Finally, in our second to last day together, we have the Gift of Faith, Gift of Healing, and the Gift of (Signs, Wonders, and) Miracles!
Ahh, my favorite! Why? Because these gifts are where my gifts, in particular, lie! I don’t know if it has correlation with my black-and-white personality, or how empathetic God made me towards His kids, but man, this is definitely me. When I see someone get healed, I’m a complete and utter mess. Like wrecked with tears, in the best way. In my short lifetime, I’ve seen tumors disappear, legs grow out, and cancer healed. I’ve seen faith restore children back to their homes, husbands come to know Jesus, and people miraculously saved from life sentences in prison. We serve a God who heals, who wants to take our faith and move mountains, and do miracles with what we give Him. Woohoo! So let’s chat.
I’ve often heard it said that the gift of faith is “that mysterious surge of confidence which rises within a person in a particular situation of need or challenge and gives an extraordinary certainty and assurance that God is about to act through a word or an action.”
Sounds good to me! Think, specific instances when you just “know that you know” something good is going to happen. Like you “knew that you knew” when someone was supposed to be your husband or wife. The next time you feel that “knowing,” it might be God putting supernatural amounts of faith in your heart to pray or act on behalf of His goodness toward one of His kids. How cool is that?
Next, we have the gift of healing. Without getting into the theology of whether it’s His will to heal or not, I’ll rather leave some scriptures for you to ponder on, and point to our example for everything, Jesus.
I believe there is a close connection between gifts of healings (as well as the gift of miracles) and the gift of faith which immediately precedes in Paul’s list of the eight spiritual gifts.
The role of faith in healing is crucial, but what precisely is a person supposed to believe or in what or whom are they to have faith?
I believe that faith for healing operates at any one of five levels. And from that faith, come healing, and miracles. Some say miracles can only happen through mature believers when they pray, but I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen children pray and signs, wonders, and miracles happen. It’s important to remember that debating these minor details are just that, minor. The more important issue is that we pray, and we see miracles happen, regardless! What hurt can praying do? Let’s keep doing it!
First of all, faith that God is your sole source for blessing, that he alone is your hope (see Pss. 33:18-22; 147:10-11).
Secondly, there is faith in God’s ability to heal. Jesus took special delight in healing those who were open and receptive to his power to perform a mighty work. In Mt. 9:28-29 Jesus asks the two blind men only if they believe he is able to heal them. He wanted to find out what they thought about him, whether or not they trusted his ability. “Yes, Lord,” came their response. “Be it done to you according to your faith,” and they were instantly healed. Jesus regarded their confidence in his power to help them as “faith” and dealt mercifully with them on that basis.
The leper in Matthew 8 said to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (v. 2). The leper didn’t question Christ’s ability. He trusted that completely. He did have doubts about the willingness of Jesus to do it. But Jesus didn’t rebuke him for such doubts, as if it were a shortcoming in his faith that might jeopardize his healing. He healed him because of his confidence that he could do it ( Mark 5:34).
Third, there is faith in God’s heart for healing. This is faith in God’s goodness and his desire to bless his children (see Ps. 103:1-3; Luke 11:11-13). This is faith or belief or confidence that it is God’s character to build up, not tear down; to bring unity, not division; to create wholeness and completeness, not disintegration and disarray. People came to Jesus for healing because they knew they would find in him someone who would understand their pain, their frustration, their grief, their confusion. Their healing flowed out of their personal encounter with a caring, loving, person.
Fourth, there is the faith not simply that God can heal, not simply that God delights to heal, but faith that God does heal. This is the faith that healing is part of God’s purpose and plan for his people today. You can believe God is able to heal and that he delights to heal and still not believe that healing is for the church today. For example, I believe that God is able to make manna fall from heaven to feed his people. I believe that God delights in providing food for his people; he doesn’t want them to go hungry or to starve. But I do not have faith that God does, in fact, intend to send manna from heaven as a means of providing our physical needs. It is our responsibility to have faith, plus corresponding works, as James 2:17 tells us. Therefore, I will not spend time praying that he does so.
Fifth and finally, there is the faith that it is his will to heal right now. I have in mind the psychological certainty that healing is what God is, in fact, going to do now. This is probably more of what Paul had in mind when he spoke of the gift of faith in 1 Cor. 12:9. It may also be what James referred to as “the prayer of faith” (James 5:13-18). So let’s turn our attention to that passage.
Do you think you operate in any of these gifts? I’d love for you to share, below!