Does God desire that each of us be physically healed? The answer to that question is, “Yes!” We already know that in eternity, there will be no more suffering or illness or evil, as John states in Revelation 21:3,4: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

However, not all of what God wills for eternity will necessarily come to pass in this world — including healing.

There are many biblical examples of people who are not physically healed in this world. Paul mentions his own “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) which God didn't cure, even after Paul prayed three times for healing. Timothy is said to have had “frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23), and rather than asking for Timothy to be healed, Paul instructed Timothy to “use a little wine” to help with his condition.

Elsewhere, Paul notes that he left Trophimus sick in Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20). And Jesus, in John 5, healed one man by the pool of Bethesda, even though there were many others who were sick.

Even some of the most faithful Christians won't be healed, at least not until Jesus comes again. This is demonstrated in Scripture and confirmed by our own experience.

One reason that God may choose not to heal right away (though it's not the only reason) is expressly stated by Jesus in John 9. Regarding the man who had been blind from birth, Jesus plainly states the reason for the man's condition: “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3). Greater good may come from an illness than would have resulted from God’s divine healing.

Anytime there's a situation where healing doesn't come, we need to remember that healing isn't only a theological issue — it's also an intensely personal one. We may never fully understand why God heals one person and doesn't heal another. Ultimately, the choice is entirely up to God. His divine will has a purpose, which is more amazing than we will ever be able to fully comprehend. We need to try to trust in the God who has demonstrated himself to be trustworthy, and to remember the love that God has shown us.

Be encouraged by Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19)."

In eternity, healing will be experienced by all God’s children, without a single exception. We can all rejoice in this sure and certain promise as we ask God to heal us and restore us, knowing that the answer has already been given, although the time of it might be after our death rather than before.

Photo Credit: Pedro Fernandes