“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.” Acts 3:16a
Who hasn’t earnestly, faithfully, heart-wrenchingly prayed for God’s healing for someone but that prayer seemed to go unanswered? God hears those heart-felt prayers, but His answers do not always look as we would like. Sometimes God heals, and sometimes He says as He did to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Would we dare say that Paul did not have enough faith to be healed of his “thorn in the flesh”? It may require even more faith to persevere in suffering than to be healed instantly. Whether God chooses to answer with healing or with grace, it will be so the power of Jesus Christ is displayed and He is glorified.
When the astonished people stared at Peter and John as if the healing of the lame man was by their own power, Peter said it was by faith in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:16). And when the religious leaders asked by what power or name they had healed the man, Peter said, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10). This healing amazed people which gave Peter the opportunity to give Jesus the credit and preach the gospel, and it caused people to praise God (Acts 4:21). This is the fruit of work done in the power of Jesus’ name. Jesus taught that there will be false “signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible”(Matthew 24:24). So in our desire for healing on this earth, we must discern whose power is at work by the fruit it produces. If they are God’s miracles and the Holy Spirit’s work, it will point us to Jesus Christ.
There is power in the name of Jesus, power that brings healing and power that gives the grace to persevere in suffering. The ultimate display of Jesus’ power was His willingness to suffer on the cross. And when we surrender our suffering to God so it can be used to help others, we express sacrificial love as Jesus did. We take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Certainly healings and gifts of healing are biblical, and maybe in the developed world, we are less likely to expect these miracles. But persevering in suffering by God’s grace is also biblical and can display great faith. Both healing and suffering can serve God’s purposes, but we will know the source of the power by the focus of the glory not by the visible results. So whose power is at work in your circumstances today?
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, You are the great physician, but you are also the great comforter. May we experience your healing and your grace in abundance. May your display of power in the name of Jesus help us to point others to Him. Give us wisdom and discernment when there is another power at work. Help us to not idolize healing, those with the gift of healing or even your Holy Spirit, for it is in the power of the name of Jesus Christ alone that your miracles are done and your grace is received. As we seek your healing in this fallen world, or receive your grace to persevere in suffering, let us be thankful in all circumstances and give you all praise and glory. In the powerful, healing, grace-filled name of Jesus. Amen!