Having a conversation with a lovely friend in church today, I was startled at a gross misconception many Christians hold. She has been having a battle with cancer and fears her healing is based on her level of faith. Over the weekend, as she was preparing for her in-laws to arrive for a long visit, she wore herself out. This resulted in a physical setback, as well as a spiritual one.
My sweet, and strong, friend voiced her frustrations with life. She admitted she didn’t understand what the struggle was all for, anyway, and just wanted to be done with it. The more we chatted, the more I understood her growing anxiety.
By His Stripes We are Healed
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5.
We all know the verse. When anyone is suffering physically, this is our go-to verse as Christians. We whip it out of our sheath and wield it. Certain preachers and very spiritual people claim it as our special magical verse for healing. The clincher, too, lies in that this text is in the present. We are healed. There need be no trace of physical illness in us, ever. If there is, we must be lacking belief of this verse.
That being said, if this theology is accurate, there are a lot of Christians floating around with an enormous lack of faith!
I find such teaching problematic and destructive.
Enslaved by Poor Biblical Teaching
Take my friend, for instance. Her faith in God is no longer subject to God’s grace, but her own efforts. This type of thinking enslaves people and takes Christ out of the center, replacing him with themselves. Our health and healing becomes our focal point.
But Jesus says to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added”.
All things. All the things Matthew 24 is talking about. Jesus says our Heavenly Father knows what we need. So, if we keep Him as the anchor, we may receive the healing that we need. We may.
God is Concerned More About Our Salvation
We must first understand that God cares way more about our spiritual condition than He does our physical! What does Jesus say in Matthew 10:28? “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Regarding our physical and emotional suffering, we must not let go of the fact that while we don’t understand, or perhaps even care for, God’s economy, He has us in His sights. He looks at us with intention. It is God’s longing, His utter desire, to give us His full portion of blessing. Some of us, though, only seem to want half, or less!
We might think the price is too high. This is because we do not comprehend what the future holds. We cannot really grasp Heaven and Forever. How could we? This world is so far from it.
God does not lie. There is no trace of deceit in Him. So why does He say by His stripes we are healed? If this were true, wouldn’t all signs and symptoms of illness be removed from believers?
Yes, indeed! If Isaiah 53:5 were talking about physical healing, everyone would be healed. In fact, we are. If we back out of this verse, we begin to comprehend the context of this passage, and that the healing, or better said, “deliverance” the passage is talking about is not our physical condition, but our eternal condition, our spiritual wellbeing. And through Christ, we have been delivered from being eternally separated from God, which is far better than being physically healed.
The Truth Sets Us Free
I am not sure if this was the message my friend wanted to hear or not, but she looked relieved. She looked set free. When she came to terms and had the awakening that her healing and wellbeing were not determined by her faith in physical healing, all the weight and the pressure were off her!
Her freedom was visible, too. Her body went from tense and uptight to relaxed. Her shoulder dropped and her mind eased. Passing along other verses of encouragement only fed life into her. My friend is such a newbie in the Christian faith. Even with the best of intentions, those who taught her such a poor interpretation of scripture were aiding in her physical and mental deterioration and putting a huge stronghold in her life.
I pray today she will move toward the light and embrace it, and that this truth will set her free. And I pray that if you are in a physical, emotional, or mental battle and have believed, as my friend was, that your healing is based on your level of faith, that you might also be set free!
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…