Have You Ever Wondered Why Some People Don’t Receive Healing?
In my 30-plus years of following Jesus Christ, I have been blessed to both see and experience many divine healings. One in particular has stuck in my memory because it was such a powerful illustration of God’s desire to heal us.
One evening in our home Bible-study, a friend asked for prayer. She was suffering from a painful, swollen abdomen, and the cause of her ailment was unknown.
As I prayed for her, I distinctly heard the word “unforgiveness” – not audibly, but somewhere inside me. God was speaking to me. Hesitantly, I asked my friend if she had any unforgiveness in her heart. “No, not that I know of,” she replied.
We continued to pray, and after a bit, she said the Lord had shown her she did indeed harbor unforgiveness toward several people. I waited while she repented and told the Lord she forgave those who had hurt her.
Then – a miracle! In front of our very eyes, her stomach shrank back to normal! God had healed her! The pain left…and we were shocked. Shocked by the suddenness of the healing, which appeared immediately after she forgave.
Friends, I am firmly convinced from my study of Scripture that God wants to heal us. There is no other rational explanation for the numerous healing examples and instructions in His Word.
God reveals in His Word a variety of methods by which we may receive healing. He also identifies a number of hindrances to healing and instructs us how to remove them from our lives.
My friend in the story above had a “roadblock” in her life called unforgiveness. As soon as she obeyed God’s Word and removed it, she received healing.
Does this mean that everyone who is sick has a “roadblock” in their lives? Not necessarily.
We cannot and should not make assumptions. Instead, God tells us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). Through prayer and study of His Word, we are to seek God for answers. We can pray, “Lord, please show me anything in my life that is blocking healing.” Then we must act on what He shows us.
So, based on God’s Word, and from personal experience, I have found that the first reason we don’t receive our healing is because we have sin in our life. In this case, my friend was harboring unforgiveness, which is one type of sin.
The First Reason Why Some People Don’t Receive Healing is Unforgiveness or Sin
“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear [my prayer].”
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”
Simply put, if we do not forgive others their sins, the Father will not forgive our sins.
Have you ever wondered why God hates sin? Scripture describes God as infinitely holy – infinitely great, pure, and good. He is completely separated from evil. No one can even come close to His holiness. He is perfectly righteous and just.
Sin breaks our line of communication with God. It results in damaging consequences to the soul. It makes us guilty in God’s sight.
Because God is the only one who is completely holy, He sees sin very differently from the way we see it.
We may not even realize we have a sin problem…but we do. To God, sin is the most serious human problem. In His eyes, sin is lawlessness, self-will, and rebellion. It is a serious offense against His holiness.
God’s holiness makes it impossible for Him to simply ignore or pardon our sin. His perfect justice requires that sin be punished. It must be paid for. And the penalty is serious. The penalty is death (Romans 6:23)! Death is a separation from God and the punishment of Hell. The Bible warns that there will be a future judgment and the wrath of God will be poured out against sin (Ephesians 5:1-7).
Our only hope is God’s forgiveness and pardon. Only through forgiveness can a relationship with God be restored.
The Second Reason Some People Don’t Receive Healing is Ignorance of God’s Word
Through the prophet Hosea, God said, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). What kind of knowledge? Knowledge of God’s Word.
God has given us the Bible, His inspired Word, because He desires a personal relationship with us. Only the Bible gives us understanding of who God is and His attitude toward us. It reveals God’s plan to rescue us from sin through His Son Jesus Christ. It shows us God’s will concerning healing and every other area of our lives.
If we don’t know that God has made healing available, how can we ask for it? How can we ask in faith (as God tells us to do) if we don’t know His will?
God’s Word is His will.
The solution to Roadblock #2 is to study the Scriptures for yourself (Acts 17:11). A good place to start is the first four books of the New Testament, called the gospels. These are eyewitness accounts of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ is the living Word, God’s will in action (John 1:14, 5:19).
“[Jesus said], ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”
Lastly, Unbelief Can Cause People To Not Receive Their Healing
“And [Jesus] could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.”
The Bible records numerous instances where unbelief hindered God’s people from receiving. Jesus Christ healed thousands during His earthly ministry “because God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Yet, in His hometown of Nazareth, His power was blocked (Mark 6:5).
God is grieved when we doubt His Word. He tells us to imitate the faith of Abraham and other Bible heroes.
Abraham believed God – in spite of what his physical senses told him. Without a shred of physical evidence, Abraham was fully convinced that God would fulfill what He had promised. And God was pleased. “‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God” (James 2:23).
Hebrews 6:12 tells us that Abraham inherited God’s promises “through faith and patience”. That is the same way we will receive.
Satan, our enemy, does not want us to receive healing. He whispers words of doubt: “God heals, but not this time.” Reject that thought. Don’t entertain it. Don’t let it get into your heart. Scripture says that if we doubt in our heart, we cannot expect to receive anything from the Lord (Mark 11:22-24; James 1:5-8).
There is only one sure way to defeat Satan and build your faith to receive healing. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Read the Bible. Take time to diligently meditate on Scripture and get it inside your heart. Memorize it, reflect on it, speak it in praise and prayer, and act on it.
“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Scripture teaches that God loves us and is ready to forgive (John 3:16; Psalm 86:5). He proved His love by sending His own Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus paid for our sins with His own innocent blood. “Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).
Maybe you don’t know God at all, but you do know something’s not right in your life. You’ve become aware that you have sin in your life, and you want to be rid of it. The first step you need to take is to receive God’s free gift of salvation. You must turn from sin (repent) and accept the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the payment for your sin. When you do, God will forgive you and adopt you as His child. He will begin transforming your character to be like Christ’s. Sin has lost its power over you.
If you’re already a Christian, or just accepted Christ as your Savior, God wants you to be proactive concerning sin. Remember, sin keeps us from a true and complete relationship with God.
Ways to a Better Relationship with God
Read God’s Word daily…and Internalize it.
The Bible identifies what sin is and instructs us how to deal with it. It renews our minds to think correctly so we can resist the temptation to sin. Read Psalm 119:9-16 and learn how to get Scripture in your heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
We often do not recognize sin in our life. We don’t know our own heart. You can pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). Then listen for God’s answer.
Ask God for help.
God knows you need strength to resist sin and live a holy life for Him. If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, God has given you Christ’s righteousness. You can approach His throne without fear. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Repent and confess your sins to God.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
When you are seeking healing from God, take time to ask Him to show you any hindrances in your life. Unforgiveness / Sin, Ignorance, and Unbelief are the most common roadblocks. They are the top 3 reasons why some people don’t receive healing. Remember that God is on our side. He has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to help us remove these roadblocks.
The bottom line: God wants us healed.
Interested in a great healing testimony? Dodie Osteen’s book, Healed of Cancer, is an amazing story of how she triumphed over sickeness.
CAUTION: The material in this article is useful for removing hindrances to healing. It should not be used to judge those who have not yet received their healing. Let us at all times show Christian love and kindness to the suffering as we pray for them and share Scripture. Someday we may need the same kindness shown to us.