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Yes, No, and Wait

(The following is the March 15 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 8 and pay close attention to verses 43-48.)

Jesus healed many people from their infirmities during his earthly ministry. Healings were one reason he attracted crowds. We still pray for God to heal us and others. As the Great Physician, he can cure anyone of any disease at any time he chooses. In Luke 8, the woman who suffered from bleeding for twelve years believed that touching Jesus’ garment would heal her, and it did.

If we have prayed for healing often, we have learned that sometimes God heals as we wish, and other times he does not. How do we deal with God’s varying answers to prayer – “yes,” “no,” and “wait”?

It may help to think of answered prayer according to what brings God the most glory. Since he knows everything, he knows when it will bring him greater glory to heal the person. The healed individual and others may respond in praise to God, joyfully telling others of God’s great mercy. Perhaps God needs to work in our hearts, drawing us closer to himself. He may know that is best accomplished if we live with the uncertainty and dependency of illness and affliction. In such times, sickness encourages us to grow in our relationship with Christ. God may get more glory at other times, not by healing or making us wait for an answer to prayer, but by taking us from this world of sin and disease and bringing us to him earlier than we expected.

Sometimes God answers prayers for healing by removing the disease from us, but other times he answers by removing us from the disease and bringing us to himself. Either way, he gets the glory in how we live and die.

Next Step:

Spend time in prayer for healing for yourself and others. Be aware that God’s answers may be “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” All three possibilities require us to trust him. Pray that God gets the glory he deserves regardless of the answer given.

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