In some denominations, Christians resign themselves to sickness. They say that if we are sick and die, at least we know that we will be in a better place in heaven. Now, it’s true that our eternity with Christ is our great future. We have much to look forward to in eternity! But God still has plans for His people while they are on this earth, before it is their time to join Him in heaven. That is why Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). God has some work for each of us to accomplish on this earth.
When all I hear is that heaven is a better place to be, my response is, “Your job is to make earth a better place as long as you are still here. Your job is to be an oracle for God. Your job is to represent the Father and the Lord Jesus. Your job is to destroy the works of the devil in the name of Jesus. Your job is to go about making disciples. Your job is to go about doing good and healing everyone around you. That is your mandate and your calling.”
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church about this very issue of living versus dying:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (Philippians 1:21–24)
Paul is saying that it would be unprofitable for the Philippians believers if he left. It would really be unprofitable for your brothers and sisters in Christ if you went to the Lord prematurely due to disease. We need you. We need each other. The church needs good, sound sons and daughters of the Father. We need your love. We need your prayers. We need your faith. We are not the same without you. You are a part of Christ’s body, and I need you as a part of me.
Embrace the Word of God. Believe what He desires for you in health and wholeness. Live the full life He has promised you. Remember that, in the Psalms, we are given the promise of long life. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten [seventy]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore [eighty] years…” (Psalm 90:10).
There are other Christians who believe that God is the one who brings disease to somehow test us or purify us. But the Bible says that God desires health for us. His Word is clear in 3 John 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Now, I ask you, is there anything more “all” than “all”? The apostle John says he wishes “above all things.” Jesus Himself stated, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). That abundant life includes freedom from disease. I want you to understand something: God’s perfect will is not to heal you; His perfect will is that you don’t get sick!
When people tell me that their disease is the will of God, I have to ask, “Why would God bring disease? Why would God destroy what He has created?” When He looked down on Adam and Eve after the creation, He said, “It is very good.” (See Genesis 1:31.) He never said, “Look at those wonderful diseased beings that I have created!” So, no. God does not give Christians disease.
Dr. Henry W. Wright
Ask Father God, in Jesus’s name, to begin to develop your identity in Him as His son or daughter. Ask Him to show you His plan and purpose for your life. Make it a prayer of your heart that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven—both in your life and in the earth. If you feel led, you may also repent to Him for believing that death was His will for you. Ask for His forgiveness, and then receive His forgiveness. There is no room for fear, guilt, or shame in His complete forgiveness.