The Lord has been speaking to my heart about this simple yet complex word for some time now. I wish that it was a simple thing to learn, understand and apply, but it is not.
In a search of "Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary" there are 12 words, 2 Hebrew and 10 Greek, that have been translated as "faith". While all but two are similar in definition, that has not cleared it up much for me. I am a guy, a practical sort, which likes simple clear directions on how to do something. I want to know just how to "have faith" especially in this realm of healing.
Faith healing is something that has been meet with a great deal of speculation, misunderstanding, guilt and may be responsible for more Christians walking away from God than any other single issue. It has been the cause of deep rifts among believers and has fueled more contempt for God by unbelievers than any other part of our doctrine. Lucifer has very skillfully used this subject to attack the Kingdom of God and has done so with great success.
I believe (at this time) it is because we do not understand either the nature of our bodies nor do we understand the nature of Gods relationship with us and this world. Faith it's self is much misunderstood and while I think at the moment I understand it much better than I ever have I cannot move even a small dirt clod with my faith so there is clearly much more to learn.
Disease of the body is also not well understood, even by the medical establishment.
One of the things I have learned about faith is that it requires action. James wrote:
Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
In regards to faith + healing I will use myself as an example.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes back in 2000, the disease is progressive and eventually leads to blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart disease and an early grave. I was not told anything about this disease by the traditional doctor that first diagnosed me, however God had opened doors to a non traditional doctor for me. This doctor was a very rare kind of Doctor who treated the whole person: body, mind and soul and was not a quack. He believed in science having degrees in Medicine as well as Psychology and Nutrition. He began me on a medication and told me to buy a book called "Protein Power". I had faith in this man so I did as I was told. With in three or four months I was off the medication, And for the next three years remained off the medication.
That Doctor retired and slowly the disease returned and became worse, until in 2009 when my doctors put me on insulin as well as drugs. Being a truck driver this was a disaster. Truck driving is not allowed while using insulin until one can prove to the authority’s you can use this drug without the nasty side effect of passing out due to low blood sugar that the drug can sometimes induce.
In 2011 with permission from Congress I was able to return to work. Still using insulin 5 times a day and taking pills twice a day.
I remember asking my endocrinologist if he had ever seen this disease reversed, he said "No" and with all the confidence in my heart (faith) I said something like, "Watch me".
Once again God opened doors.
Strangely, it was not for healing of the disease I was praying for.
I had returned to church some years before and felt something was missing in my walk with our Lord, and began to pray in earnest to get to know Him better. I was rewarded with a succession of three very vivid dreams over a period of 7 days. After the third dream I was obsessed all day with the meaning of the dreams and finally as I was drifting to sleep that night and the Spirit spoke to me and told me I was keeping Him out of that place that was meant for Him.
I was keeping Him out with the sin of gluttony. I was filling that hunger that all human beings have for God with food and had become morbidly obese and nutritionally deficient.
When God speaks to you, you had better obey. I did, the very next morning I began a program to loose the weight and become nutritionally fit. Six months latter I was taken off the insulin, 2 weeks after that, off the pills. I have not had to return to medication since and lost 160 lbs as well.
I am not a Saint and temptation is always present, I fell long enough to gain 60 lbs back and have seen a minor increase in blood sugar, but I am reminded of these words of Jesus to the lame man He had healed;
Joh_5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Many books have been written about healing and faith. Many extremes have been taken. Many foolish tangents have poisoned many, both spiritually and physically. Please, I beg you, if you are suffering a disease, do not pray for it's healing, the disease will become your God. Pray instead for Gods Wisdom and when you receive His answer then do it and if you lack the strength to do it ask for the strength and it will come.
My Journey with my disease is not at an end. My disease requires constant vigilance of both my physical and spiritual condition.
I would never say that God doesn't sometimes step in and rearrange DNA or other molecules to affect a cure in someone, He sometimes does. But, I do believe that at the root of every disease to inflict a healthy body is some kind of spiritual sickness.
The human body was designed to live forever, science has proven this, Adams sin and our misuse of our bodies and minds (our sin) has spoiled Gods original plan. We must therefore conform to that plan if we want a long and healthy life, that is an act of faith.
To close this subject for now, (there are many more facets yet to be discussed), I will close with words from St. James:
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
May God Bless you richly