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Is Anyone among you sick

Is Anyone Among You Sick

James 5:14 Lexham English Bible

14 Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the elders of the church and they should pray over him, anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord.

James poses the question is anyone among you sick. The word sick here means to be sick, be weak. Refers to the state of being weakened, usually due to illness.[1]. We are speaking about physical illness. Does God still heal today? If you asked this question to all of the body of Christ, you would get a variety of answers. There are some based on their theology and doctrine who don’t believe that God still heals today. The only issue with this is it doesn’t align with scripture.

Some treat certain parts of scripture as if they only relate the first century church. Things like healing and gifts of the Spirit are said to have ended either with the first century church or the completion of the canon of scripture. Some don’t believe God still heals today because they have never seen God heal or they have never experienced it themselves.

But the truth is that healing is a mystery. There are times when God heals instantaneously but there are times when God heals progressively. When we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see that there were times when Jesus went into an area and healed everyone. But there were also times when Jesus healed one individual like when He went to the pool and healed the man who was lame for 38 years.

When God does indeed heal people there are many factors involved. Number one God does still heal. Throughout church history there are reports of God healing people and even in our world today God is touching lives through the power and work of The Holy Spirit. Number two it is based on timing. God is sovereign and He has an appointed time for all things. When someone is healed it is simply the result of the work of Almighty God. He chooses to work through human vessels but the power to heal is not inherently found in the vessel but the power to heal is found in God alone.

Number three is the faith in the person themselves. We see when Jesus went into Nazareth that He was only able to heal a few because of the unbelief of the people. One of the greatest damages done by doctrines that are based on the wisdom of man is it causes apprehension and unbelief in people when it comes to the power of God. This ultimately is the work of the enemy because he is continually working to paralyze and destabilize the faith of God’s people. But our faith can never be built on experience or the wisdom of man, our faith and doctrine must be based on the word of God.

Number five is ultimately healing is a result of God’s will. A person will be healed if it is God’s will. Some will say that God loves us and will always heal us. But I would disagree. I believe there are times God works through the assaults of the enemy to shape and mold us. I am often reminded of Paul’s thorn in the flesh in which He prayed three times that God would remove it. But God’s answer was that His grace was sufficient for Paul. Many scholars believe that the thorn in the flesh could have been his eyesight and issues he was facing because of things he had written to the Galatian believers (Galatians 4:13-15).

Paul’s thorn could have been many things. But I also believe the Holy Spirit led him to use the word thorn because all of us can have a thorn in the flesh. The word thorn here means thorn (plant part) — a small spike or thorn; typically found on bush or vine plants; especially that causes irritation and annoyance when touched[2]. There are things God allows in our lives that can be an irritation or annoyance. We may cry out for God to move in these things and there are times in which it seems God is silent, but it doesn’t mean that He has forsaken us. He is calling us to rely upon His grace for the circumstances we are facing with the ultimate goal of us becoming more and more like Jesus.

The answer we are given for dealing with sickness is to call for the elders of the church and anoint with oil. Why elders? Paul lays out the requirement for someone to be recognized as an elder and what we find is that an elder is a mature man in Christ. Paul makes it clear in scripture that elders are to be men only. I think one of the major reasons Paul did this is because women were not to have authority over men. But it doesn’t mean that women cannot be used by God to pray for healing or be involved in ministry. But an elder has demonstrated a true commitment to Christ through their life and conduct and the depth of their faith and commitment to Christ is evident in the conduct of their lives.

Does God still heal today? I believe the answer is yes. Should we always come with expectation that God will heal? I believe the answer is yes. But if God doesn’t heal, we should not give up hope. We should not throw in the towel. But we must wait upon the timing and the will of God. We should continue to pray and even fast if God is leading us. There is a dynamic in God’s kingdom between prayer and fasting and break through. But ultimately, I believe that delays come to answers to prayer because God is always about building and deepening our faith.

Prayer

Father today I come and ask you to move in my life according to your will. Heal and restore all areas of my life. I pray that my will would be surrendered to your will and purpose for my life. I pray that I would see breakthrough in things I have waited for and you will give me the patience and endurance to wait upon you and your timing. Thank you for your goodness and love. Thank you that you are the same today, yesterday, and forever. Father help me each day to grow in you and become the child of God you have called me to be. In the name of Jesus, Amen!

[1] Chris Byrley, “Sickness and Disability,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014). [2] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020).

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