April 18th 2010

God Is Faithful

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance….”

Romans 5:1-3 (NIV) 

There is a myth that if people really trusted God for healing, they would in fact be healed. When people who believe that myth aren’t healed, they feel guilty. They look for the supposed “secret sin” that is keeping them from being healed.

 They may be told that they need to pray for God to show them their sins, or, if suffering sickness, that he or she needs more faith. But such advice is nothing more than superstition. It reduces God to the level of the ancient pagan gods—tyrants, who cared little for the plight of human beings and acted only when they had something to gain, or when a stronger god forced them to. The Father of Jesus Christ is not like those gods. 

Formulae for getting right with God have no place in the gospel. Our relationship with him is not a business transaction in which we do something for God—maybe some good deed or say the right word in just the right way—and then he will be good to us. God has already saved us through Christ. And he did it while we were still sinners simply because he loves us, as Paul goes on to tell us in Romans 5:6-8.

The reason we pray, as Jesus did, “Your will, not mine, be done,” is that God’s will for us is always unwaveringly good, and never bad. God is, and always will be, faithful to his word of promise to love us regardless of what we do. 

We pray for healing, but we trust ourselves to the One who cares for us. We believe he will do what is right and good for us. We live by faith, resting ourselves in his hands, because he is good. It’s not about secret sins; it’s about trusting the faithfulness of God.

The one thing we know for certain is that our sins are forgiven, and that’s what really matters. We can be certain of that because it doesn’t depend on us, it depends on God, and God is completely faithful. 

If we are also healed physically, that’s an additional blessing. But we should remember that everyone who is healed of a disease sooner or later dies anyway. Even Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, eventually died. 

Physical healing is great, and we praise God for the wonderful healings he has given and continues to give, but ultimately Christians look to something that lasts forever. As those examples of faith cited in the book of Hebrews (chapter 11), we look for a better country, a permanent one, a heavenly one, promised to us by the One who is always faithful. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing love. Help us always to focus on the permanent, rather than on the temporary, and to remember that you always have our ultimate future success to the fore in your dealings with us. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen 

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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