The sovereignty of God and sickness

This topic often crops up in the minds of God’s people. Is sickness ultimately an issue of the sovereignty of God, that it is by His will alone whether you will get sick or whether you will die from sickness?

I don’t think any of us would just dismiss it in such simplistic terms.

Any time Christians go to an extremity in their thinking it is always because they are trying to escape or avoid something at the other extremity.

Like, if I just wanted to eat any kind of food and had no thought for maintaining a healthy body then it would be very convenient for me to believe that if I get sick then it is God’s will alone, for that then absolves me of any responsibility.

In fact when Jesus clashed with the Pharisees one of the key issues was that they were interpreting the Bible so as to absolve themselves of responsibility. They saw Scripture as a loophole to escape personal accountability.

Yet we can never get away from the Sovereignty of God. No matter how much a man tries to preserve his life, there is One who has the right to give life and to take it away.

Where does faith come in?

Here’s my point: if we understand that faith is a gift from God, and that He has given each one a different measure of faith, and even to some a “gift of faith”, then if I met a brother who steadfastly believes that the promises of God in Scripture include a long life and good health, and then his life actually does end up being just as he believed, then no one would despise him for that. We would rejoice with him and thank God.

People would only despise him if he grandstanded and showcased and paraded his faith, vaunting himself in front of others, which is not love, for love does not vaunt itself. He would be despised if he belittled others by saying the reason they are sick is they don’t have enough faith.

Yes, if the children of God sin then the Father may use sickness, among other things, to chastise them. That is another factor. To say otherwise is an escapist theology.

There is also a very real devil who wants to destroy the lives of the saints of God and who has the power to bring sickness.

But ultimately, even the man or woman who has been given a gift of faith to live in good health, and also a gift of wisdom concerning diet and lifestyle, they also need to bow before the Sovereign will of God just like everyone else and know that there is only One who keeps us alive and everything He allows or permits, and everything He does is right.


2 Responses to “The sovereignty of God and sickness”

  1. amongtheforgotten Says:

    Excellent illustrations Ian.

  2. ian vincent Says:

    From the other thread:

    Jesus made atonement for our sin and not our sicknesses, and yet there are many blessings which flow from His atonement for our sins, such as well-being, health, healing and protection from the evil one.

    Out of all the saints of God in history who truly believed that Jesus atoned for their sins we can say that all of them came under His atonement and were perfectly forgiven of their sins.

    Out of this same number, at a guess perhaps 95% of them died of some kind of sickness or disease.

    There are a significant number of saints who just pass away with no sickness or suffering, and there are also many wicked people who also remain in good health and pass away without any sickness.

    And among Christians who say they believe in healing in the Atonement, most of them die of sickness.

    Most of the greatest healing evangelists died of sickness.

    Some of them died never actually admitting they are sick, cos they believe that is a lack of faith to admit you are sick, which is silly.

    So if healing or health is appropriated on EXACTLY the same basis as forgiveness of sins is appropriated by the Atonement, the finished work of Christ, then that would mean that 95% of believers who ever lived had defective faith, or somehow believed wrong.

    This would be hard to believe, that the majority of Christ’s Bride had defective faith.

    I could believe that many had wrong teachings, yes, but not 95%.

    We appropriate forgiveness on the basis that we believe we were forgiven on the Cross of Calvary, it is finished.

    We can appropriate healing by asking God to heal in Jesus name, according to His promises, and according to the benefits flowing from the Atonement.

    When you ask God to forgive you bcos of the Atonement you don’t need to wait for an answer: it is done.

    We can’t approach healing that same way. Oftentimes we need to wait for an answer.

    It is always God’s will that men repent, believe and be forgiven. That can be said to be true for any person living on the earth.

    But the same can’t automatically be said for just anyone concerning healing.

    God may have reasons for not healing a person.

    But if healing were in the Atonement then there would be no obstacle and all people would receive healing just as immediately as they receive God’s forgiveness the moment they believe on Jesus.


    The appropriation of forgiveness and healing are different in nature, which tells us something of the nature of the Atonement.

    To be forgiven one has only to believe: our faith is counted as righteousness.

    But we could not say the same of healing, that our faith is counted as healing.

    Our faith is counted as righteousness bcos of the finished work of Christ on the Cross for our sins.

    If Jesus had also died for our sicknesses then every believer’s faith would be counted as healing and they would never get sick.

    Another thing to consider is that Christ’s atonement for our sins is an absolute: one is either completely forgiven or unforgiven.

    If He had atoned for our sicknesses then it would follow in that same order: either we are absolutely sickness free or we are fully sick.

    It can’t be in part.

    You can’t be partly forgiven, there are no degrees of forgiveness, you are either forgiven or you aren’t.

    If healing were in the Atonement and you believed it then you would never even have a trace of sickness, bcos how could the Atonement be in part?

    Someone may ask, yeah, what’s the relevance of all this?

    It’s relevant insomuch that if Christians were better established in the truth they would not be so confused about these things and not doubt anymore, and not be taken for a ride by anyone.

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