Which is Easier: Forgiveness or Healing?

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 5 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he got up and went home.  Matthew 9: 2-7

I am reminded of the following quote by John G. Lake:

“It does not take a bit more faith to be healed from your sickness than it does to be saved from your sins. The only difference is that in your own consciousness, you knew there was no place to get forgiveness except from God.”

When Jesus was on earth many witnessed Him heal the sick, but many did not understand the authority He had to forgive people of their sins.  So Jesus asked the question “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?  Jesus had the authority and power to do both.  Today as Christians we know because of Jesus that salvation is available to all mankind; we just have to believe.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  That same grace that saves us also heals us.

However, today many Christians do not view healing the way they do salvation.  We know that the only one that can save us is Jesus.  We cannot obtain salvation by another person or any work on our part.  We have faith in God that He will forgive us of our sins and make us righteous in His sight.  When it comes to healing we are not so sure because we view sickness and disease as a part of life.  Some may even believe that sickness and disease is used by God to strengthen our faith or test us.  This is not the case.

Sin, sickness and death do not reside in Heaven.  They are not a part of the nature of God.  Just like God does not use sin to tempt us or to test our faith; He will not use sickness and disease to “teach” us.  God is a life giver; salvation and healing are His nature.

Many who are sick will say God’s grace is sufficient.  They believe that God will see them through their ordeal.  If healing is God’s will, He will heal.  If it is not God’s will to heal, at least there is salvation the ultimate in healing. God’s grace is sufficient to heal us physically just as it is sufficient to save us from sin and death.  Too often we look for other means of healing besides turning to God the way we do for salvation and forgiveness.

Sickness and disease are precursors to death.  They are a part of death not life.  They are Satan’s tools, his curse.  Jesus said that Satan only comes to kill, steal and destroy; Jesus came so that we may have life (John 10:10).  Jesus died and rose again so that we might have life, a life in Him.  A life that is free from sin and sickness.  We have a right to divine healing as we have a right to salvation.

We should look at sickness and disease the way we look at sin.  It is not the will of God because God hates sin.  He hates sickness, disease and death.  We are no longer a part of the curse that resulted from the fall of Adam but we are part of the new life and freedom that is found in Jesus.  Jesus died and set us free from sin, sickness, and death.  Sickness and disease binds us, it prevents us from being free, just like sin.  So it is always God will to heal just as it is always His will to save.

We run to God for forgiveness when we sin.  We know that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins (1 john 1:9).  No one can forgive us like God.  However, when we are sick we pray for healing but we don’t have the same expectancy that we have with forgiveness.  Sometimes we doubt the willingness of God to heal, or we think He wants us to go “through the situation” before we experience divine healing.  We may also think that God wants us to fend for ourselves and find our own means and methods for healing.

I believed this for a long time.  When I was sick in 2009 I had tumors in my lungs and believed that God would see me through my chemotherapy treatment.  I was confident from the doctors’ report that the chemotherapy would work and God would never leave me nor forsake me.  I thought by going through this ordeal my faith would be stronger and I would be a much stronger person for having endured this fight.  To be honest I didn’t have faith for a supernatural healing, I believed God’s plan was for me endure this ordeal.  I read the reports and understood the statistics.  I had an 80% chance of survival and an 80% chance the chemotherapy would cure me. 

The chemotherapy made things worse.  I ended up in the hospital and the doctors couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting better.  They were very concerned that the chemotherapy drugs were actually doing more harm than good.  So they made the decision to stop the treatment and “wait and see” if I would get better.  It was in that moment I knew that only God could heal me 100%, the doctors tried but I needed a miracle and God answered my prayers.  God did not delay. The worse day in the hospital was the same day the doctors brought my report of healing.  My numbers had dropped dramatically and they were so relieved that the worse had not happened.  So they monitored me for another year and a half to ensure the tumors did not return.  Today I still walk in my total healing.

Divine healing is our inheritance.  It is the will of God to always heal.  As John G. Lake says it really doesn’t take more faith to believe in healing than it does for salvation.  We just have to know in our conscious that the only place we can go for divine healing is God.  God is concerned about our physical healing as much as He is concerned about our spiritual healing and renewal.

Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5: 14-16

Written by Anna Mangeni