Disappointment and Health

"Emergency Ambulance" by Lydia (2011), share under a Creative Commons Attribution license

“Emergency Ambulance” by Lydia (2011), share under a Creative Commons Attribution license

Health problems can be tremendously disappointing.  My appendicitis hospitalized me for 3 days, and I was desperate to get back home.  Once home, I couldn’t do anything for myself for about a week.  All this despite asking God many times to heal me!  Some people ask for healing but never receive it.  What should we make of this situation?

My comments will follow the pattern I explained in a previous post.

Be not wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
And refreshment to your bones (Prov 3:7-8, ESV).

Command: Fear the Lord; turn from evil.

Consequence: Healing and refreshment.

Our meager expectation: People with strong faith will be healed of any ailment.

God’s unbelievable reward: ultimate welfare and forgiveness of sin.  “A right relationship with God leads to a state of complete physical and mental well-being, not simply to the absence of illness and disease.”[1]  It’s okay if you get sick or injured or exhausted.  Even your death is a refuge (Prov 14:32), for it brings you one step closer to the Lord (Prov 15:24).  God is at work, preparing you for the day when there will be no mourning, crying, or pain.

Echoes: To give a picture of the health of this right relationship, God often cures sickness (Ps 30:1-12).  But the essence of the reward is not about physical health and wellness.  If you expect God to heal every sickness, and to do it on your timetable, you will be disappointed.

Essence: Jesus underwent torture and death so we might understand God’s true healing of our sin problem.  Jesus performed many healing miracles, but Matthew’s reference to Isaiah 53:4 makes it clear that the physical healings were pictures of a deeper reality: the forgiveness of sin (Matt 8:16-17).  Sometimes God heals diseases and preserves lives; other times he doesn’t.  But when a sin-sick soul turns from its evil and fears the Lord, God will always forgive, cleanse, and refresh.  Our disappointment at sickness and injury should redirect our attention to the God who heals everlastingly.

 How might Jesus’ suffering help you refashion your disappointment when an illness doesn’t get better?


[1] Waltke, Proverbs 1-15, p. 247.

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  • Amber

    Thanks for sharing Peter such a great reminder.