Have you ever wondered if sickness is from God And if He has allowed it in your life? Scriptures are clear that God can allow illness and disease for His purposes. The biblical doctrine of the sovereignty of God states that God is almighty over everything. Nothing happens out of His jurisdiction. God either “causes” something to happen, or He “allows” something to happen.
To understand this better, let us look at three different ways sickness or disease are in our lives as children of God.
Firstly, God can discipline us using sickness
The first reason God can bring discipline into a Christians life is through illness. To give us a clearer understanding of the subject, we need to first understand the difference between God’s discipline and God’s punishment.
God cannot bring punishment on a Christian for their sins because God has already punished sin on the cross. 1 John 1:7 says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Punishment cannot fall on a child of God in a “judicial” sense because the guilt was transferred to Christ. 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
Whereas being disciplined by the Lord is loving training because it flows from God’s compassion and care for you. God’s discipline is not punishment, as Jesus already bore our punishment. Discipline comes from His great love for us because we are His children. He loves us too much to allow us to remain in our sin. You can read more about the discipline of the Lord in Hebrews 12:5-11.
An example that suggests that God uses sickness to bring discipline to us is in 1 Corinthians11:29-32 saying “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”
Paul is showing us how to guard against unworthy partaking of communion. It is to examine one self and put to the test the hearts attitude, outward conduct and understanding the true nature of the Lord’s supper. Self examination guards believers against eating and drinking to their own judgment. This judgment is not “punishment” as God’s eternal judgment, but discipline as sickness and death. 1 Corinthians 11:32 “But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”
When the Lord judges a Christian, the judgment is not punitive to destruction but a form of fatherly discipline to bring His children to repentance. Hebrews 12:5 “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.”
God “does” want us to be in good health. Still, sickness and disease are allowed by God for His purposes whether we understand it or not. We can find other examples of this discipline in scripture.
Numbers 12:9-10 “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.”
Exodus 4:11 “Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”
James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
You see, just like God disciplines us as His children in Hebrews 12, it is the same with Israel. Deuteronomy 1:31 says “and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'” Then it goes on to say in Deuteronomy 8:5 says “Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.”
God uses whatever means possible to bring us into His will and that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Secondly, God uses sickness for His glory
Other passages in the New Testament show that God allows illness for reasons to fulfil His purposes. John 9:1-3 says “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him”.
Another example where God uses illness for His glory is in John 11:4 saying “But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Lazarus died from the illness, but God called Him back to life so that God would be glorified and the people would believe in Him. Amen!
Illness can be a hard but meaningful moment for God’s glory. Amid your sickness, you can experience the intimacy of God’s glory. Just like a caring mother with a needy child, so too, the glory of God covers your soul with energy to endure through sickness and disease. The peace of God guards your heart and mind and sustains you with His hope and healing.
Thirdly, sickness may not be a direct result of God’s intervention
Friends, yet there are other times when an illness is not a direct result of God’s intervention. Instead, it may be the result of the fallen world, fallen bodies, poor health and lifestyle choices. Many kinds of suffering accompany the life we live in this world, and some form of “disease” impacts everyone at some point in time.
God wants to bless us, and the existence of “disease” does not contradict this fact. The blessings of this life are more spiritual and emotional than physical. 2 Corinthians 4:16 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” Amen!
So, God can use sickness to discipline His children, or whatever means possible so that we as His children may not be condemned along with the world. He may also use it to bring glory to His name. So examine your walk with the Lord. Sometimes we may not understand why He has allowed sickness. In any case, we can glorify God in our suffering, knowing that He is in total control of all things. We may not truly understand everything until we stand in His presence in eternity.
Fourthly, God heals
Finally, it is crucial to understand that God is sovereign, and all things are under His divine control. This means He is also a God who heals and restores. He is a Father who loves and disciplines His children, an Almighty God who uses all things to bring Glory to His name and also a merciful God who heals. Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.”
In conclusion, examine your life that you are walking in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. In every situation, trust in God’s divine will and plan for your life. Wait on Him and seek Him in all cases knowing that He is a God who heals and changes all situations for good. Romans 8:28 says. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”