by Kathleen Huebener in Inspiration

Jehovah-Rapha means “God heals.” Throughout the Holy Scriptures, examples of God’s healing convinced me that illness and sicknesses play a role in God’s greater plan.  

He has a purpose in allowing these things to happen.


For example, take the story of Naaman. He was a Syrian commander with leprosy found in II Kings 5: 1-27. Naaman would never have sought Jehovah if he didn’t have the dreaded disease of leprosy. His country had its own gods, which couldn’t do anything. When he did contact Jehovah, God, through the prophet Elisha, instructed him to wash in the River Jordan seven times to be healed.
At first Naaman wasn’t going to do it because he felt the rivers of Damascus were better than all the waters of Israel. Plus he was greatly offended that Jehovah didn’t heal him instantly right there on the spot. But by his servants’ urging, he dipped himself seven times in the River Jordan and was healed. Naaman’s leprosy, and consequently his healing, led him to accepting Jehovah as God. Even though he didn’t believe he would be healed, by following God’s instructions, Naaman was healed. And in a strange way, Naaman had a greater respect for Jehovah and His mighty power by being healed this way rather than by instantaneous healing. Oh, the knowledge and wisdom of God, how awesome He truly is!

In the New Testament it is written how, through Jesus Christ, the blind received their sight, the lame walked, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead were raised up, and the poor in spirit had the gospel preached unto them. In Isaiah 53: 5 and I Peter 2: 24 it is written, “By His stripes ye were healed.” The prophecy of the Messiah is found in Isaiah 35: 5-6 and 61:1-3. These healings that Jesus did are part of the proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. O that men would praise the LORD for His goodness and for His marvelous works to the children of men!


Does Jehovah-Rapha heal today? We find ourselves living in an age of abundant illness and disease. In some cases, God heals instantly; in other cases, He does not. For what possible purpose could our lingering sicknesses provide? What purpose does Jehovah-Rapha have in someone’s illness, for which she year after year undergoes kidney dialysis, where the necessary medicine sickens her? What purpose does Jehovah-Rapha have in a woman’s weekly vomiting migraine cycles that have lasted for years? Her vocal cords and her life drastically altered. The answer is found in God’s reply to Paul in the New Testament, when he too cried out to God to heal his “thorn in the flesh.”   God said to Paul,” My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”


From the Holy Scriptures, we know that, through Jesus Christ, we have God’s grace, which is the saving grace that saves us from our sins. Ephesians 2: 5 “Even when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” And in verse 8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”     


Yet, through sickness, our eyes are opened to see another dimension of God’s grace beyond the saving grace. It is sustaining grace, which reveals God’s divine power to see our needs and to fill them. God’s grace is sufficient for any need: strength to endure, helping hands to aid us, encouragement to see the light beyond the tunnel. Whatever the need, God can and does fill it. God’s purpose in illness is for us to see Him actively at work in our lives.


How would we ever know God can provide strength if we were always strong? How would we ever know His friendship if we were always too busy for Him? How would we ever know His grace is sufficient, if we were always self-sufficient? The truth is that our God yearns for a personal relationship with us. Through sickness, because we need Him so desperately, our focus is on Him. Thus, the purpose of sickness is to draw us closer to God. An additional blessing is that, through sickness, we are His witnesses that the power of God is able to sustain one no matter what happens.


 God adds this scripture to the whole equation, II Corinthians 4: 17,

“For our light affliction, which is for a moment,
is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”


“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
I Peter 5: 10 


Jehovah-Rapha means “God heals.” There is genuine peace in knowing that God is in control of our lives; that there is a purpose in illnesses. With Paul, we who suffer can say this with conviction: “For which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until that day.” II Timothy 1:12


Trust God as you hold unto Him, dear ones.
God’s grace is sufficient for us all.
To God be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Christ is coming soon! Hold on!