We are surely in need of divine help so far as our physical being is concerned. Sickness abounds everywhere, and multitudes are seeking for cures. Never was there a time when so many doctors were to be found, or so many medicines, —patent, and all kinds; new medical discoveries, wonderful scientific achievements in surgery, mind cures, faith cures, and all manner of other cures. Then, too, we have our balanced-diet lists, new and scientific health foods, and many remedies and methods which we must not take time to enumerate. And yet, the world is still sick; nearly all are looking for relief from physical ailments.
Seventh-day Adventists take what is really a balanced position upon the subject of divine healing. We recognize the promise in the Word that God will heal sickness, and yet we do not think it out of harmony with true faith in God to call upon the wise and conscientious physician, and to use natural remedies in an effort to recover strength. We believe in sanitariums and treatment rooms, and have established them for the purpose of fostering health and healing.
We believe in diet and well-prepared health foods. There is surely a vital relationship between eating and health. And yet, after all these different means have been used, we frequently find individuals who, because of the nature of their disease, do not recover, but rather grow worse. In extreme cases, in which patients have been given up by their physicians as hopeless, some have availed themselves of the heavenly Physician, and have made definite recovery—not because the doctor was mistaken in his diagnosis or in the seriousness of the malady, but because there is real divine healing by faith.
I could enumerate numbers of instances in which God has heard and answered prayer, and healing has resulted. Many who read these lines know of similar cases. In setting down what we consider the conditions of answered prayer for the sick, we would list, first, faith and confidence in God. Unless we come to God knowing that He loves us and that we have confidence in His power, we have little ground for healing. Second, there must be a cleansed and consecrated heart. All sin must be confessed.
Then, third, there must be a submission to God's will, a resignation that is in keeping with a suppliant approaching One who has the power to grant benefits. Fourth, there must be a willingness to use indicated, approved, rational remedies in the quest after health; for these, after all, are God's agencies. And fifth,, there must always be a willingness to render loving obedience to God's laws, both physical and divine.
"The consistent course is to commit our desires to our all-wise heavenly Father, and then, in per-feet confidence, trust all to Him. We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right ; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession."—"Ministry of Healing," p. 230.
When the physician or other medical helper has done all in his power and has failed to bring relief, "man's extremity is God's opportunity." Often in answer to prayer based on these conditions, God stretches forth His hand to heal—sometimes immediately, oftentimes with a gradual upward growth toward health, and sometimes the sick person is divinely led to some rational means of treatment that in a remarkable way brings back health. One holding a balanced and Bible view of healing may be led to use certain remedial agencies, for such were used in Bible times. Or the Christian physician may be used as God's agent in effecting marvelous cures.
We would not pass by mind cures, for many are "mind sick." Many diseases are greatly aggravated by the imagination; but through wise and sympathetic nurses and physicians, many who are suffering mentally can be cured. Surely our sanitariums offer an ideal means to an end in this respect as well as in others. So we believe in these various means. We should acknowledge that God's healing power has been manifested, and be led to give thanks to God, if through any one of them health is restored.