This will lead to passivity.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV (brackets mine)
The Lord is …patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (or salvation).
God’s desire (or will) is that no one should perish. John 3:16 confirms this, saying that Jesus came so that “whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38), and that means that God’s will is that we should not perish. We’ve already seen how sickness is a means of perishing. Sickness certainly isn’t meant to bless us, or build us up, or improve our lives. No, sickness is destructive and our good, loving Heavenly Father does not want anyone to perish, or have sickness.
But if you look at life in general, people perish every day. Whether they perish after death in the after-life, or in this life through sickness, depression or poverty, many people perish. This raises a very important truth: God’s will doesn’t automatically come to pass.
When sickness comes or someone ends up in some tragedy, believers and unbelievers alike often blame God and wonder why He is allowing, or causing so much pain and suffering. If you don’t know that God’s will doesn’t automatically come to pass, then to make sense of your situation you might wrongly conclude that “God must have a purpose in this” or “maybe I still need to learn something, and that’s why I am not healed yet” or even worse, “maybe this is punishment for some sin I committed?”. People find comfort in these lies, but the truth is that although God desires that we not perish and He desire that we be in health (3 John 2), people perish every day. The reason is that God’s will doesn’t just automatically come to pass.
I heard about a teenager who overdosed on drugs and died. At the funeral, the minister declared that “God’s ways are higher than our ways, and God must have some purpose in this tragedy.” Sadly far too many Christians believe this, and yet it’s a load of rubbish. A loving, perfect Father would never force drugs on His child leading to their death! That’s not God.
John 10:10 AMP
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
The thief is the devil, and he is not working for God. The enemy is the one who steals, kills and brings destruction in your life, not God. God’s will for you is that you have and enjoy life to the full! Sickness is not abundant life, health and wholeness is.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Many believers wrongly quote this verse as “give thanks for all circumstances”, but it clearly says “in all circumstances” – not for all circumstances.” Not all circumstances in your life are from God, and so don’t thank Him for everything in your life. He is not the author of sickness, disease and torment. It is wrong to say something like: “Thank You so much, God, for this cancer that is destroying my body.” We don’t thank God for everything in our lives but we can thank Him in every circumstance. In the midst of cancer, pain and tragedy we can thank God that He is good, that He didn’t cause the problem, or allow it. We can thank Him that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that we have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, living in us and that Spirit is causing life in our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). We can thank Him that He’s faithful, that He looks after us and provides for and cares for us, whether we manage to receive our healing or not. We can thank Him that even in the worst of situations we have a hope that not even death can take away. We always have a reason to rejoice and be thankful, no matter what the circumstances!
Romans 8:28 KJV
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
People misquote this scripture all the time. Firstly, this does not say that God causes all things, but rather that He “works all things together”. God is not the origin of everything going on in our lives.
People quote this verse saying “all things work together for good” which is incomplete. Or they’ll say that “God works all things together for our good” as if He is the one causing all things. All things do not always work out for everyone. How did God work someone’s death by suicide or murder out for good? Some good things might have come out of the situation, but ultimately it’s a tragedy. We comfort ourselves with ideas like this from this misquoted scripture to give ourselves some kind of false hope. But it has no anchor in it, and so it won’t hold for long.
This scripture is a promise for “those who love God” and not everyone loves God. This promise is in the context of making intercession (prayer for others) and so if we are not letting the Holy Spirit help us with intercession, then all things do not work together for good.
There is nothing good about sickness. Yes, you can learn a lot through suffering – but there is no need to. You can learn through the Word. God doesn’t need to use sickness to teach you anything.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
The scripture is given so that we can learn all we need to. The scripture’s purpose is to teach us, correct us and train us. It helps us become complete and equipped. You can learn from difficult situations and through suffering, but you do not have to. All you need to learn is in the Word.
James 4:7 ESV
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Many people wrongly believe that all the suffering in their lives is from God, for some greater purpose. But knowing that God is not the author of such things liberates us to resist them. To resist means “to actively fight against.” We should not be passive and allow sickness and suffering in our lives. We must actively fight against the devil and his works in our lives.
August 23, 2019