– James H. Aughey
Healed by His Wounds
Isaiah the prophet wrote about Christ that “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5b). So by God’s sovereignty, He chooses whom He will heal, when He will heal them, and in what manner. This verse is by no means an excuse to never see a doctor because someone has said, “You don’t have enough faith since you’re going to the doctor,” which I have actually heard people say. Some cultic religions believe that going to the doctor is evil, and some have died due to their belief. But even Luke was a physician, and Jesus plainly said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Mark 2:17).
The Prayers of the Righteous
James wrote that Christians should “confess [their] sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). We can pray for those who are sick among us. In our small community, we have a weekly prayer vigil headed up by my beloved wife where she gathers the prayer requests for the whole town and beyond to pray for those who are battling cancer or illness, have lost a loved one, or have been in an accident. God will honor the prayers of the saints who pray in belief and in trust that the Great Physician will heal them, but it will be in His time. It might not happen in this life, but it will happen.
Jesus Conquered the Grave
When the Apostle Paul was writing the Roman Christians, he was trying to encourage them as they were undergoing severe persecution. Paul seems to be taunting death by asking, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting” (1 Corinthians 15:55)? Even if illness or accident takes the Christian home, Paul can confidently say, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Paul prayed three times to have his own “thorn in the flesh” removed (2 Corinthians 12:7); and Paul begged God by saying, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). We do know that whoever believes in Him shall never perish (John 3:16) and that nothing in this life, even death, can separate us from God, all because of the Great Physician’s supreme sacrifice.