God's Methods of Healing

HEALTH EVANGELISM: God's Methods of Healing

"Christ, when upon earth, turned away none who came to receive healing, thus giving expression to God's wish that all should be in health."

M.D., Orlando, Florida

Christ, when upon earth, turned away none who came to receive healing, thus giving expression to God's wish that all should be in health. He knew that many who petitioned Him for help had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them.

In the Saviour's manner of healing there are valuable lessons. On one occasion He anointed the eyes of a blind man with clay and bade him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam… He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." The cure was wrought by the power of the great Healer, yet He made use of this simple agency of nature. In doing so He calls attention to, and sanctions the use of, the simple agencies placed within our reach.

He designs that every agency of value should be recognized and employed. By doing this we manifest true faith. When we offer the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," we do not sit quietly down in expectancy and fold our hands. We go out to our daily toil, and as a result of our doing so, God answers our prayer.

Derangements of the body as a consequence of wrong habits of living are often responsible for derangements of the mind, and improvement in the mental condition cannot be expected until the bodily conditions are improved by the correction of wrong and injurious habits. Heart sickness, mental unrest, and dissatisfied feelings are without doubt responsible for many physical ills which cannot be cured by diet or treatment. Obstinate digestive disturbances, and often more serious difficulties, may be wholly or in part the result of the perverse mental state.

The influence of the mind on the body and its organs has been strikingly illustrated in many cases. For instance, the poet-banker, Rogers, was said to have caught a severe cold by sitting at a window that he supposed was open. That which we greatly fear is sure to come upon us. I have observed that persons who are always afraid of colds, and who see that every crevice which may admit a little fresh air is kept closed, are the ones who constantly complain of colds, whereas those who have no such fears are seldom affected by them.

No one is so sure of having digestive disturbances as one who is in constant fear that the food he eats will hurt him. Little can be done in regulating the diet in such a case, no matter how wholesome the food prescribed may be or how well it may be combined or how easy it may be of digestion.

The thought of taking a morning plunge or a cold shower may create a chill while one is yet in the warm bed. To take a cold bath while in this mental condition may result in internal congestion and injury. But with a different state of mind, one may find the same bath a real blessing. In the presence of such unbelief in God's great blessings, not much can be hoped for. Faith in these agencies is essential in order to receive benefit. Should a physician prescribe open windows and fresh air-to a patient who is afraid of air, the patient would say, "Why, doctor, I would be sure to take a severe cold. I have proved it over and over." Should he consent to carry out the physician's advice, nine times out of ten it would turn out just as he predicted.

It is useless to argue in these cases. The only thing that can be done is to let such patients have their way. But they never recover; they remain invalids. Their only hope is in the discovery that their mind is not a safe guide, and that their experience is unreliable. Then by placing themselves unreservedly in the hands of. one who can prescribe for them, they may recover. These cases after a time may fall into the hands of quacks, or so-called faith healers. If the can be led to exercise sufficient faith in an electric belt, an oxydoner, or some highly recommended quack nostrum, or if they can be made to believe that no such thing as disease exists, or that there is nothing the matter with them, that it all exists in the mind (which is really the truth), a marvelous change may take place.

To have permanent health one must have a change of mind. And in addition, the law of God, which includes the laws of health, must be written in the mind, so that to do His will will l be a delight. When the mind is sick the entire body is sick, and true mind cure is the only effective remedy. To the poor palsied man who was suffering mentally, because of a knowledge of past sins committed, Jesus said, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee." The Saviour of men understood fully this man's physical and mental state, and recognized that to heal the palsied body, he must first restore the palsied mind. When "good cheer" had taken the place of despondency, and hope the place of despair, He could say to the paralytic, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

The wise man said, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance," and "doeth good like a medicine." It is only when the mind is cheerful that the organs of the body are at their best and able to do their work well. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." "Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith."

The knowledge of being a blessing to others is conducive to health. "He that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he." Many hopeless invalids could be helped if they would think less of self and more about the needs of others. "The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh."

Selfishness breeds disease and death, but be nevolence creates joy that is a benediction to every nerve cell and tissue of the body. Only those who follow Christ and obey His commandments can have the full measure of health which they long for.

We are assured that the prayer of faith will save the sick, but prayer was never designed to encourage men in selfishness or to walk in the path of transgression of God's laws. Before prayers are answered it may be necessary to confess and forsake sin. It may be needful to make changes in the habits of eating, drinking, dressing, et cetera. The man who desires to get rid of a red nose must abandon strong drink, if strong drink is the cause of the red nose. The one who has spells of depression and despondency can often assist in answering his own prayer by studying his food combinations and the quality and quantity of food he eats.

Healing begins where transgression ceases. "That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," Christ said to the sick of the palsy, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." Physical healing was the evidence of sins forsaken and forgiven. Reforms in living will pave the way for the prayer of faith to be more fully answered.

After we have done all that we can do, it is our privilege to exercise. faith in God's promises. Healing may then be gradual or it may take place instantaneously. Ours is not to command which it shall be. God works in both ways, and will do what is for our good.

Jesus wrought a miracle in feeding the hungry multitude, and many followed him after that because of this miracle, or because they ate of the loaves and were filled. To them it seemed an easier way of gaining their daily bread. But it was best for them to continue to earn their bread by toil. It is therefore no evidence of a lack of faith, when praying for our daily bread, to work with our hands. It is rather an evidence that we recognize God's way of providing bread.

Jesus wrought a miracle in healing many instantaneously, and many followed Him because of this. Today many are following Him because they want to be healed instantly and miraculously. The people are still seeking a sign. Those who do so are in danger of deception. We should feel much more concerned in regard to getting rid of sin, or the causes of sickness, than about the sickness.

In the beginning God made a full-grown man, but since then the growth from birth to manhood has been gradual. There is wisdom in this. It would not be well for a child to grow up to maturity in one day. He has to be taught lessons of self-control before he can be trusted with the strength of manhood. In the same way

the sick are to be disciplined. They are to grow in knowledge and daily improve their habits of life in order to be entrusted with the full measure of health.

It would not be well for the prisoner behind the bars to be set at liberty, without a reformation on his part, simply because he desired it. We know it would not Be best for him or for the community. He would be a menace to society. We are not healed instantaneously some times, although we desire it, because God sees that we are better off in affliction for the time being. If we were healed miraculously, simply because we desired it, and went about among the people eating and drinking as we had done before, we too would be a menace to society, for we would encourage others to continue in their wrong habits of life, and expect God to place His approval upon our course.

Many of the modern faith cures are not genuine, because those who claim to have been healed scorn the idea of correcting their habits of living. When God heals, He does not leave men and women in ignorance as to the causes of their disease. This is not the gospel plan. He raises them up and then "leads men forth by the right way, that they might go to the city of habitation." "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord."



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M.D., Orlando, Florida

April 1950

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