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OUTLINE: Introduction
  Complete Healing
  An Example From Scripture
  Hindrances to Physical Healing
  A Prayer

Introduction (back to top)
Why am I not healed?
What follows will help you to answer this question. I can only make some general comments, and cannot write especially for you and your situation. But there are some things which you can do to make it apply more directly to yourself, or to the situation which is causing you concern. I shall list them straightaway -
  1. Read it prayerfully. Ask God that as you read on he will guide your thoughts and reveal his truth to you.
  2. Read it carefully. God may use just one sentence here to begin to unlock your problem. Much of what follows may not apply to you; but I'm sure at least one thing will. Don't miss it!
  3. Don't be afraid to share with a mature Christian your fears, your thoughts, or anything arising from this article.
  4. Listen to the advice of others, - friends, relations, your doctor and your Christian minister.
  5. Act on it. Make up your mind right now that you will act on any answers which you seem to receive in these or other ways. It is very tempting to ask questions or seek advice not to answer our problems but to save us facing them. Do not avoid important questions about the meaning of life; about God; about death, and so on. Do not ask 'Why am I not healed?' just as an escape from bigger questions. If you ask it, be prepared to act on the answers that God seems to give you.

Complete Healing (back to top)
There are a number of situations, in your own life or in the life of someone you care about, which may have prompted you to start reading this. Perhaps you are suffering from an illness that you have heard has been healed in the lives of others, but have received no such healing yourself. Maybe you have had the promise of healing held out to you, either by a doctor or minister, and have suffered great disappointment. Perhaps you are distressed by your supposed lack of 'faith' because you were led to believe that your healing depended on it. Show further information You might already have received some physical healing from a religious but non-Christian group and yet are uneasily aware that the quality of your life is worse. You might have received the healing of Jesus Christ in some way, but find yourself back at 'square one'.

So you ask 'Why am I not healed?'

Most folk when they ask this actually mean - 'Why did God not give me an immediate physical healing?' The two questions are not the same.

Realise first that you are very much more than just a body. St. Luke describes the boy Jesus growing up at four quite different levels Show Bible reference(s) Jesus, he wrote, grew in wisdom and in years and he grew also in divine and human favour. If we were to use single words for these we might say that Jesus grew up in four different ways -

1. Mentally 2. Physically 3. Spiritually 4. Socially

A person may be 'ill' at any of these four levels.

We are only really whole when we have grown equally in all four ways, and they each work together in the harmony which God intended. A person who is, let's say, a criminal is socially sick and needs healing just as much as those who are mentally ill. We are rightly concerned about those who are mentally handicapped, while many individuals choose to be spiritually handicapped by ignoring their two-way relationship with God.

We are very much more than just physical beings but even our physical sicknesses are often (although not always) the results of sickness at another level. 'Laughter is', according to the Reader's Digest, 'the best medicine'. There's a lot of truth in that. When the doctor says 'What you need is a holiday' he makes a similar point, for neither 'laughter' nor 'holidays' are physical things in the way that bandages or pills are.

Doctors realise more and more that the physical illnesses they treat are often the results of things they cannot heal - the most frequent are guilt, stress, fear and resentment. Often healing needs to be of wrong relationships and wrong priorities if it is to be lasting. It is because of this that the Healing Christ today (as in the Gospel stories) is mainly concerned with relationships and priorities. Indeed his greatest work of healing was by his Life, Death and Resurrection to heal the relationship between us and God - 'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself'. Show Bible reference(s) Christ enables our relationship with God to be a living and growing thing. As well as this he can change the relationships between individuals, and by his teaching and actions Christ heals the divisions we make of class and colour.

An Example From Scripture (back to top)
Do you remember the story of Zacchaeus?

He was hated by society and was a dishonest businessman as well. The Healing Christ went and stayed with him! Jesus' company healed Zacchaeus, not that Zacchaeus had anything physically wrong with him, but Jesus healed his attitudes, his ambitions, Jesus healed his priorities and his business practices. Read Zacchaeus' own words for yourself -

'Here and now, sir, I give half my possessions to charity; and if I have cheated anyone, I am ready to repay him four times over.' Show Bible reference(s)

What a healing that was!

Zacchaeus had begun to learn the right order for Yourself/Others/Jesus, and (as you may once have heard) when you put them in the right order they spell J O Y! Putting them in the right order, getting our priorities right, is at the heart of God's healing for us.

Jesus vividly drove home the point about putting first things first when he said - 'if your hand is your undoing, cut it off, it is better for you to enter into life [i.e. God's Kingdom here and hereafter] maimed than to keep both hands and go to hell... if your foot leads you astray, cut it off, it is better to enter into life a cripple than to keep both feet and be thrown into hell...' Show Bible reference(s)

Christ offers us Life and we restrict and misunderstand his generous healing if we limit our thinking merely to the relief of physical ailments.

Imagine for a moment that you met a person who often suffers from toothache and that you were given for them a divine gift of healing to do just one thing. What would you do? Stop the pain (like a heavy dose of aspirin)?
Perhaps you would use that power more wisely and try to heal the heart of the problem, e.g. the person's wrong priorities which led them to postpone visiting the dentist, or to heal the person's fear which kept them away. If you or I can see beyond the physical symptoms to the real causes, how much more can God!

Sometimes God lovingly witholds full health, and if that seems strangely worded, consider this situation. A lottery win need not bring happiness. It could ruin an alcoholic.

For some, full health is, at the moment, too great for them to bear, and it is out of love that God's answer to their prayer may be 'wait' or even 'no'.

Some Christian ministers promise healing in the name of Christ, but by what they do and say they focus on the physical in a way which Christ never did. Christ came, says St. John, that we might have Life and have it more abundantly. The New Testament does not give the impression that God's foremost desire is to make Olympic Medalists of Christ's followers! God's healing work is far, far greater -
  'He died, that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good;
That we might go at last to Heaven,
Saved by his precious blood.'
Seek this healing and the physical will take its place in God's plan for you - perhaps like Christ himself, to be redeemed; perhaps to be relieved.

Hindrances to Physical Healing (back to top)
In spite of the stress I have given to the depth and scope of God's healing, in spite of the greater need for healing of priorities and of relationships, there are still circumstances in which God wants to bring healing at the physical level, and I have listed below some of the common blockages and hindrances to physical healing. If one of them seems, for you, to 'hit the nail on the head', stay with it and try to work through it.
    Jesus once asked a patient who had been sick a long time 'Do you want to be healed?' Show Bible reference(s) Many sick people, while appearing to moan about their sickness at the same time hold on to it, because sickness brings the support and attention which they cannot face being without. It is sometimes worse to face the possibility of having to stand-on-one's-own-feet, than to face continued sickness. Holding-on may be a hindrance to healing.
    Some people try to keep God at a distance in their lives and cannot, or will not, face the important questions he raises, e.g. about life and death. They may outwardly complain about God letting them down, etc. yet have no intention of letting him have any say in their lives. If they were healed they would be indebted to Christ - and this is the very thing which they are trying to avoid, commitment to Jesus Christ.
    The cancer patient who against his doctor's order continues to smoke heavily, may, by his deliberate choice make the healing of the cause impossible. Healing cannot come to those who have no intention of changing the wrong relationships, the wrong priorities and the wrong habits of which various illnesses are symptoms.
    To be wrongly independent may be a hindrance to healing. For instance, for medical healing a patient must not only have faith in the doctor, but, more importantly, obedience to him. Many people find 'faith' in God easy enough but have little intention either of finding out his will, or, when it is found, of obeying it. We can no more have spiritual healing on our own terms than we can have medical healing. So often in the accounts of Christ's healing there are commands. This is because Jesus is Lord, but his rightful position is Lord of our whole lives and he should not be invited as a temporary pain-killer at one level of our lives only.
    Some people may not get healing because they are wrong to ask for it. God in his wisdom has given us a dawn, a day-time and an evening to our lives, so that when death comes it is not unexpected and our sorrow is thereby lessened.
    Society recognises this, and encourages retirement knowing that the evening of life is a precious but less-active time. I wonder whether elderly people are right to expect not to experience the signs of God's 'evening'? Such people appear to ask God for younger bodies not to go back into service to society, but to spend the evening of life with a day-time body! When my hearing is a little less sharp, my energy in short supply, my eye-sight not as good as it was - I shall know that God is preparing me to meet him at death, and that society will allow me to ease-up. What a wonderful time. To try not to be old when old, seems to me like trying to have one's cake and eat it!
  • FEAR
    Fear may be another hindrance. Those who cannot rejoice in death, in the Christian victory over it, and the joy of eternal life, view sickness as a foretaste of the death they dread. Such a view will lead to a fear or even a panic of suffering. Fear and healing are opposed and physical healing is unlikely to be theirs until their view of life and death is healed.
    Some people find themselves inviting back sickness or retaining it by hanging-on to a resentment when a relationship needs healing, or hanging-on to sin and guilt rather than confessing them to God, or hanging-on to pride when they ought to seek help or advice.
    The last on my list of possible hindrances is Pride. As this is the sin most common to us all, it is likely that it is not far from both your life and mine. If we feel a bit 'touchy' at the suggestion, then that proves its presence! A number of the above hindrances to physical healing have pride as their basis. There are folk who are too proud to use a walking stick, to wear glasses, to use a deaf-aid, to go to the doctor, to be nursed - the list is endless. When we come to God pride must be put to one side. With him we have nothing to be proud of. If we repent of the ways we have fallen-short of his purposes for us, he will forgive us and make us new. It is only when we let go that our hands are empty to receive. Let go - and Let God.

A Prayer (back to top)
  Lord Jesus Christ,
who came to heal us and to draw us to God,
I give you my life to take, and to use, and to equip,
that whether in sickness or physical health,
I may be your faithful soldier and servant
unto my Life's end.

Copyright John Richards 2001, but waived for users of

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