I just read a teaching by a preacher (not local) who talked about healing. He mentioned two people: one a long-time, faithful servant of God; the other, someone walking in off the street. They have the same affliction, and both pray for their healing. The one off the street receives the healing; the long-time, faithful servant does not.
This teaching was making the point that God does not always heal the “deserving”, but those who “receive” the healing “by faith”. He goes on to say:
“Many people believe that God heals only the deserving. But that is not how God works. God looks at faith, not works. His power is made manifest in those who trust His goodness instead of their own good behavior.
“So if we go back to the above example, God wants to heal both. All they need to do is receive grace, or unmerited favor, by faith.”
What this teaching implies is that the faithful servant did not have enough faith to be healed. What this implies is that those who do not get healed do not have enough faith. “Have more faith and you’ll receive your healing.” He doesn’t say that, but this kind of teaching implies that. In this line of teaching, FAITH BECOMES THE WORK.
God doesn’t impart His grace by some formula that says if I believe enough, then it’ll happen. That’s exactly the same thing as trying to earn it by working for it.
It’s dangerous teaching.
The older I get, the less I know. I don’t know why some get healed and others don’t. I know it IS by God’s grace, and God’s grace alone. Sometimes it seems to make sense; other times it makes no sense at all. Jesus talks about having “great faith” (Matt 8:10) and “little faith” (Matt 8:26), so certainly faith plays a part. It’s a difficult subject. But as soon as you think you have it all figured out, God shows you that you don’t.
My final point is this: I don’t know why some babies die of brain cancer and some don’t. I really don’t know why. I don’t understand the purpose of mental illness or autism. I don’t understand why one person is healed and another isn’t. But I don’t need to. That’s what faith is all about: trusting in the One who does know.
And that’s all the faith I need.