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The Bible says suffering is part of the Christian life so shouldn't we accept that disease is part of this suffering?

"The Bible does say that there will be various sufferings in our lives (Romans 8:17-18). Persecution and even death may be part of that suffering (Phil. 3:10). The Bible also says to rejoice because God uses suffering to produce character (Romans 5:3).

"It is true that being sick is one type of suffering in our common usage of the term in English. In the New Testament, however, sickness and disease seem to be in a different category. A brief word study of 'suffer/ sufferings' suggests these terms are not used to indicate either sickness nor disease in the NT.

"Consider the life of the Apostle Paul, for instance. We know from Galatians 4:13 that at least on one occasion he was sick. Yet in his long list of trials he suffered for the Gospel which he identifies in Corinthians 11:23-28, not once does he mention his illness.

"Interesting, don’t you think? In fact, it follows that if God intends for human beings to suffer from disease because it may on occasion be part of His divine strategy to develop our character and spiritual maturity, Jesus would not have directed the disciples to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1).

"Indeed, He would have instructed them NOT to heal because healing may interfere with God’s perfect plan for constructing character, perseverance, and hope.

"This argument does not negate the fact that God miraculously works good out of what is intended for evil (Genesis 50:20). Let it be clear, however, that the 'Good from Evil' principle is far different from the idea that God’s purpose is to design and intend sickness for our spiritual development."

Since God is sovereign and His will is always perfect, shouldn’t we only pray for His will to be done and not for Him to heal unless it is His will?

"Jesus instructs the disciples to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. If God’s will is always accomplished, since He is sovereign and almighty, why then would the disciples be instructed by the Lord Jesus himself to pray for God’s will to be done?

"Clearly God’s will is not always done on earth. God apparently limits Himself, choosing to work in partnership with and through those on earth, bringing the Kingdom of truth and light by way of the people of God.

"To illustrate, let us change the subject from Healing to Evangelism. Would it make sense for us not to pray for a non-believer to become a believer? Why not just expect that God is sovereign and the non-believer will come to Christ or not, as God wills?

"To rest on this logic relieves us from speaking to non-believers about our found faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, by extension, there would be no need to send missionaries to other cultures.

"No, we understand that the witness of the Church is the primary tool for people coming to knowledge of God in Christ so that they may make a decision about Him.

"In the same way, we minister healing in His Name, the love of God being released through those that believe, His ambassadors and priests. The results of all our ministries - witnessing, teaching, healing, and so forth - are in God’s hands.

"But the real question is, 'Is it God’s will that all be healed?' After all, it is clear many are not healed even when receiving Christian healing ministry. Let us consider a corollary question:

"Does God want all to be saved? Yes, God desires all to be saved (First Timothy 2:4). Are all saved? Apparently not, even though God desires it. Since God wants all to come to knowledge of him yet many do not, we must conclude some other principle is at work.

"Similarly, since God wants all to be healed but not everyone is healed, we must consider some other unknown principle is in play.

"We must, therefore, separate two thoughts: Just because not all are healed does not mean that God does not want all to be healed."

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