|Reinhard Bonnke praying for for the sick.|
I want to apologize for not replying on time to the sister who asked me this question. I read the mail, but I mistakenly deleted it. Your question again was “why did God refuse to heal Paul though he was a servant of God?" Perhaps we could even ask the question, "why am I suffering even though I am a servant of God." Paul was not the only one who though a servant of God, his prayer was not answered positively. God always answers everyone; negative or positive, but He will answer. What we mean here is why did God not answer Paul positively by healing him? The passage reads thus:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor 12:7-10).
Paul had a successful and influential background because he was a member of the Sanhedrin. If God had left Paul to operate in his former status, then he might not have understood the power of God. Those who are gifted and skillful may feel tempted to believe that they do not need God; they can do all by their own strength. Knowing that the arm of flesh may fail you except God, then the righteous are obliged to walk not by sight but by faith. The passage does not say clearly what that sickness was, but we can infer that Paul’s physical infirmity was eye trouble (Gal 4:15). This was a thorn in his flesh that he prayed all manner of prayers to no avail so that the lord will heal him. The Lord did not heal him; instead he told him “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”.
In the Old Testament (OT), when Samuel was to select the new king of Israel after the rejection of Saul, he entreated the Lord for Saul, but God rebuffed him and instead selected David (a man after God’s heart) because he does not look at the outward appearance; he looks at the heart. God does not need us to help him do his work (I Sam 16:7). Saul had faced the dilemma when he wanted guidance, but the Lord gave him deaf silence so he can go in the strength of his since he counted too much on physical strength (I Sam 28:6-7). Elijah was a man of God who was constantly in lack up to a point where one day he prayed that God should kill him rather than him living hand to mouth. God responded by sending ravens to make a table for him in the bush (I kings 17:4-6). David’s daughter was too sick that David prayed, fasted and wore sackcloth peradventure the Lord will pity him and heal her, but God still took away the child’s life (2 Sam 12: 13-23).
God did not save Saul and David because he wanted them to face the consequences of their sin. That means; if you had used drugs before becoming a Christian and the drug had damaged something in you, God may not heal you. He might leave you to face the consequences of your sin. Let us say that you become a child of God, and while indulging into sexual immorality, you picked up a chronic disease, God may not heal you. But that will be if leaving that infirmity in you helps you to serve him better. David and Saul came to understand that God is Alpha Omega; the beginning and the end, without him there is no God.
So then, why did God leave Paul in that condition? In his weakness all knew that what Paul did was not by his power but by the power of God, else he would have healed himself of that infirmity. In that condition, Paul “counted all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
In that state, Paul built a bond of friendship with God and destroyed his friendship with the world. If he had his health intact, he could have loved the world and the things thereof, thereby, setting enmity with God. How could he have lusted after the flesh, have the lust of the eyes and the pride of life when a messenger of Satan butted him daily?
Therefore, if you have a physical infirmity as a consequence of sin know that it is the wage we earn for our works of evil and believing in Christ does not guarantee us healings. If your infirmity was brought on you as no fault of yours, then know that the Lord wants to use that to glorify his name and does not want to share his glory with anyone. Just surrender yourself to him and say, "Lord, I am the clay and you are the porter; mold me as you want." Give God the key of your life let him drive you to a greater destiny where a crown is reserved for those who finish the race.
Until then, rest assured the Lord can hear your cry and feel your pain.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).
Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).