me that these kids will always be with their mother!

    God has the ultimate power to save us, and He just saved Kerri Lane. Please don’t think he didn’t. The real, harsh reality is that she is not in our “physical” presence anymore. I don’t know Kerri, but from what I’m hearing, the essence of Kerri Lane will continue to be an ongoing legacy for a few more generations!

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