This is one of the most complicated questions with no easy answer. However, the Bible does give us some thoughts to ponder as we
consider this question.
The first place to start is for us to understand how we were created by God. We are a spirit, we possess a soul and we live in a body.
When we gave our lives to Christ, our spirit was born again (John 3:3, James 2:26), however our mind still has be renewed from worldly
thinking (Romans 8:7, 12:1-2) and Paul makes it clear that our bodies are still earthly bodies. These bodies of flesh will be buried
in the ground in corruption and later will be raised incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, Philippians 3:21).
Therefore our spirit has to be born again, our mind has to be renewed, but our body is still the body of death, which awaits the full
redemption of Christ. Spiritually we are transformed when we were saved and we can renew our thinking to transform our mind, but our body
remains of the seed of Adam and Eve. When you were saved, your spirit was born again, you mind began to be renewed…but your body did
not change before your eyes. Paul puts it like this…
‘For this corruption must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality’ 1 Corinthians 15:53.
When Jesus ministered on earth, many people were healed and some were brought back from the dead. But as time went on their bodies still
got older and they all died. Though we can experience a physical healing, our bodies are still waiting for the greater purposes
of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. Unless Christ comes, we all die. Therefore we are all awaiting for the final physical redemption of
our bodies as Paul speaks about in Corinthians. Most of us need glasses as we get older and the aging process reveals we are still waiting
for our new heavenly bodies (1 Corinthians 15:43,50-56).
Having said that, James still encouraged Christians to believe for physical healings (James 5:13-18). He makes it clear that leaders should anoint
the sick with oil and we must pray in faith. In addition, we should confess all sin and put our relationships right with one another.
A few years back some people taught that all those who were not healed ‘lacked faith.’ This teaching does not align with the whole of Scripture
and it punishes people who are already suffering. Jacob, father of the tribes of Israel limped (Genesis 32:25,31), Elisha the great prophet died of a sickness
(2 Kings 13:14), Paul who saw many healings left
his friend sick (2 Timothy 4:20) and Paul himself suffered from an affliction (Galatians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:7). Also, the young pastor
Timothy often suffered from sickness and Paul told him to take some wine as 'medication' (1 Timothy 5:23).
It is easy to have all the answers when we are not suffering and it’s easy to quote Scripture when we are in full health. In truth, we can
only approach this subject with humility, compassion and a sense of the mystery of God.
However, the Bible does show that there are hindrances to prayer being answered. The greatest hinderance is often unforgiveness and broken
relationships. All unconfessed sin can hinder healing and to learn how prayer can be hindered click here
. We could also
suggest that if we abuse our bodies by over eating, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse etc., then we are destroying God’s gift of a healthy body.
The Leap of Faith
Many of the great healing evangelists of our time have discovered that if you don’t take a leap of faith, no-one will ever get healed!
If you don’t pray (in Jesus' name), if you don’t anoint with oil and if you don’t take the risk of praying for the sick,
healing does not come! If you don’t have a go, you’ll never know! Jesus taught that in prayer we should ask, seek, knock and persist.
We love to preach on healing, but the Bible also shows that God can teach us through suffering. We learn humility and we discover compassion
for those who suffer. In addition, we find a deeper dependence upon God. Paul himself spoke of sharing in the sufferings of Christ
(Philippians 3:10, Galatians 4:13, Col. 1:24).
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" 2 Corinthians 2:9.
Isaiah 53 reveals that Christ Himself shared in our suffering, to comfort us all. Christ embraced suffering, pain, sickness and
all that sin let into this world. In this case Christ can comfort those who weep because He identified with us and
ultimately He defeated sin, sickness, disease and death. In addition, in Isaiah 57:1-2 we learn something challenging.
In this passage, the Bible reveals that sometimes God takes a righteous person home into eternity, so that their suffering can end and
that they may enter into peace.
Finally we are left with the promise in Revelation 21-22, that those who have accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord will entered into the new
Jerusalem, where there will be no more weeping, pain, suffering or death (Revelation 21:4).