Test of CourageRead Proverbs 21:30-31 to see how true success depends on God.
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Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected. . . . He would be killed, but three days later He would rise from the dead (v.31).
Healing has never been a clear-cut issue for me. While I have never experienced a miraculous physical restoration, I have seen God’s hand of provision at work in my body and others’ bodies. But my theology and practice have often collided whenever I didn’t see God move in the way I expected. Recently, however, God unpacked a few more layers of understanding for me as I stepped forward to receive prayer for a torn meniscus at a youth service.
With teenagers gathered around me, I felt humbled to be the recipient of their prayers—especially since so many of them struggle to believe their prayers are valid or desired. But the greatest honor came as I heard the prayers of a 27-year-old woman on our youth ministry team. In her life, God’s answer to cancer had come through a mastectomy, not miraculous deliverance. Profoundly moved as she prayed about my need, I saw in that moment the greatness of God and the complexity of His ways. My minor torn meniscus, her life-and-death battle, and one faithful God. Prayer is a place of deep privilege.
Romans 11:33-34 reminds us that God’s ways stand far above anything we can comprehend. But there are some things we can definitively know about healing:
• Jesus’ death and resurrection restores our brokenness (Isaiah 53:5, 61:1-3; Matthew 11:2-5).
• Jesus’ triumph did not exclude suffering (Isaiah 53:3-4; Mark 8:31).
• God does not reject but rather welcomes and encourages our requests for miraculous intervention (James 5:13-18).
Just as the blind man in Mark 8 didn’t receive his healing the same way as others who had been healed, so too do our stories vary in the ways God works out His plans for our lives.
Read Isaiah 59:1-2, Matthew 13:57-58, James 4:3, and 1 John 3:22. According to these passages, what are some of the things we must address before bringing our needs to the Lord?
What life experiences have shaped your understanding of God’s healing power? How do your ideas line up with Scripture?
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