Q. I receive a number of devotionals each day in my email. One that arrived from (a well known teacher) recently didn’t set well with me and I would appreciate your input on it. Here’s what it says in part.
He said, “God doesn’t have a “wonderful plan” for everybody’s life. Not here on earth, for sure. For some lives His plan is Lou Gehrig’s disease. For some lives (like Job’s) His plan is a life of pain. For others, heartbreak and brokenness, blindness or paralysis, or congenital complications. For many, His plan is to say no to their requests for healing. But we don’t like that. Some won’t accept it. In fact, they go so far as to say, “If you believe that, you lack faith.” On the contrary, I say if you believe that, you believe the Bible!”
If this statement is correct would you please explain to me how this could be so? If it is God who is giving us diseases, pain and suffering, what hope do we have?
A. I completely disagree with (the author’s) take on life, and am surprised he would say such a thing. Sickness and death came into the world as a result of sin. The things he mentioned happen, sure enough, but they were never part of God’s plan. They are the consequences of man violating God’s plan and contaminating His perfect creation. For evidence of this, can you find any case in the Bible where Jesus or one of the apostles refused to heal someone because it was not God’s plan for him to be healed?
This view also seems to totally ignore another powerful force in a believer’s life, prayer. One might wonder if the author bothers to pray at all, given his point of view. I also wonder what he thinks of Matt. 21:22 , Mark 9:23 and other passages that tell us everything is possible for those who believe, or James 5:13-15 that specifically instructs us to pray for healing.
I think this man is ignoring the devastating consequences of sin in the world and blaming these consequences on God.