This will be my last blog on the wonderful experience of the Lord healing me of cancer by supernatural means. This is the eighth blog on this healing and I do pray that God will use it to help someone who is in need of encouragement. Through the years I have shared this experience many times and I have it condensed in a short sermon form. It has been my honor to have the doctors who treated me through the years call me and ask me to come to the hospital or their offices to speak to a young cancer patient or a patient who has been diagnosed as terminal. I know God healed me when doctors said there was no chance of medicine healing me. I want to share just a couple final thoughts about my healing.
I. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT ANYONE TODAY HAS THE GIFT OF HEALING.
I know that this will surprise many that a man who was supernaturally healed of cancer does not believe in the gift of healing. I am what is known as a cessationist. Well, I am a modified cessationist. I believe there were some gifts given to the apostles to identify them as apostles and caused people to listen to their words as the Word of God in the first century. One of the gifts that I believe ceased was the gift of healing. I do believe God heals. He healed me of cancer. However, I do not believe anyone today possesses the gift of healing like the apostles had. Read Acts 5:16, “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks and them which were vexed with unclean spirits and they were healed EVERY ONE. [emphasis added] New translations read, “And ALL of them were healed.” [emphasis added] You need to note that in this verse everyone that was brought to the apostles were healed. This passage teaches not a single time was a person not healed by the apostles. Today I know some people who have a way of getting a hold of God in prayer. These people know how to pray and I often share with them my prayer requests. However, I know of no one who can pray for the sick and healing take place every time they pray. There are sheep in wolves clothing who put on great productions and claim to have the gift of healing but not a single one of these guys is willing to travel to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis and pray for the healing of the heartbreaking cases that can be witnessed in this wonderful place of treatment. I believe in healing but I do not believe anyone has the gift of healing today.
II. I DO NOT KNOW WHY GOD HEALED ME AND HE DOES NOT HEAL OTHERS.
I want to be honest and transparent, I do not grasp why God heals some and not others. In particular, I do not know why God healed me and others have died. I know of a couple great pastors who have been diagnosed with cancer and heart disease at a young age and tremendous people of faith poured out their hearts for God to heal. Yet, in spite of these prayers I watched as these great men of God passed into eternity. As they died I carried the knowledge that God had healed me. I know in my heart I am not as dedicated as they were, I am not as faithful as they were, I am not as effective as they were and yet I live and they died. Some will say things like, “God had more for you to do or God was not through with you.” I am appreciative of the sweet words but I also know that God can use the next person in line to accomplish far more than He will accomplish with me. The fact that God heals some and not others is nothing new. Read I Kings 19:14 as Elijah speaks, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword…” Elijah stated that Israel had slain the prophets. We also read in Daniel 6:22 that God shut the lions’ mouth when Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. Acts 12 is a fascinating chapter for me. In verse 2 we read that Herod killed James the brother of John with the sword. It seems that God did nothing to spare James, one of the sons of thunder, from death. However, we read in verses 5-19 where God supernaturally delivered Peter from prison. James dies and Peter is spared. Some prophets die while Daniel was spared. One apostle is killed while another is supernaturally freed. Only God has the answer for why this is. There are several reasons why God does not heal every person that believers pray for: 1) Unconfessed sin hinders our prayers according to James 5:16. 2) A lack of faith impacts our prayers. James 5:6 tells us to ask in faith not wavering and verse 7 says a man who prays wavering can expect to receive nothing from the Lord. 3) God has bigger plans. Sometimes when we pray for a healing God has something bigger in store than a healing. C.S. Lewis in, “The Problem Of Pain,” wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pain, it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf ear.” The truth is sometimes in suffering and death God produces greater results than in healing. We are to pray like our prayers have everything to do with the sick being healed. We are to trust God is sovereign and wise when He chooses not to answer those prayers with healing. There are other reasons in Scripture given why prayers are hindered but I will list just these three.
III. I DON’T KNOW WHY THE JOY OF THE HEALING HAS FADED THROUGH THE YEARS.
Again, I am going to be honest and transparent. In the days following the miraculous healing of my body from cancer I never had a bad day. If I had a flat tire I thanked God I was healthy enough to change the flat. When I played golf it didn’t bother me if I shot 72 or 82 I was healthy and happy. Something terrible has happened, the farther away from the miracle the less appreciative of it I have become. I have enjoyed writing about this miracle and I often preach on the miracle during one service when I am preaching revivals but I don’t constantly thank God for the healing like I used to in my prayer life. I do have bad days. Sometimes I am a grouch. I must confess that my life has even had times of less consecration after the miracle than before. I made a determination to very seldom mention the cancer that gripped my body while I was preaching to my church family. I have kept that commitment. I do preach the sermon form of the miracle testimony at least every other year in the church that I pastor but I have always been afraid of sharing about the disease too much. I am so grateful for the miracle but through the years I have come to understand the weakness in miracles. Revelation 13:13 says of the future false prophet, “And he doth great wonders so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” II Thessalonians 2:9 says the Antichrist will come with power and signs and lying wonders. Satan and his henchmen can imitate miracles. Miracles can’t build your faith like the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” As a student of the Word of God I know that miracles can’t build faith like the Holy Bible. However, that Holy Bible teaches me to have a grateful heart. I am ashamed that sometimes I forget to thank God for the miracle He performed in my life almost 16 years ago now. All of you dear brothers and sisters who prayed for me to be healed deserve better from me. God deserves better. I hope I say it everyday the rest of my life, “Thank you God for extending my life. Please help me to glorify you with this life you have extended.”