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.
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,
is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
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
God’s grace is sufficient for us all.
Christ is coming soon! Hold on!