What He Wants Anyways (ATP)
Would you say the following statement is true? “Your level of faith determines the amount of sickness in your body (and how much it impacts you).” If this is true according to God’s word please load me up with scripture to support it!
So here is a tricky question with an equally tricky answer. I say tricky not because it’s hard according to the Word, but because there are many variables that can either support or reject it. Those variables are not the Word itself because the Word is not variable, but rather found in the one dealing with the issue. Allow me to explain.
In any truth, there is the basic premise of what is true and then there are external circumstances that can affect its effect. We often call this the gray area. For example, God’s desire is that all men be saved. He provided an easy path for all men to be saved, and that path is not based on anything they have done, yet the determining factor of whether or not they will be saved is solely based in their action. If you do not receive what is freely given, if you do not take the path, then you cannot partake of it.
Healing is an interesting topic. Once while I was walking and talking with my pastor, the subject of healing in scripture came up. He stated, and rightfully so, that God’s desire to heal can be found in the entirety of the Bible. He went on to give, from memory, I might add, twenty scriptures from the Old and twenty scriptures from the New Testament, just to prove his point. What I have found to be true is that in anything God desires for humanity, the principle is found all throughout scripture. The amount of the scripture we have in us does affect the effect of God’s truth in our lives. My pastor, is rarely sick but then again he is so full of the knowledge of God’s Word that it oozes out of him! Is that supported by scripture? Proverbs 4:22 says, “For they (God’s scriptures) are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”
So, before I get on to answering, let’s first remind ourselves of what faith is and its purpose. Faith is what you are assured of within yourself in relation to the truth of who God is and what He wants in your life. Its purpose is to keep us unmovable in God’s will. If we search the scriptures, can we ever find God making His FAITHFUL (or you could say faith full) people sick? Can we find God tempting His people to sin? In fact, James 1:13 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
What we see here is two truths. God’s desire for humanity is victory but also that there is an enemy who will try your faith constantly. In this world will come opposition, however God will also provide a way out of it (1 Corinthians 10:13). I’m building here so bear with me. Look at a familiar scripture, but in the Amplified version. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Let’s focus on the last part, “… to give you hope in your final outcome.” We see this again reflected in James concerning Job. Now remember, Job is one of our greatest examples in scripture of suffering, but also of redemption (most people ignore that part). James 5:11, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” We see here this idea again, with trial which is not God, He has an intended, blessed outcome.
So all of that is the ground work to answer the question; see it’s not always just cut and dry! Is this true: “Your level of faith determines the amount of sickness in your body and how much it impacts you.” Job’s faith did not stop the trial from coming. Paul’s faith did not stop his trials from coming. In fact, if you read about all the greats of faith in Hebrews chapter 11, none of them had all trials stopped ahead of time, but faith brought all of them through to victory. The reason we have that chapter is to remind us, faith is what brings us through! Any trial, whether it be sickness or anything else, is not always avoidable by faith. That is not to say it never is either! The best one can do, is stay as close to God’s will as possible, and He will bring them through. Some things will be avoided all together! We do know this, Jesus was God’s perfect will and we never hear of Him being ill.
Now, there are other factors that should be considered. Maybe a trial of sickness is brought on by doing something bad. If you are allergic to a certain food and eat it, it could be bad for you. Or let’s say you use tobacco and get cancer, or go to church with the flu, or go bed hopping and get a disease, faith does not override these bad decisions. I have even heard people try to justify these sorts of actions thinking they were doing it in faith! The problem is, faith is not just what you believe but rather what you believe based on what God has said. It’s kind of like the “all things are possible” argument. All things are possible, in the knowledge and direction of God. Jesus walked on water as a sign directed by God but notice Jesus did not have a habit of walking on water. If He had just randomly decided to get out of the boat, He would have sunk like everyone else!
Now someone might argue, what about Mark 16:18? It says about the believer, “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” This is another side of the coin, of course. The constant fear of trial is not good either. What if I accidentally got around someone very sick and very contagious? That is what this scripture is for. Certainly, we should not be in fear just because we “might” get something. That being said, faith doesn’t throw caution to the wind and sound advice to the curb! I don’t have to be afraid of what might happen because I’m a believer, but I will choose wisdom when I know. I have seen God heal the deathly sick and have another avoid sickness altogether. Why does it work that way? I have no idea but I know He does and honestly, that’s good enough for me! I just need to know how to follow Him!
To sum this all up, let’s look at the question one more time. Can the amount of your faith determine the amount of sickness and the effect of it? I would say absolutely yes. Does it affect the amount of trial that comes at you? Not always. Faith will lead you away from trials, but by faith you can be led into trials, as well. The key to life and trial is following God and knowing His will. When you know God’s will it will be easier to determine where you are at. God’s will is not sickness or opposition, but through your perseverance in these things God can and will bring great change.