Draper: Healing entails God's sovereignty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Healing lies within the sovereignty of God, and He chooses to heal people according to His will, former LifeWay Christian Resources President Jimmy Draper wrote in a series on biblical doctrine that appeared in Baptist Press last year.

In an article from April 20 titled "Doctrine: Does God heal today?" Draper made these concluding points:

-- All healing is from God. We may see a healing process where an individual is restored to health over a period of time. This is the most frequent expression of healing today. However, we are concerned in this article with miraculous healings. This is when God sets aside the normal laws of recuperation which he has set in motion and instantaneously heals and restores to full health.

-- It is simply not true that God's will for every Christian is for them to remain perfectly healthy. God works in the midst of all circumstances for His glory and for our good.

-- There is no one method that is always used when God does move with miraculous healing.

-- God is ultimately responsible for all of life and death.

-- When God does heal it is always undeniable. Biblically no one questioned the fact of the healings, even the enemies of the Christians.

-- Personal faith was not necessarily a prerequisite for healing. Often faith was honored, as with the woman who touched the Savior's clothes (Mark 5:34). But sometimes no faith was involved at all (Acts 3:1-10; 9:32-34).

-- There are times today when God acts in such a manner that only His direct intervention can adequately explain the physical healing. He still heals today, and always in a way that is consistent with His nature. We should pray for His healing touch on our lives and trust Him to do what is His will for us.

And in a companion article the same day titled "Doctrine: Is faith required for healing?" Draper noted that it isn't the size of a person's faith that matters but whether that faith is placed in God alone.

"The controlling factor of what He will do for us and through us is His will (1 John 5:14-15)," Draper wrote. "We are told to pray for the needs of our lives, including healing, but our prayer must be in proper submission to God's will."

Draper said it is biblical for Christians to seek help from medical professionals.

"There is not one verse of Scripture that even hints that believers are not to use doctors and medicine," he wrote. "Medical personnel are participants in the inexhaustible study of God's created processes. We should pray for God to heal and restore first, and if the condition persists, see a physician."

God won't always intervene and heal a sick person, even a believer, Draper said, because He has greater purposes than the particular requests His children make.

"Sometimes, a life of faithfulness lived out in the midst of physical suffering is a greater testimony of God's power, and it just may bring Him more glory," Draper wrote. "The way you and I as Christians face sickness and even death may ultimately lead someone to faith because of the assurance in God's goodness and His promise of life eternal that you hide in your heart. But we can't just hide it in our heart, can we? We are commanded to tell people about this Great Physician and His ultimate healing."

Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.

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