When the idea of writing about restoration and healing came to my mind, I had no idea where it would go. But God is good at directing our steps: I tried writing this a few days ago and struggled. Today, I sat down to help some of the station’s volunteers prepare a special Studio 44 Refit mailing. As I often do in group situations, I positioned myself as an observer, simply listening to the conversation unfold. At one point, they began to discuss individuals who had to get shots in their eyes.
FYI, my body tensed up simply typing that sentence. My friends and family know there are a handful of ways to really torture me. Two of them are to talk about shots or anything eye related. Here I was, hearing about those two fears combined. I thought to myself, “God would just have to heal me” rather than get a shot in my…yeah, I can’t even type it again!
It’s no coincidence this conversation happened the same morning I sat down again to write. While there are multiple spiritual gifts, Paul instructed us to seek the most desirable one (1 Corinthians 12:27-31). For a while, I’ve wanted to see the gift of healing manifested in my life.
It’s clear from the Word healing is available to us. I’m also a realist. After all, I’ve been seeking a particular healing in my life for several years now. Its absence makes me ask questions. What do I believe about restoration and healing? Are they the same thing? Does one follow the other? What do I really believe about healing? I shared recently about how God healed my daughter but one could attribute her recovery to the abilities of the skilled doctors and nurses.
What does scripture say?
While there are many verses about healing, I want to focus on James 5:13-18 today.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
In other words:
God is in the healing business!
Is there evidence of healing today?
Obviously, people are healed daily. Beyond the physical, emotional and spiritual restorations are just as much of a healing as blind eyes being opened. There have been testimonies at our church of test results changing. Marriages are restored, lives are changed, and bodies are healed all the time!
Nowhere in the Bible does it state we won’t have problems. Yes, God cares about our small things, otherwise, he wouldn’t have enabled an axe head to float. But at what point do we simply say “This is a part of life” and accept our problems?
Where does medicine come in?
I believe God gave us medicine. In fact, two of the gifts the Wise Men brought Jesus appear to have been given for medicinal purposes. I am not advocating in any way, shape, or form we shun medicine. After all, I’m typing this with glasses on. Medicine absolutely has its place.
Earlier I referenced a particular healing I’m seeking. Understand this is not a threat to my health, and it’s one a doctor could easily fix. In my frustration recently, I almost made an appointment to get it taken care of. I’m tired of dealing with it and the pain it causes. It affects my ability to run and I’m simply over it!
Instead, I had my children anoint me with oil and pray it would be healed. Nothing has changed; is there possibly a reason why?
Restoration and Healing
I believe James 5:16 is key for all of us. Being a “word guy”, I looked up the original word used for sins. Strong’s G3900 “paraptōma” is what James used here. Looking at its definition, as well as its usage across the New Testament, it’s clear we’re talking about wrongful actions: sins, trespasses, offenses, and so on.
Who have we offended? Our Heavenly Father. Flashback for a moment to the Old Testament and think about how important holiness was to entering God’s presence. While Jesus paid the price for our sins, there’s still a part we have to do.
Here is where restoration and healing are linked. When we have an accountability partner who can keep us in line or call us out when we’re slipping, we’re taking an active step in realigning our spiritual lives with God’s expectations.
Now I want to be crystal clear: I am in no way advocating people get sick because they sinned. Nor am I saying everyone who has a need is harboring sin.
I am of the belief that sometimes we stay sick because we haven’t followed the Biblically prescribed methods of spiritual restoration.
The next step
However, I don’t believe James is instructing us to broadcast our faults on Facebook. Rather, the context of James 5:16 is small group accountability. In April we’ll be talking more about being accountable, so today I want you to start thinking about who in your circle is someone you can really rely on. Could they become an accountability partner for you? Could you grow together in your walk, praying for each other for restoration and healing?
We were made to serve others, and doing so in a small group (even as few as two) is one way to see God do great things in your life!
5 things we get by serving others
Jesus instructs us to lead through servant leadership. When we obey His commands there are things that we get out of it. Learn what those are in our free guide.Download our guide here