Christians have abandoned their most powerful source of comfort and hope for the sick and dying: hope in the Lord.
More and more the popular Christian response to the sick and dying is to pray for healing. They say, “God has done it before, why not now?”
(This is a dispensational question, and can only be answered adequately by a dispensationalist. When someone is sick and dying it may not be the right time for a dispensational Bible study. They need hope.)
Hope in the Lord has been replaced with hope in healing.
While there are claims of healing miracles, which for the purpose of this article we will not dispute, the truth remains that the majority of people that need a healing fail to get one.
For divine healing to be a source of reasonable comfort and hope, it must work more than rarely, sometimes, or even half the time; it must be certain all the time. Without this sort of certainty, healing turns into a divine lottery where you can submit your request, but there is a high chance it will not be answered.
Hope in healing destroys faith in God when it fails to happen. Disillusionment with God and the Bible quickly follows if hope is not in the Lord.
What hope is there in healing?! If our hope in Christ is only for this life then…
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19
A Certain Hope
There is a better hope than healing.
For a true and certain God-given hope, Christians should turn to the apostle of hope. Paul speaks more about hope than any other writer in the Bible.
Hope in healing is misplaced. The hope Paul speaks about is in the Lord Jesus Christ who through his grace gives an everlasting hope.
Hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2).
Hope of resurrection (1 Thess 4:13).
Hope of glory (Rom 8:18).
Hope of a redeemed body (Rom 8:23-24).
Hope of a short and light affliction (2 Cor 4:17-18).
Hope of salvation (1 Thess 5:8).
Hope of consolation (2 Cor 1:7).
Hope of the Lord’s return (Titus 2:13).
Every hope here is certain for the believer who trusts the gospel of Christ, and has hope in the Lord. All we must do is wait for it.
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” – Romans 8:25
Our certain and patience producing hope is in heaven, not in healing (Col 1:5; Phil 3:20-21).
Give Hope to the Hurting
People who pray for a healing are looking for hope. Hope that God will provide help. He has. It is not in a temporal healing. He has provided something far better.
Next time someone sincerely asks for your help to pray for healing, recommend a good doctor, visit them, and give them hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful to do what he says.
God said he has provided grace, and that grace is sufficient for strength, consolation, and hope. Be a grace ambassador. Give hope to the sick and dying through the power of God’s grace.
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” – 2 Thess 2:16-17