This question will always remain a mere theological debate until it becomes personal when the reality of pain and suffering hits close to home. Does God still heal today? Can God heal my child, my mum, my dad, my brother, my sister, my friends suffering from cancer, depression or dementia? It all depends on what we mean exactly when we talk about healing. In a way, as John Stott writes: “all healing is divine healing, since God has put into the human body remarkable therapeutic processes. For example, no sooner has an infection appeared than antibodies are created to fight it.”
And even when the body can’t heal itself, modern medicine can perform miracles which would have been unthinkable just a few centuries ago. If you want to see such miracles, did you know that you could make them happen? Each year, Light FM runs an annual event called Miracles Day in partnership with CBM (Christian Blind Mission). The aim of that day is “to give the miracle gift of sight to people living with cataracts in the world’s poorest countries” (www.lightfm.com.au/miracles-day/). All it takes is a $33 gift to finance a 12-minute sight saving surgery which can change someone’s life.
So we would be quite incredulous if we thought that God never healed, whether naturally or supernaturally – he can do anything. But we would also be quite credulous if we thought that God always healed. After all, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” (Ps 115:3). In his sovereignty, God is indeed free to do whatever he wants. God isn’t an AMM (Automated Miracle Machine). God doesn’t have to answer all our prayers all the time. And when God does answer our prayers in his grace and compassion, he sometimes does it in unexpected ways. In fact, he doesn’t always do what we want, but isn’t it what we pray for when we say the Lord’s Prayer? “Your will be done” (and not mine). When the apostle Paul “pleaded with the Lord” to take away his thorn in the flesh, God said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you.” Why? Because “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Co 12:8-9).
So do you actually pray for miracles to happen? And are you ready to accept God’s answer, whatever this answer may be? In Christ, we know indeed that God works for the good of those who love him “in all things” (Rm 8:28).
John Stott, Through the Bible Through the Year, Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation (Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2006), p. 180.