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What if it doesn’t happen? (Don’t read this, it’s crap)

August 19, 2009

Have you ever been in a church service where the service leader or pastor gets up and declares something to the affect of ;”If you will trust God he will deliver you from your sickness!” or the line where someone promises “If you will have faith tonight I know God will heal you!”

Most people have heard these statements before if you have been around church any length of time. And it is good that the people making those statements do make statements. I am for building peoples faith. I think it is part of helping our fellow brothers and sisters out. I just have a slightly tinted view of people who say that.

You see it is very easy to declare that God is going to heal. I mean who doesn’t want healed if they are sick or injured? But what happens when that person has faith, real sincere faith and nothing happens. They close their eyes, pray hard, tears roll down their face, and while they are imagining the healing happen they declare that God is going to move in his healing power! Nothing happens…

Now the same people who declare that God can heal are smart enough to answer the question of “Why didn’t God heal my brother of cancer?” They are smart enough to know that God has ALL things in control and that God is sovereign. I know the answer too. Let me really clear here: I am not against building faith and declaring the word of God for someones healing.

But I would like to know why from the front, from pastors and leaders mouths is only faith declared. Why not declare that we might suffer for Christ? Are we only allowed to talk about putting our head down and grinding out salvation and life in one on one settings or in small groups? Does counting the cost only mean something when we read it in out homes and it’s not in the bible when we meet on Sundays?

Please don’t read this and think Ben is anti faith or prayer or the word of God. I just want to be honest with people. I love healings and faith. I have seen God move through me personally to do healings. It just breaks my heart to see people who come to Christ because they are told that if they do their life will get better, when in fact that is simply not the case here on earth. I am not even sure if I am even explaining myself the way I want to.

Anyone relate?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiffany permalink
    August 19, 2009 2:41 pm

    This is very true. We can’t give people false promises about Christianity always being a walk in the park nor can we set them up for immense guilt and confusion when they begin to believe that the reason they are not healed is because of their lack of faith. Good post Ben!

  2. Kristi Spencer permalink
    August 19, 2009 2:51 pm

    I don’t think this is crap at all, Ben. Thanks for talking about this elephant in the church that does sometimes get passed over. Everyone who has experienced healing will eventually die. Even the people who Jesus healed eventually died. Yes, it is important for our faith to increase and to pour out our hearts’ desires to Him and believe He is capable of anything and especially that which is beyond what we can ask or imagine. I believe God works in this miraculous way all aroud us all the time, often unnoticed by us. I believe He works miraculously to draw people to Him and to increase our faith. However, our hope is in eternity, in what is going to happen when we leave this world. That is where we need to fix our eyes, not on our current circumstances and what we may or may not be delivered from in this world. The experiences that I’ve had that are discouraging are when so much emphasis is put on the healing or deliverance that people take their eyes off of the arms that will carry them through anything that this world brings their way. Arms of the One that has only our best interest in mind and has a perfect plan for each of us. In my own family people have walked away from church, and pulled away from God, because they have been told that it is always God’s will to heal and that if only their faith were strong enough that it would happen. That was the focus. Not on the Savior who is walking with them through it all and who will eventually completely heal His child, but possibly not on this earth, possibly not until He takes them into His perfect presence. Not until eternity.

  3. August 19, 2009 4:31 pm

    I can totally relate to what you are saying here Ben. I have seen too many people crushed and demoralized as a result of a promise of healing (or whatever) not being fulfilled. It is definitely a fine line here. We are to have faith but there are no guarantees.

  4. August 19, 2009 4:38 pm

    I’m glad you wrote on this Ben. I agree with you and hope you don’t mind me expanding a bit.

    I absolutely cannot stand pastors that promise healing or anything else for faith. A pastor promises healing through Christ so a mom prays earnestly for her 14 year old daughter with leukemia to be healed. She dies a few months later. That mom is left asking the question, “Why?” “Why didn’t God pull through?” “Where was God here?!” As a result, bitterness envelopes the mom. She can’t buy into the ideal that God cares or that God is with her anymore.

    This is hypothetical, but I’d imagine that many people have gone through this same scenario.

    In my opinion, promising healing is one of the biggest disservices a pastor can do for a believer. Promising something like healing disregards God’s perfect will. When it comes down to it, God’s biggest concern isn’t that we are all healthy or comfortable. His biggest desire (His will) is that we glorify Him. Louie Giglio says “Pain is a megaphone that amplifies the message that we’re broadcasting”. When does the world listen more? When everything is going great and you’re praising God? Or when the world kicks you down and spits in your face but you still praise God? God uses the pain in our lives to make something beautiful. If the hypothetical girl with leukemia praises God and puts her faith and trust in Him while she is suffering, the world takes notice and lives are changed. Mission accomplished.

    Note that there is a difference between promising something, and offering something. Offering hope that God can heal is what should be done in my opinion. Not promising God will heal.

    Sorry to rant haha.

  5. August 19, 2009 5:22 pm

    I did read it Ben!!! You’re not the boss of me. *wink*

    I liked it. I think you hit the nail on the head. I get REALLY uncomfortable in healing services – not with my regular lead Pastor, because he doesn’t make promises that he can’t keep. Healing miracles are not ours to promise – they are Gods.

    But quite frankly, I’ve been at a couple healing services that I wanted to walk out on. I have witnessed healing miracles, but I could never promise one. I can and will pray for people, but I can’t promise anything.

    Kristy is so right! Miracles happen all around us, every day and we don’t see them. I’ve prayed hard to begin to notice, and I have. 🙂 Lots of them are very un-spectacular on the surface, but his finger prints are ALL over them. He’s doing some incredible stuff that no one ever sees.

    I don’t know what the answer is. We know God does heal. We know he’s with us all the time. But we can’t know his mind. It’s way too big.

    The people I admire the most are those who were handed a really rough road, and just plowed their way down it, in spite of their pain, hand in hand with Jesus, faith unfailing. I want to be that kind of person too.

    You are right Ben. Winning people for Christ can’t be done by making promises that we can’t back up.

    And really this is the bottom line: Every one of us will be healed at some point. When we get to Heaven we get to heaven we will be perfectly made. While I now love life (didn’t always) in my heart I know that the best healing that can ever take place with me is to die – because then I can go home. But trying to win Christians with that kinda mentality and doctrine is just another rocky road.

  6. August 19, 2009 5:24 pm

    I just decided that the next time I’m in a service that makes me uncomfortable because of this kind of thing, I am going to walk out.

    No one will notice, probably, and I won’t badmouth anyone, but… if I’m uncomfortable about this or anything, I’ll go sit outside.

    Boy I’m getting uppity – reading your blog too much Ben. *wink*

  7. Craig Riggle permalink
    August 19, 2009 6:45 pm

    Ben, great point. We want to build faith but we forget that Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world (John 16:33). I also think of the book “10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe”. In the first chapter it talks about faith and brings up the last few verses of Hebrews 11. The people mentioned in those few verses faced a lot of hardships and horrible deaths but were honored for their faith. So, we do believe that God can heal and deliver, and we need to speak that into peoples lives but we also need correct teaching on faith and healing. Some great preachers who saw healings, like Smith Wigglesworth, suffered with sickness themselves. I even heard of a blind man who God used to heal other blind men but himself was not healed. So we need to be okay with who God is and what He does. To many times this leads to us becoming like Job’s 3 friends and we begin to try and figure out why stuff is happening and we chase people out of the church. Let us all believe in the power of God and seek healing but also know that His grace is sufficient for us to get through anything.

  8. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    August 19, 2009 11:53 pm

    WOW! I never thought I would hit such a nerve.(In a good way it looks like). I thought for sure that someone would call me or text me and tell me I am guilty of something. Tiffany, Kevin, Rodger, CinyK, Craig and Kristi thank you for joining in and talking about this.

    Glad to know that there are people out there who see the whole picture and that I am not the only one. You all have made great points.

    Kristi you really hit it on the head when you said that our hope is in eternity!

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