Q. If what you are saying about God’s desire to heal everyone of their illness is true … if a lack of faith is the only thing that prevents God from accomplishing this … then the efforts of all the doctors and nurses throughout all of history have served only to undermine God’s divine plan for healing sick believers. So when I (as part of my nursing duties) educate my patients about their disease process and what they can expect in its progression, I destroy their faith and subsequently any chance of my patients overcoming cancer, end-stage heart disease, liver failure, kidney failure, Lou Gherig’s disease and a host of other fatal illnesses.
I became a nurse to help people through a very difficult time in their lives but if what you are saying is true, then I am worse than a murderer. Instead of a gun or a knife, I use my compassion and (until now) what I thought was my God-given abilities as a nurse to ease suffering … as weapons to tear down someone’s faith so that they cannot receive God’s healing. What now?
A. Faith and healing have always gone together, no matter what the process. And please remember, this is not what I’m saying. I’m only quoting God’s word. He’s the One who said these things.
When the medical profession sees itself as a means through which God heals people, there is no problem. Gifts of mercy (Romans 12:6-8) and healing (1 Cor. 12:9) have been routinely used by the profession since its inception. It’s when the pharmaceutical and medical professions presume to replace God in the healing process that the problem arises.
As an indication of God’s mercy, he made the very plants that we now call weeds to contain the healing agents necessary to offset the effects of the curse He had to place on the creation following Adam’s sin. For most of man’s generations these healing agents have been used by doctors to cure illness. (Much of the pharmaceutical industry is built on the effort to produce these agents synthetically.) And when the medical profession adopted the quarantine and sanitary procedures outlined in the Book of Leviticus remarkable improvement in healing was made. This was further confirmation that He can use medical people and procedures to heal the sick.
But God only promised eternal life to those who accept His death as payment for their sins, and even then it’s only in the next world. Because of the fall, everyone grows old and dies in this one. No one knows when that will happen, and God never promised it wouldn’t. But when it does, it’s the ministering efforts of believers like you who can use their gifts to bring comfort to those in the process of transitioning from this world to the next, helping them to choose the path to eternal life.