“The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else, the One Spirit gives the gift of healing.” 1 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
Included among the gifts of God given to individuals within the church, Paul says, for the purpose of building up the whole body, are the gifts of great faith and healing.Great faith– this may be a gift of the Holy Spirit that we do not think about very much; and when we do think about it, perhaps Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac or Elijah’s proclamation before Ahab come to mind. There are times in the purposes of God for His church that He needs someone with great faith, someone to step out beyond the reach of common faith, a catalyst for God to achieve His will, and encouragement for others in the body of Christ to follow. It is this gift of faith that enabled William Wilberforce to lead the fight to abolish slavery in England, or George Muller to provide housing, food, and Gospel training to thousands of orphans in England– without any source of material support.
When Jesus Christ walked this earth, and when the apostles first spread the Gospel throughout the world, divine healing was a desperate necessity. Mark records that Jesus was so overwhelmed by the physically and spiritually sick in need of His healing, that He had no time to even stop for a bite to eat. The spiritual gift of healing in one or more of its members was a great blessing to the early church in any city.
In these days of advanced medicine and medical insurance coverage, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that only God can heal. Healing is still a gift from God. While we can be profoundly grateful to God for His provision of doctors and nurses and hospitals, while we may freely use His provision when in need, may we still in our hearts turn first to Him for healing. We can still be awake to the fact that, even today, God gives the gift of healing through His people. We can be ready to receive and exercise that gift should He entrust it to us by His Spirit.