Q. I don't understand why God heals some people and not others. Those who aren't healed—is it because they don't have enough faith or that they're somehow out of God's will?
—Eleanor Jackson, via e-mail
A. That's a question people have wrestled with for centuries. The sovereignty of God isn't something we can easily understand or explain. Over and over in the Scriptures, we find accounts of God's awesome power, his supernatural ability to heal and restore. We read verse after verse on his great love for us, his desire that we live life abundantly, and receive all that he has to give us. We're told to pray for the sick in faith that they will be healed (James 5:14-15).
So why aren't some people healed? It's true that there are biblical examples of people whose prayers were hindered because of a lack of faith or as a result of sin in their lives—of which they had not repented. I guess that's always a possibility.
But there are just as many—if not more—examples of righteous, godly men and women who experienced trials and tribulations through no fault of their own, and who did not receive miraculous deliverance. Their suffering forced them to depend on God completely and drove them to a deeper relationship with him. It taught them wisdom and maturity. It produced character. Hebrews 11:35 indicates that for some, enduring suffering—rather than being delivered from it—was a deliberate choice! These saints understood that the rewards they would receive in heaven were far greater than any pain they experienced in this life.1