The Bible is full of encouraging words about healing from start to finish. God even gives Himself a name in the second book of the Bible, Exodus. He says, “I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26 NIV) But many people ask, especially when they’re sick and despairing, or someone they love is, “Can miraculous healing occur today?’ Or, specifically having read or heard of the miracles of Jesus, they ask, “Does Jesus still heal today?”
Thoughts about the possibility of divine healing range from “It never happened” to “It may have happened in the past, but not now” to “I sure hope it can happen today, but I have my doubts.” The fortunate ones are those who say, “I think it can happen and it happened to me. I believe it.” Jesus does still heal today and around the world are blessed and uplifted people who can say things like, “I had no hope and then someone prayed for my healing and look at me. I’m healed.”
Foundation for Healing from the Bible
Last week in writing about “Victory in Christ,” I wrote these words:
“Truly, Jesus won an extraordinary triumph over sin, death, evil, poverty, illness, demonic powers, and so much else at the cross. He defeated those things and the enemy who is behind them. From what He did for us, we’re meant to receive benefits.” One of those benefits is divine healing. Jesus does still heal today.
But, the foundation for the extraordinary level of miraculous healing that we read about in the New Testament is laid down in the Old Testament.
Some Old Testament examples…
There are phrases that support it such as in Psalm 103:2-3 (NIV):
“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases…”
There are stories of miraculous healings, Naaman from leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-19), and Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24), from some sort of inflammation that was going to be fatal. Elisha (2 Kings 4:11-37) and Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24) raise boys from the dead. This is just some of the healing in this portion of the Bible.
Healing with Jesus Christ
When Jesus came into the world, it was for some specific purposes: To make God known (Matthew 11:27), to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and to bring salvation and redemption to the world (John 3:16). The works of the devil include everything that makes people sick or broken.
So, the 4 gospels are full of accounts of Jesus healing. Matthew 4:23 describes well the atmosphere around Jesus: He “went through Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
In Luke 6:19, this extraordinary healing power of Jesus is described this way. “…And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”
Verse after verse…
I could put verse after verse here to demonstrate the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, but I think so many of us know that these verses exist. The challenge is to believe that the events described actually happened and then to go a step further. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, who ever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…” (John 14:12-14) He said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17)
Ministering Healing to Ourselves & Others
So, Jesus did heal, but His vision was for more than the brief period of His lifetime on earth. Jesus’ plan was to begin His ministry, to die for us, rise again, and to depart. Then, the Holy Spirit would come to dwell in those who would believe, causing the “life of Jesus” to be recreated and lived out through us. We were to become the hands and heart of Jesus on earth. He has commissioned those who believe in Him to heal. (The Holy Spirit even surprises those who don’t believe by sometimes healing them or using them to heal.)
There is no need to beg for healing. Jesus has told us we may have it. “Therefore, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) Not only that, He has asked us to carry on for Him. “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)
Where Do We Start in Order to Heal Today?
But how do we take this ministry up? And how do we do it with confidence? The first step is to believe God, believe the Bible. The second step is to take a risk and try to minister. The third step is to ask people if they feel differently or if they can do something more after you pray and speak to their problem. If they’re not better, then, without embarrassment, you try again.
But why not let someone demonstrate for us. Here is a crash course on healing from Art Thomas, a missionary evangelist, healer, film producer and so much more. He was preparing people to go out into the streets to minister. Watch:
When We Don’t See Healing from Jesus
Some reading this will have had a loved one who died though everyone was praying for them. There may be a reader who is struggling with a chronic disease. My own husband has had a wrestling match with cancer for 12-13 years, though during that time, he has encountered a great deal of healing and tremendous peace. God has loved us so well. But, we continue to pray for the cancer to be totally wiped out.
In my own body, I have prayed for healing for plantar fasciitis, my knees, my shoulder, and various other things and have had every single one of them healed. God has given me the opportunity to minister healing to many others and I have seen a lot of healing. In the ministry of others around me, I have also witnessed healing.
Are there times when nothing happened? Oh yes. I have had my share of disappointment and heartache seeing someone not get healed. But, let’s not ever build our theology on our experiences. Always, let’s look to Jesus for the goal for which we are “shooting.”
Often, just as in Jesus’ day, when someone gets healed, that may happen before they have accepted Christ and that healing prayer brings them to Him. But, why not practice Jesus’ ministry just because it is wonderful to help people feel better and to demonstrate our trust in God?
Encouraging Others That Jesus Does Heal Today
Finally, we encourage each other to take risks and step out in this ministry of healing by:
- Studying the healing stories of the Bible together and talking about them.
- We pray for God’s guidance and help.
- When risks are taken and we step out and try, that’s when we’ll see more healing.
- Continue to learn, to talk, to share experiences and build each other up.
- Share testimonies of healings that occur in order to build faith up in ourselves and others.
- Bless and pray for all those in the medical profession. God works through them to accomplish His healing too.
- Anticipate God’s goodness all the days of your life.
Do you have a story of healing? We would love to hear about it! Share in the comments below.
There are 100 verses about healing the sick at this link.
Related articles on this website:
Books to Read:
In my book, Jesus and the Addict, (chapter on the Holy Spirit, for example) there are some stories of remarkable healing miracles that happened at the hands of people in recovery, some of whom had little or no faith. The Holy Spirit so builds us up even when we’re young in faith. Books
Two other books that may help you are:
40 Day Paid in Full Healing Ministry Activation Manual
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Great post, Pam. You invited me to consider again the events of last year. When I went north for the two weeks before our daughter’s wedding last year, some people I didn’t even know came to me in the airport and asked if they could pray for my healing. I didn’t know them, and so their knowledge that I had a chronic illness informed me that God had something special for me. They all surrounded me and prayed twice. Once before we boarded the plane, and once after we all landed in the same destination.
During that entire two-week period, I had strength like I hadn’t felt for years, and since we had to move our daughter’s possessions twice and do all of the work involved in hosting a wedding, I needed that strength. After the ceremony, we ate and danced for hours, and I was invigorated throughout. This high level of energy and well being continued for weeks after I returned home.
But then a shift came. I had times of exhaustion again, and I wondered if the Lord had only healed me for this brief time. I was fine with whatever God wanted to do, and so I let go of expectations. Now, a year later, I have been having tests return with surprisingly good outcomes. My lungs are improving. My energy is better than it has been for a while. My fatigue is less debilitating. And so, I have come to see that the Lord is still working. An autoimmune disease affects every cell in the body, and the Lord is at work. What is his plan? I do not know. I only know that he is God and he is able. And I trust him. As Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” I will be with him whenever it is that I do perish, so all is good whatever the Lord does.
Melinda, thank you for sharing your experience – the up at the time of the wedding with all that strength – and then the puzzling down with exhaustion again later on. I actually had you in my mind as I was writing this because you have shared about your autoimmune disease with great vulnerability. I never want to write about healing so that it ends up discouraging someone! But, as I shared in this post, like you, we’ve seen God’s wonderful healing and we’ve seen the times that things did not improve. But nevertheless, I will always say, “God is good.” And like Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Thanks for stopping by!
I love this, Pam. I have personally experienced (with my daughter) physical healing through Jesus. It was extraordinarily… I can never “explain” or describe it well, but it was so real and humbling and miraculous. But most important is the eternal healing He offers us! So grateful.
Jessica, I love how you described these healing events “extraordinary, so real, humbling, and miraculous.” But I also love that you said, most important is the eternal healing God offers us! Amen
I believe in God’s power to heal and I’ve heard testimonies of healing from different people. And I also know that God is sovereign and does as He wills. This is a great post, thanks for sharing.
Betty, I long for more and more Christians to feel confident to ask for healing and pray for healing. And I long for more and more people who don’t know Jesus yet to receive healing. Thank you so much for your comment! God bless you.
To pray and believe is so important in building our faith. And trust in God no matter what. He is the Healer no matter what the outcome. Thanks for your uplifting post!
I love that, Ava – “He is the Healer no matter what the outcome.” Thank you for stopping by to read. God bless you!
I live with chronic pain, so I appreciated this post. I’ve definitely wondered many times why I’m not one He chooses to heal and if, indeed, He still chooses to heal today. I try to remember that He has a plan for everything. Thanks for the list of further resources.
Les, I understand. I always feel a dual feeling when I speak about healing – I am excited to say, “It still happens.” But, I thing about people like you with chronic pain and the way a discussion of healing must make you feel. That’s why I also shared about my husband with his yet unhealed cancer (though we’ve had miracles along the way. It was first diagnosed as aggressive, not it’s non-invasive and so much milder). It is a mystery. God be with you. I pray that your chronic pain will be relieved that you will find healing. God bless you.
Oh, I love that you said for us not to build our theology on our experiences! SO SO IMPORTANT. I heard a preacher once who said, “Whether we receive healing here on earth or in our promotion to heaven, rest assured- we WILL receive it if we place our faith in HIM.” That always comforted me when healing was not received on earth for someone we prayed for.
Nicci, I know! How important it is to just keep hanging on to the Lord, whether healed or not, whether loved ones healed or not, but just find our security and our hope in him. Thank you!
God is surely still at work, and still heals today! Thank you for sharing this encouraging word!
Thank you, Meghan. God is so good! He cares for us so much more than we realize and He is about life and healing!
I love this so much Pam! I have been in pain for so many years but Jesus is healing me, I can feel it more on the inside than out. Everything He gives to me starts on the inside somehow and works its way out. I don’t know how to explain it but I’m not so hyper focused or in so much angst about my physical pain anymore … ❤
Donna, I so understand what you are saying. My husband says that too. He says, “I am grateful for the extra 12-13 years and that the cancer did not take me out in that time.” He also describes having gained so much peace and trust in God despite not receiving 100% healing. God bless you, Donna. I pray that you will be completely relieved of the pain in Jesus’ name. But so grateful to hear you words about growing on the inside and how much more important that has become to you.
Thanks for the encouragement that Jesus heals today. I do believe in His healing and even when He doesn’t heal, I trust His sovereignty.
I agree, Mary – I just continue to go after healing for myself, my family, loved ones, and strangers, and keep believing in the goodness of God!
Wonderful post! It’s so important to remember that miracles and healing aren’t for our benefit alone. It’s for the glory of God. Our suffering is also for the glory of God, so it’s important to see both healing and suffering as part of God’s plan to bring glory to himself.
I so agree, Erin. Both healing and suffering for the glory of God are so important. Sometimes I may seem to emphasize healing more than the suffering – just because I have seen so many people who don’t reach for it and I want them to know God still heals. But yes, we may suffer too – and it is important to receive that with the right heart. I love that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said that whether God delivered them or not, they would trust in Him and not worship any other god. That’s a God-glorifying heart!! Thank you, Erin
Thank you for this encouraging post! I have a chronic illness and have struggled with understanding why God does not heal me. However, I try to remember that His timing is not my timing. I try to keep trusting and praying for healing, while faithfully serving Him every day.
I am sorry you have a chronic illness. I am often hesitant to write about healing because I know someone will read who has been going through a lot of pain and other symptoms for a long time. I do not want anyone to be further hurt by my words. At the same time, I so agree with you – we must keep trusting and praying and faithfully serving Him. Healing is a mystery. No matter what God is love and He loves us. Thank you!
I was puzzled others were healed of abuse. I had so much faith for others. But changi g our hearts and fsulty understanding shows He never gives up and does lead us His Way His time for His Glory and the greatet blessing of others. He is great and does miracles. Every day we have a trstimo y of something and a sporit of intercession is from His Heart to us. Loved the video.Psalm91v3 and 10
Valerie, Thank you for commenting. “He is great and does miracles!” Amen!
Thanks for such an encouraging post and for reminding me that God is bigger than our experiences! He is able to heal.
Thanks for stopping by to read the article! Yes, God is so able and so willing to heal. Why it doesn’t happen every time is a mystery, but nevertheless, it happens and we are right to pursue it – because He loves us!!
Such an important post – and so timely! Thank you especially for including book recommendations. 🙂
Evangeline, I agree – people need to hear again or for the first time that God is still in the miracle and healing business! Thank you for stopping by to read!
I have experienced healing in the church by God. I had previously twisted my ankle and didn’t see a doctor. Because I continue to walk and not rest the ankle, I was putting more pressure on one leg than the other which affected my leg having one knee higher than the other. I asked for prayer and the next thing I knew, my knees were both the same level and have remained the same since. God healed my leg.
Elizabeth, thank you for sharing this. I love when God grows out or evens out legs. That is one of my favorite miracles! And often it helps the lower back and neck too! I am so glad this happened to you so that you are healed. God loves you so much!
I am so thankful the same God who healed the is still healing today. The drs told me I would never have children multiple times and three of my four sons were told they would not survive. But God. I have four healthy sons ages 24-11.
Oh Mamie, I love hearing this testimony to God’s goodness and present day healing. Some of my favorite memories are of praying with so-called “infertile” couples and getting to baptize their babies!!! God bless you and your beautiful sons.
Thank you for this post about God healing today! My husband and I pray for so many people and we have seen miracles! I have been healed from severe sciatica. Pain meds wouldn’t take the pain away but God did! I’m finding healing sometimes comes through worship, fasting and when the illness tries to come back- I just tell it to go because Jesus already paid for it.❤️
Karen, thank you so much for “stopping by.” I love that you have been healed from severe sciatica and that when the illness tries to come back, you tell it to go away because Jesus paid already for it. Amen. Yes, worship and fasting are so significant in healing. I love when people are healed in the midst of worship and no one has talked with them or prayed personally with them. The power of God present in a body of people worshipping is always amazing!
Can I ask how fasting is important in healing? I have fasted recently for my cousin-in-law who is in ICU because of Covid. I heard she was getting better. I stopped fasting. She got worse and is now on ventilator and blood oxygenation machines. No one is allowed to visit her. I am praying right now. I know the Lord, but the mystery of healing has been on my heart since May when my sister committed suicide. I don’t know if what I do or what I fail to do has a life-or-death impact. It seems arbitrary. I want to be a part of healing in Jesus’ Name. Is there some “way it works”, or certain things God requires for healing? What is the Bible’s perspective on this? I feel God may be calling me towards this, because I have such a desire to see His healing for His glory to be shown and for people to trust Him.
I will reply to this personally off the website. But so that others are helped, our part in healing is to trust God, not try to perform something that will please Him, but trust that He is the loving God who is also named, “I Am the LORD Who Heals You.”
I have lost all faith. If God does heal then it must be a random occurrence. There is nothing more cruel than to believe healing is God’s will only to be left begging in desperation for many years and to then be given the consolation excuse of “in God’s timing”, “sometimes God’s answer to prayer is no”. Inhumane. It is an irreparable betrayal.
Your message deeply touches my heart. I wish I knew all the answers about healing occurring and healing not occurring because I cannot stand to hear a story like yours where you have prayed and sought God’s healing and you are still suffering. I do know one thing. I don’t look to what happens with others and base my beliefs on that. I keep looking back to God who describes Himself as “I am willing.” (Mark 1:41) I am going to email you and see if I can be of help.
I’m on stony ground r/t healing, 2 woman at my church have been cured from their MS, I’m not believing for my healing but I’m working on it. Romans 10:17 yes? I wish I could truly believe.
Catherine, That seems to be the human condition. We see miracles, our heart starts to rise, and then we sink back because it seems too good to be true. I pray that you will be surrounded by such an abundance of healing miracles that you won’t be able to sink back but your faith will rise and rise. I pray that you will hear messages that so stir your heart, you will believe for your healing without any wavering.
I love the story of Paul in Lystra. (beginning at Acts 14:8) “…there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth (!) and had NEVER walked. He listened to Paul as He was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.” What had Paul said? How did it grip that man’s heart. But something stirred him. I pray for that for you.
I have lost my faith in God. The last 1,5 years I’ve been trying to figure out why God didn’t heal me, digging deep into the scripture, praying, fasting, pleading, trying to find some hope to carry on, but he never showed me anything. Just the deafening silence, and the pain, shame on my parent’s face every time I see them. They don’t understand and they refuse to speak about it. Before me, 5 years of prayer for my brother, to no avail. A 7 year old only child from the church passing away after a painful battle with cancer, driving the parents to madness, suicide even. “Well, God loved her so much he took her to heaven so she wouldn’t suffer anymore”. Yeah, but what the parents??? I was raised in the charismatic church I’ve seen it all. All the fake miracles when people proclaimed they got miraculously healed, only to pass away later from the same condition. Never saw anything truly incurable got healed. And everyone who got healed always received medical treatment as well, without exception. I just don’t understand.
Is God not healing at all anymore, or is it just incredibly rare and random? Some of us are suffering so bad down here we wish we could just end it right now, but then he’d send us to hell, right? It is so cruel and malicious even. The image of loving God has completely eroded from my mind. “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” – how ironic Jesus said these words himself after healing yet another person. So how can I truly believe Jesus’ other promises, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, or even something as simple as “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. I hate to say it, but I’m seriously questioning whether any of it is true. 🙁
First of all, I want to say how deeply sorry I am that you are suffering, that your prayers have seemed to be unanswered for you, for your brother, for the 7 year old child who died of cancer. Your anger and questioning make perfect sense in light of your experiences. And I agree that there is too much fakery around the healing ministry. That, too, discourages us.
And yet, I do believe healing is real and for today and that God is good, not a fickle being who’s malicious in His ways. But, I want to say more to you and will write a personal reply.
Thankful to find this as I have been healed by Jesus. Had scolioses for years and it had progressed where the right side of my body was in pain most of the time. I woke up one day and noticed when I walked it didn’t hurt. Later that day I told my husband it didn’t hurt to
Walk and I even ran a little. I got up and felt the Holy Spirit in the most powerful way I’ve ever experienced. Started crying and saying, thank you, thank you to Jesus, knowing he healed me. I’ve only told family and a couple close friends. I would like now to know who else I should share with.
Martha, I am thrilled to hear your story. What an amazing healing and how good God is. Plus, the way in which it happened – you simply woke up and knew you were better and then felt the power of the Holy Spirit on you – wow! I agree with you that you need to tell your story to more people if you can. Others need to be encouraged to believe. Do you go to a church? Would they let you share? Any other clubs or groups? May I tell your story to others? I only have your first name, Martha, so your privacy is protected. Let’s give all glory to God. Bless you!
Yes, my husband and I go to a smaller church. There is a small group I was part of and those will start again at some point. Yes, you may share. And I do so want to give God the glory so I think I will talk to my pastor. It’s been interesting sharing with just a few, it seemed at least one person questioned my experience and being an introvert, it is not easy to share. But I will pray about it and then talk to our pastor.
Thank you for all you do. This has helped me ❤️
God bless you, Martha. I know your testimony is going to bless many people and help them have the faith for healing that God desires for them. I will tell others about what God has done for you!