Our generation has a wrong sense of pride and entitlement. The truth of the matter is this: God cannot be even forced, arm-twisted to do ANYTHING, for God is God and we are mere humans. For example, God cannot even be forced to SAVE us, leave alone HEAL us! This is truth is found in OT – ‘Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; PERHAPS you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD’ (Zeph. 2:3). And even in Post-Cross NT: ‘Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, IF POSSIBLE, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you’ (Acts 8:22). Of course, God is willing to save us, when we come in repentance and a humble posture (2 Peter 3:9)! And when it comes to healing-miracle-problems, the Lord may choose to allow them and say, ‘my grace is sufficient for you!’ (2 Cor. 12:9).
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Watch his videos at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).
Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj discusses this during family prayer time during the Corona Pandemic Lockdown (April 2020).
The Bible is clear about God’s ability to heal. Healing is a child play for him! But there are reasons why he chooses not to heal instantly. I thank Dr. Jack Deere for pointing these reasons to me in one of his books.
The first reason is perhaps backsliding. Read Psalm 74:9,10,11. “We have not been given any miraculous signs and no one knows how long it will be before the healing takes place. There are no more prophets remaining. How long will our God take to act? Has God withdrawn His right hand?” – that is how that passage goes. God is a spirit but his right hand is referred to anthropomorphically (how the Bible attributes human traits to God so that we can understand him better). How long will God take to act? This is the question of atheists, agnostics, infidels.
God took the Israelites from Judah located in Southern part of the Promised Land of Israel, as captives to Babylon because of their idolatry, adultery, and stubborn back-sliding. During their exile of seventy years, there were no signs of miracles and God disciplined them. So, why won’t God take away this pandemic, here and now? This could be one possible reason: this is a period of divine discipline for us.
The second reason is Loss of First love or Legalism. Read Isaiah 29:8,13. “God has closed the eyes of the prophets and visionaries through whom God’s miraculous powers were displayed.” If you read the entire chapter, you will find out that the prophets became ineffective. Nothing is happening now and matters are getting worse. We are looking at a situation where 1 out of 4 or 5 approximately have got the Corona virus in New York, one of the most advanced cities in the World (April 2020). When people honor God with the mouth and not the heart, it is legalism. During this time of lockdown, we should reflect on how genuine our relationship with God is. How deep is our love of God?
Dr. Jack Deere, an American theologian, says that when Martha made a request to Jesus, He did not oblige. But when Mary asked Him, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Martha liked to work for Jesus and prepare food for Jesus but Mary enjoyed Jesus’ very presence and wanted to stay close to him and latch onto every word that Jesus spoke. When we analyze our lives, we find that we too are more like Martha than we are like Mary. We like to work for Jesus (preach for Jesus, travel for Jesus, etc) but we do not spend adequate time with Jesus. And what is more, when we work for Jesus, what we do, does not come from the heart. It is all mechanical. It is just part of a routine. We do it to get a salary. God’s heart will not be moved when he sees such legalistic work. Let us repent of our legalism. Let us love Jesus with an ever-increasing love. Then, who knows, the miracle for the we are long waiting for (say the complete stopping of this terrible pandemic or any other miracle), may happen without delay (again, needless to say, as per the Divine Will)!
The third reason why God does not instantly heal is that He wants to give us added grace during this time of distress. Read 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. Paul is using the proverbial phrase “thorn in the flesh.” Apostle Paul prayed for healing (as seen in this passage). Some say that Paul had poor eyesight and therefore his writing ministry suffered. And still others say that Apostle Paul was married and his wife was a thorn in the flesh (humorously). Paul is asking for healing from this mysterious ‘thorn’.
This pandemic is like a thorn. Look at what it did to the world economy! See how many people lost their jobs!
But His grace is sufficient for us. God is giving us a supply of spiritual power which is grace, and it comes to us specially during a period of suffering and pain like this. Apostle Paul mentions this in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. Hyper-supernatural cult preachers say that after Jesus’ death for us on the Cross, we should not go through sickness or death. They should pay heed to this Scripture passage and change their wrong teaching which is leading people to hell. Notice that Apostle Paul says here: “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor. 12:10). If God’s plan was that we must not suffer post the Cross of Christ, there is no way Paul would write like this!
The fourth reason why God has perhaps allowed this pandemic and did not take it away in hurry is this reason which will come out as we read John 5:1-15. The scene is the pool of Bethesda. How many paralytics were around the pool? There were many sick people waiting for an angel to come and stir the water just like we stir the coffee in the morning. Just when the paralytic tries to reach the pool at that time, someone else gets in ahead of him. (verse 7) The paralytic was sick for 38 years (verse 5). But Jesus healed him. God healed the paralytic at a particular time, hour, day. Jesus healed one among the many sick folks near that pool. From a pool of sick people near the pool, Jesus chose to heal one person. God has a time to stop the pandemic. The miracle depends on God’s sovereign will (Heb. 2:4). Miracles do not depend on what we say or command. God is the potter and we are the clay. It seems that God wants to give this pandemic more time before he may chose to miraculously intervene and stop this. Or he can even choose to keep this pandemic on till his soon-to-come return! Some false teachers say that the miracle is in our mouth. No, only foul odor, is in our mouth!
So what should we do now? Luke 18:1 says that “men ought always to pray and not faint.”
Let us pray right now!
“Lord, Help us to pray without giving up. Let there be no fresh infection of corona virus anywhere in the world for the believer or the non-believer. You are able to do that and we believe it, Lord. We pray for those who have symptoms right now like coughing or those who feel something has gone wrong with their body. Heal us by your stripes. Right now, Lord! Please Lord! You died on the cross and shed your blood. Healing virtue flows still from the cross of Calvary. We receive that. I pray you will perform a miracle. Lord! Please give wisdom to our government authorities and law enforcement officers across the globe to enforce the lock-down and curtail the spread of the virus. During this time, we pray that we will spread the gospel exponentially – much like how the virus is spreading – through online medias. Via Zoom let us zoom with the Gospel and the Word of God! Lord, we want to be involved in discipling others. Let 1 disciple of Jesus become 2. And 2 disciples of Jesus – may they become 4. Let 4 become 16! And so on and so forth. Let there be exponential multiplication of disciples of Jesus. Bless us as we spend family time together – talking, painting and doing other planned activities. Bless each one who is watching. We give you honor, glory, and praise. We ask all this with thanksgiving in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this article, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. This article is a product of Mrs. Malini Prabakar’s transcription of one of Duke’s Youtube Messages shared during the Corona Lockdown which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQFVpB72IFA&t=27s).