I believe it is always God’s Will to heal people. I believe He healed me of depression and bipolar disorder when I reached out to Him in faith in February 2016.
I also take medicine. I took medicine before I received my healing and I still take medicine now, a year and a half after receiving my healing.
Aren’t those statements mutually exclusive? I don’t believe so, and here’s why.
Faith is a journey, and God meets us where we are.
There are six verses in the New Testament where Jesus tells people that they have “little faith.”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
This example occurred when Peter was walking on the water toward Jesus, but then started to doubt and to sink. Jesus called Peter’s faith, “little,” and asked why he doubted.
But Jesus still reached out His hand and saved Peter.
Matthew 6:30 and Luke 12:28 record Jesus explaining how God takes care of every living thing. He’s encouraging us to move beyond our “little faith”, because God acts in our lives in spite of it.
In Matthew 8:26 and 16:8, Jesus remarked that His disciples had “little faith,” but then He calmed the storm and reminded them about the miracles with loaves and fish, respectively.
In Matthew 17:17, Jesus lamented about the, “unbelieving and perverse generation,” when the disciples couldn’t heal the boy with the seizures. He was clearly frustrated with their “little faith,” which He mentioned again in verse 20. But Jesus still healed the boy.
Jesus’ intention – His perfect Will – was obviously that the disciples should heal everyone who asked them. But they failed. And He was disappointed with them for failing.
But He still healed the boy.
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
In Mark’s record of the scene, Jesus explained to them why they couldn’t heal the boy. Yes, He was frustrated at their lack of faith – and lack of preparation through prayer. But instead of leaving them ignorant, He taught them how to do it right the next time.
Since I’ve been obedient to God’s direction to give up sugar, gluten, and dairy and to immerse myself in His Word and prayer, my health has improved to the point where – with my psychiatrist’s supervision – I no longer need to take an antidepressant. Praise God!
And I’m believing that as I continue to follow His direction, and grow in faith, I will eventually come off all my other medications.
But in the meantime, Jesus still heals me. Jesus still meets me where I am. And He never abandons me.
Yes, I believe God wants us all healed to the point where we no longer need medicine. And I believe it’s possible to get there. There are instructions all through the Bible on how to live by faith and walk by faith and receive the answers to our prayers.
But we’re human, and it’s a journey. Our faith can be little or it can be great. The good news is, faith can grow.
II Thessalonians 1:3
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
Medicine saves lives. Doctors and therapists help us to get better. They’re not perfect, but they are tools that God can use to keep us alive to fight another day. They’re tools that God can use to get us to a place of stability.
Because faith and recovery are hard work. They require making hard choices and following through with patience and persistence. Patience and persistence are in short supply when my brain is crippled by mental illness.
Jesus helps me anyway.
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children don’t have their act together. Children make mistakes, because they’re still learning. Children aren’t finished products. And Jesus specifically said to let them come to Him.
When I feel like I should be farther along in my recovery, Jesus says, “Come to me.”
When I feel like a failure because I relapsed, Jesus says, “Come to me.”
And when I go to Him, He accepts me just as I am – illness, medicine, therapy, and all. And that acceptance allows me to start taking baby steps in faith.
Knowing that you’re completely accepted by Jesus, what small steps can you take toward faith?
Photo credit: Maria M Johnson
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