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Vantage point

A healthier you

God still heals. Every Sunday in Assemblies of God churches this is reflected by the many people who come forward for anointing with oil and prayer (per James 5:14,15). And many people are healed … but not everyone. Why?

Why are so many Christians not healed even though they have prayer support? There are too many “Job’s comforters” who only intensify the burdens of people with illnesses or handicaps by telling them that it is their own fault they haven’t been healed. They surely have sin in their lives, or not enough faith, they are told. Though sin and lack of faith are possibilities, there are other reasons, such as:

• Time: A person’s healing may await the right conditions to give glory to God (see John 9:1-3).

• Learning: Affliction can be a tool in God’s hand to teach us (Psalm 119:67,71,75). In this case we do well to learn our lessons fast (Hebrews 12:11).

• Lack of pressing in and praying through: This is not so much the responsibility of the afflicted individual as it is the responsibility of those who know the one who is sick (Galatians 6:2).

But I’m convinced that countless illnesses can be placed in the following category:

• Lack of common sense: I once entered a solemn coronary care unit and prayed for a man who had had a severe heart attack and wasn’t expected to live. God touched him and he was given a new lease on life. His doctors outlined several lifestyle changes he needed to make, emphasizing one: quit smoking.

He followed most of the instructions, but a few weeks after his surgery he went back to his tobacco habit. Two years later I conducted his funeral; the second massive heart attack had killed him.

He didn’t have to die. He just needed to quit smoking.

Some people are praying for healing when what they really need is simple common sense. God doesn’t just want to eliminate symptoms, He wants to change lives. This issue contains Bible-based advice that, for many, can help them avoid the need to pray for healing — advice that, if taken, can create a healthier and happier you.

— Ken Horn

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