On Christians Suffering - Sometimes God Wills It, Sometimes He Doesn't
I Jn 5:14-15
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Sometimes God Chooses Not to heal :
2 Tim 4:20
Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.
1 Tim 5:23
No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
2 Cor 12:7-9
And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-- to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell inme.
Sometimes God allows hardships :
For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.
1 Peter 4:19
Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
The great Apostle Paul suffered :
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches.
II Thessalonians 1:3-5
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Timothy 1:7-8
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2 does not say "if" but "when".
In the first century church God did occasionally allow extraordinary healing situations :
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
It might be that as word went out into the region that since the sick could not come to Paul, healing was brought to them this way - not the norm for today - God used this to authenticate Paul as God's messenger with God's message. Nowhere does it state in the Bible though that God gave this privilege to all or any specific class of believers. It was a unique special event as it pleased God. The fact that people were healed this way is explained purely in terms of the grace of God according to His will.
Acts, a history of God working through His disciples, is a book of transition into the church age. It is primarily a book of early church history, not a book for example with the same purposes as the books the apostle Paul wrote such as Romans, Ephesians, etc. God allowed many miracles at this time to validate this new Christianity, to validate and confirm His message (the words of the Gospel ), His mission, and His messengers - the apostles. Such validations are not the norm today & are not needed for today. We have the completed Scriptures today for our instructions and directions. The early church did not have the completed bible until near the beginning of the second century. The last book, Revelation, was written about 95 A.D. BUT God does still do miracles on occasion today in His time and when it pleases Him to do so for His glory. Jesus Christ is the Great Physician - He is still doing miracles today as it pleases Him & in His timing. God always answers His children's prayers. He says yes, no, or wait.
Also Note :
2 Cor 12:12
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.
2 Tim 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
2 Tim 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
by Dave Smith, D.Min.