God Can Still Work Miracles. Why No Miracle for Nabeel Qureshi?

By Michael Brown Published on September 19, 2017

Right now, as many believers mourn the loss of our beloved brother Nabeel Qureshi, his precious wife and daughter, along with other close friends and family members, are experiencing his loss on a much more personal level. That’s where our first focus should be, and so I pray that the Lord’s comfort and grace be theirs. May our God bring life out of death and redemption out of sickness!

But while we focus our prayers on Nabeel’s family first, I’m sure that many are asking the obvious question: Why wasn’t he healed? With so many faith-filled men and women of God asking for his healing, why did he die of cancer at such a young age?

For some, this is an abstract question. But for many others, especially those with terminal or incurable illnesses, this is anything but abstract. Dare we ignore it at a time like this?

Here are some obvious questions that are going through many people’s minds.

Could it be that God chooses to heal some and not others? If so, how can we pray for healing with any confidence?

If we believe healing is included in the atonement and is always God’s desire for His children, then why do we see so few cancer healings today?

And if God simply chose to take Nabeel (and others) home through cancer, then why are serious sicknesses in the Bible associated with sin and the devil? Why are they not looked at as gifts from God? And if our sickness is a gift from God, why do we go to the doctor to try to have this gift removed?

Does God Still Heal People?

I personally believe that if Nabeel had been among those coming to Jesus for healing during His earthly ministry, he would have been healed on the spot. Yet Jesus told us that if we believed in Him, we could do the same works He did (John 14:12). Why, then, is there such a massive discrepancy between what He did by the Spirit and what we do by the Spirit?

I believe healing is God’s ideal will for His obedient children, and that we should pray with the expectation that it was His will.

I understand that Jesus was uniquely accredited by God with signs, wonders and miracles (for example, Acts 2:22). But surely, if His words are true (and they are!), we should be seeing many more healings and miracles today.

We know that Paul left Trophimus sick in Miletus (for undisclosed reasons; 2 Tim 4:20) and that he counseled Timothy to drink a little wine to help with his frequent ailments (1 Tim 5:23). Yet we also know that God performed all kinds of miracles through Paul, as Acts records (see also 2 Cor 12:12). Was it hit or miss with his ministry as well, or was healing the expected norm?

In the late 1970’s, I became very skeptical of Pentecostal claims of healing and miracles, having been saved myself in a Pentecostal church in 1971 at the age of 16. I even studied the Scriptures with the goal of disproving that healing was for today. (Yes, I really did this.)

But in 1982-1983, after experiencing deep personal repentance and revival, I began to witness sick people being healed by God’s power. Yet, in my opinion, they were taking verses out of context as the foundation for their beliefs. How, then, was the Lord healing them?

What Does the Word Say About Healing?

In order to study this in-depth, I changed the subject of my doctoral thesis in ancient Semitic languages, focusing on the Hebrew root for healing (rapha’) in the Bible and the ancient Near East. (This was finished in 1985 at New York University.) Then, from 1992-1994 I revisited the subject afresh, going through the Scriptures as comprehensively as I knew how, writing a scholarly volume for Zondervan entitled Israel’s Divine Healer (published in 1995). And during this entire time, I was praying for the sick (seeing some significant healings but seeing many more not healed) and reading faith-building books and testimonies.

What was my conclusion after these years of intensive study and prayer? I concluded that healing was God’s ideal will for His obedient children, and that rather than praying, “Lord, if it be Your will to heal,” we should pray with the expectation that it was His will, sometimes even rebuking the sickness at its root.

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Since then, have I seen other precious believers die of cancer? Yes, tragically, including some people very close to me, after years of prayer and fasting for their healing.

Have I prayed for blind eyes that were not opened and deaf ears that were not unstopped? Quite a few times, I’m sorry to say.

Yet I still believe the testimony of Scripture, since my theology is based on the Word rather than on personal experience. And when I have experienced miraculous healing in my own life — including from Hepatitis C, apparently contracted when I was a drug user from 1969-1971 but not manifest until the mid-1990’s, after which I was healed — I have been thankful for divine confirmation of the Word.

And, of course, I rejoice in every healing I have witnessed (although I do not have the gift of healing or a healing ministry), and I rejoice in testimonies from around the world of God’s gracious healing and delivering power. And there are many!

But whether I see another person healed or not, I will continue to pray for the sick and I will continue to proclaim that God is our Healer.

Some Things to Consider

As for our brother Nabeel (or, another loved one you lost to sickness), God alone can tell us why he (or that loved one) was not healed. I would simply ask you to consider the following.

You might believe that the devil is a thief and a murderer, and therefore, in your view, Satan killed our brother. I would just urge you to remember that Nabeel placed his life in God’s protective hands, and many prayed for his healing and rebuked the devil. You might want to give your viewpoint further prayer and reflection. Otherwise, how can you be so sure the devil can’t get to you?

You might believe that God simply decided to take his son home, purifying his character through cancer. I would just ask you for scriptural examples of our Father doing this. And why, again, is serious sickness virtually always associated with curses, sin, demons or the devil in the Word? Why is sickness, in and of itself, never spoken of as a blessing from the Father? (I don’t think Job or Paul’s thorn are exceptions to this statement.)

In the end, we will all die, and to be absent from these bodies is to be present with the Lord in a place of unspeakable glory, joy, beauty and perfection — forever!

You might believe that somewhere, somehow, sick people must be guilty of secret sin, otherwise they could not be attacked like this. But in holding this position, you are acting like the friends of Job, whom the Lord rebuked at the end of that book. (You’re also forgetting verses like John 9:1-3.) And could it be that you find it necessary to come up with this theology as a means of self-protection, since, if a godly leader can get sick, you can get sick too?

You might say, “Obviously, people who die of sickness don’t have enough faith.” But that would also mean that the many people who prayed for Nabeel, including some used powerfully in healing, lacked faith too. And if you have so much faith, why didn’t you successfully pray for his healing?

In the end, we will all die (unless the Lord returns in our lifetimes), and to be absent from these bodies is to be present with the Lord in a place of unspeakable glory, joy, beauty and perfection — forever! And so, even now, despite the massive hole left in our lives when a loved one dies, death has lost its sting.

So, What Do We Know?

As for the answer to the question posed in this article, I cannot say why our brother was not healed.

But I can say that:

  • We should continue to pray for the sick with expectation of healing.
  • We should continue to ask God to restore the fullness of His healing power to His Church, for His glory and our good (we should also pray that He would help us to walk worthy of the manifestation of His miraculous power, lest our flesh get in the way).
  • We should give thanks to God in the midst of our sickness and pain, asking Him to work everything out for His purposes and seeking to grow in grace and the character of Jesus in the midst of our affliction.
  • We should hate the destructive and disfiguring power of sickness and disease, longing for the day when they will be no more.
  • We should minister healing and comfort through both natural and supernatural means, however and whenever possible.
  • We should remember that more important than healing the body is saving the soul and changing the heart. And so, our greatest emphasis should be on winning the lost, although salvation and healing often go hand in hand.

Again, may the Lord’s gracious comfort be poured out on Nabeel’s wife and daughter, along with all of God’s people who mourn today. And may we see Him rise in great healing power in the days ahead. May His compassion flow out to a hurting, dying, lost world!

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  • Tyler Brandley

    Was your healing of Hep C supernatural, or by medical treatment? I am clear of my Hep C after having been a non responder to the older treatment but, ten years later God did provide the money and the resources for the new successful treatment which did clear me of all the virus. My testimony is that God protected my liver from any damage and the resources He provided to make it all happen. A supernatural and immediate healing? No, but many miracles did occur in my medical journey to be sure!

    • William Powell

      He makes it clear that his healing from Hep C was supernatural and not by medical treatment.

  • Michele Gillotti

    May G-d needed him home with HIM, then we did.

  • Patmos

    Be it done to you according to your faith. Faith healing is based on, guess what? Faith! Imagine that. Scripture verifies this multiple paces.

    Doesn’t mean you’re not a believer if you die of sickness or don’t get healed, or that you have failed in some capacity. I myself have not been healed by faith for certain things, and have been for others, even experiencing the manifestation of the Holy Spirit for one and feeling the power of God run through my body.

    I struggled with this for a bit, wondering why some things were being healed why others weren’t. Then I took it to the Lord with conviction, and he placed the answer in my heart: That there are levels of faith, and that I didn’t have the level of faith to be healed for certain things.

    Upon receiving that answer my discouragement over the matter was gone, because I then became more aware of my level of faith, and what I could expect. It also gave me hope because it meant there was more, and it also gave me a greater understanding of faith, as again it is all backed by scripture.

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      I so agree. I was personally healed instantly 3x when there were tumors in both my breasts and uterus. It wasn’t because I believed one day I’d be healed over any other I had trusted the Lord to heal me. I did reject traditional treatment and used only natural means but when the healing came it was instant .. a miracle. Not to be explained. If I could it wouldn’t have been a miracle. Other times I’ve had illnesses that don’t compare to cancer that lingered for weeks like a common cold or sinus infection. Who can possibly explain this kind of mystery? When we get to Heaven I know I won’t be asking WHY.. I’ll be too focused on WHO, WHERE and WHAT is going on there to even wonder why anything down here was necessary at all or why the Lord Himself allowed it.

  • Adam InElmont

    I dont wanna be insensative to Nabeel he was and incredible man of God i highly respect and who’s books i own, but there is validity to speak on healing when if comes to food and life style choices. And until many believers start to be more aware of they’re health and what they put into their bodies then many are subject to sickeness and may sleep before they’re time. Big Pharma and most of the medical industry had failed us and people must understand Cancer is a big business. There are many alternatives proven to be effective much more then most allopathic treatments.

    I just pray God gives us the wisdom to study medicinal herbal nutritional healing, there is much information out there. Many clinics like ” The Gerson therapy, Dr Burzynski The Hippocrates institute ” and the list goes on. Many have been very successful at healing stage 4 Cancer. Im not judging Nabeel’s decisions or Gods purposes i say all this in Love, i lost both my parents at a young age and have been deeply affected, they as well put much faith and reliled on the medical industry too much which has once again failed miserably. Chemotherapy doesnt work, and it destroys all good cells.

    Detoxing keeping the blood clean and within the proper alkaline ranges, juicing, high doses of pro biotics, the body ecology diet, going Raw Vegan for periods of time, keeping hydrated with enough clean or alkaline water, taking proper minerals, deep breathing, getting out in the sun more, exercise especially something like rebounding which helps then Lymphatic system flow properly and relase toxins also proven to be a better exercise then swimming. I heard a testimony of a man beating Cancer simply by eating fresh fruits and veggies mostly raw, Juicing and rebounding 3 hours a day.

    I prayed much when my mother passed even about my own health and i know shortly after the Lord shared many of these tips for us to live a healthy life. We can no longer just put anything into our bodies and expect to remain healthy all actions have reactions, we MUST be health-conscious food is no longer the same as it was in the days of the Bible. GMO and nano particles in the food. Soil depleted of minerals, us not getting enough enzyme’s in our food these are all factors.

    Again none of this is me taking a cheap shot at Nabeel in anyway, he showed great courage till the end, i have love for that brother im sure he’s in great Joy in the presence of Jesus, all im saying is for us to be aware and informed, the best cure to sickness is prevention lets be proactive from now on. ” Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food ” Hippocrates ” I just don’t want to see another believer fight the good fight of faith, without also being aware of these un conditional truths on health.

    When battling sickness we need all the tools necessary. Juicing has changed my life especally the Lemon ginger blast, i encourage people to look up this recipe and try to make it a daily or weekly habit for the rest of your life. Again not judging anyone, my mother was a beliver who died very young aswell, i just want people to be aware of food choices and their consequences. God bless to all my bornagain believers and as Neebel said in his last video, this is all rooted in love. Bless you all !!

  • No miracle? Mike! He’s in Heaven! Isn’t that miracle enough?

    • William Powell

      Dr. Michael Brown is referring to miracles as a supernatural healing that comes from God. While Nabeel is in heaven and is now completely healed from his stomach cancer, he did not witness the supernatural healing on this Earth. You are defining miracle differently than he is. Which is ok. I don’t understand your problem with what he said. Thanks. God bless. 🙂

      • William, I think you missed my point. That’s OK, though.

        • Karen Kolbinsky

          I didn’t see any difference myself. I think either way God will receive the GLORY. Think about JOB. think about JESUS .. all of the apostles who didn’t make it out of this world without having to go through suffering and death along the way. It is wonderful to receive supernatural healing as many of us have many times over but to believe “death” is still a curse for the believer? What do we say? Where is the STING? Jesus took that away didn’t HE? I would not personally have wanted to be Lazarus that day thought I did feel happy for Mary and Martha ..

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      ABSOLUTELY. HE is TOTALLY WHOLE which none of us who remain can say for ourselves while living in a world still subject to the law of sin and death down here.

  • Cathy Payne

    Thank you for this Dr. Brown! I am always uplifted and often challenged by your thoughts, perspective and insights. I have followed Nabeel’s ministry for many years (for serveral before he got sick) and I am still astounded by the imact he has had – and I don’t think we’ve even begun to scratch the surface of the lives he has and will change. Personally, I have prayed for Nabeel for the last year and was believing for healing, although I admit that I have struggled with how to reconcile “believing in faith” for something while also realizing that “God’s will” may not be healing in the physical sense that we are expecting. I can most confidently testify that by crying out to God on Nabeel’s behalf over the last year, I have learned more and grown closer to God and have a deeper understanding of things than I ever have before. As I wept over Nabeel’s passing on Saturday, I kept asking the Lord, “Why him? Look at his impact! Look at his faithfulness! He would have won so many more over to the Kingdom of God…. he did everything You asked God… why him?” And as often happens when I argue with the Most High God, He gently stopped me mid-sentence and said, “That’s exactly right- Nabeel did everything I asked him to do; he was faithful to that which I called him, in life unto death.” I had the sudden realization that the things we want to do to serve the Creator, even with our best human intentions, may not be what He is asking us to do. Nabeel was faithful to the end with the message and purpose God entrusted him – and THAT is God’s will. And yes, I will will continue to to pray for healing and grow in my faith for miracles! God bless your ministry, Dr. Brown!

    • Linda

      I like this, thank you. I too am searching for understanding on Nabeel’s untimely and very painful death. He wanted to see his daughter start school and worried about who would raise her if he died. His wife had a miscarriage right before his first chemo treatment. He had to be evacuated back to hospital during Harvey after spending only one day at home. It just seems to be so much pain for one young and faithful believer to bear in his final months…I have to trust that God will use all of this to His glory. Nabeel’s example of faith and love in the face of suffering has left a sober impression on many of us, so there’s that.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        There are plenty of “reasons for a believer to be sick or poor”. The teachers that you reference would be among the first to acknowledge that. The issue is not so much the reasons but rather the conditions the believer must meet to appropriate the healing that scripture teaches is already theirs. Everything God has provided in the redemptive work of the Master must be received by grace through faith. No exceptions. Somewhere even w/the gifts of healings referenced in the word somebodies faith in some measure is involved. Why must the physical manifestation of the finished work be the first criteria by which God’s healing grace is affirmed. Were we to treat salvation that way we’d all be uncertain of our assurance of this so great (an inclusive of healing) salvation

        • Karen Kolbinsky

          I’m doing my best to process exactly what you mean here by what you are saying to Linda. I have myself witnessed many people who’ve been hurt by “faith teaching” where well meaning (maybe?) “prophets” claimed healing for someone else then basically blamed a lack of faith in either the person who wasn’t healed or people around them for NOT receiving by faith their healing. This to me is a grave error on the part of people who misinterpret “faith” while they themselves forget the greatest gift of all is LOVE. It’s a really unloving thing to promise someone who’s suffering they will be healed in this world without knowing for sure they will be .. it hurts their faith more than it does help to make promises based on their own human understanding and yes, all of the named preachers Linda mentioned that I know of have done exactly that. Claimed healing, wealth, “new cars” and “houses” and “lands” in Jesus’ Name for themselves and others while passing a collection plate for whoever had “big enough faith” to throw in a life’s savings in “Jesus’ name” believing they’d reap a hundred fold in return. And I definitely do know the scriptures they use to excuse their bad behavior while building mansions on earth and buying jet planes, fancy cars, the best every penny they stole from God and His people to make themselves richer than the wealthiest of men on this planet.

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        I am ashamed to say I wasn’t even aware he was suffering through all of this time. I have listened to as many youtube videos from this young man I could find after first hearing him share his testimony on the 700 Club. My heart breaks thinking about his young wife and daughter and I grieve with them but with hope. Having lost my own daughter at the age of 19 through a sudden death and a nephew who at 13 suffered through 2 years of treatment for lukemia and so many serious afflictions my husband has lived through without “miraculous healing” (immediately) my heart goes out to anyone who faces what we have survived. I also know God used those things to draw us closer to each other and to Himself and can honestly say without the suffering I probably would not be able to say we ourselves would be as focused on Jesus today as we are.

        • Karen Kolbinsky

          I have a daughter in law who was raised as a secular “Muslim” who is not yet converted to faith in Jesus. Nabeel’s testimony gave me great hope of knowing that the Lord will answer my prayers for her and for my son (who is not at this time walking by faith at all though he has known the Lord his whole life ) and especially for my grandchildren who are being raised outside of our faith. Nabeel’s testimony at times caused my heart to hurt so much knowing what he had faced as rejection from his own family. I have also experienced that from my own wayward children and siblings. There is no greater pain any of us can live through than rejection from our own parents or children or even our brothers and sisters (naturally) and most unfortunately even within the “fellowship” of professing believers in Christ. Nabeel is a picture to us of what Jesus Himself does to miraculously convert an unbelieving heart into genuine faith in Christ. While I would have loved to have seen him healed in this life I know without a doubt where he is right now and that is where I want to be myself. Like Jesus said to the women who were weeping as He bore the cross in this world “Weep for yourselves” Nabeel will never again face what every one of us will apart from those who are caught up while still alive in this present world. DEATH. SUFFERING. DOUBT. FEAR. HE IS FREE. HE IS RISEN WITH JESUS forever into such a better place than we who remain here on earth still labor.

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      I so agree with all you say here, Cathy. And to Michael Brown will say we always are blessed by all you share through your newsletters, radio programs and love for Jesus in this world. My husband met and knew you years ago while he was on staff with Teen Challenge and we’v e been receiving newsletters from you since. God bless you for remaining so faithful through your own sufferings and testings in this life. We are all together in this world groaning and travailing as we anxiously await the birth of the sons of God (Israel? the 144,000?) and most of all to be caught up together with HIM forever and put off the mortal for the immortal body we will every one of us who believe receive by faith.

  • Linda

    Good article, thank you. Sincere question: When “name it and claim it” ministers, I mean real Christians with long service and who are good people but espouse the position that there is no reason ever for a believer to be sick or poor (Andrew Wommack, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland come to mind), how do they explain the likes of Joni Eareckson Tada and Nick Vujicic? Also, how do they explain 1 Timothy 6:8 “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content”? Don’t get me wrong, I like these ministers, I just don’t understand those omissions. It may all come down to level of faith. There is also the gift of extraordinary faith above and beyond what all believers have.

    • James Koon

      A small mustard seed faith is good enough to move mountain.

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        yes.. even a mountain of doubt for those who are left in broken bodies until the time Jesus returns to give them a new one.

    • Karen Kolbinsky

      This is so true, Linda. I thought about the same people. One of my dearest friends in this world spent his last 30 years of life in a wheel chair and progressively lost his ability to move any part of his body, speak or swallow. He totally trusted the Lord to heal his body but for whatever reason he was not healed in this world. He did though die several times and had to be revived by doctors at Duke who had given him only days to live when he shocked them all and outlived by 20 years any other person who’d suffered from his illness. He was a constant witness to every doctor who listened to him when he “returned” to life after having been worked on for up to many minutes before being revived. There were times we went to pray at his bedside being told he couldn’t possibly live throughout the next 24 hours when he lived for years after. In the last 12 years of his life (already years beyond the expectation he’d live at all) he married and had one child (naturally) which shocked everyone. Throughout those years he couldn’t walk he spent every day praying. He attended a Bible School and became a pastor who never had a church to shepherd due to his physical limitations but for us who knew him and literally sat at his feet we were richly blessed by his ability to share with us out of his suffering all he was learning from the Wounded Healer in his spirit. At the end of his life he was so filled with pure JOY unspeakable and unexplainable he put to shame we who complain about our light afflictions compared to the millions who suffer around us and are crying out for Jesus to come quickly to heal us all My own prayer is I will never myself become so hard of heart I can’t feel for those who are suffering, broken of heart or mind or body in this world and will allow the Lord to use my own broken heart, mind and body to touch, bless and heal others.

      • Linda

        Absolutely amazing. Your testimony of losing your child but not your faith, and what you describe above of your disabled friends testimony stir up more of Jesus in me than do the teachings of the preachers I mentioned above who seem to believe that no believer with faith should suffer hardship.

  • rainsoul

    Cancer didn’t kill him, it was the barbaric “treatments” and surgeries that killed him. Satan killed him using those ignorant doctors that experiment trying to kill cancer and end killing their patients.
    A strict organic plant-based diet could have extended his life and maybe even healed him, since God has designed the body to heal itself with the use his creation. But people don’t listen and keep trusting those indoctrinated doctors that think they need to kill the cancer with poison and radiation, but what is needed is just a recommendation of strict diet and to be in a very safe environment with no stress…

    • K.E.

      I completely agree with you. The Church needs to get back to the basics of eating foods the way God intended, and treating ourselves medicinally in much more discerning, Godly ways. May the information we hear about conventional medicine “being the cure or the answer” to our ailments cease or be quiet, and may God raise up the Natural doctors, practitioners, and scientists who also work tirelessly to study and heal people naturally. May the plans of pharmaceutical companies fail that seek to harm, kill and steal money and may we even see these two worlds work together in unity.
      Shine your Light, oh Lord, on Big Pharma. Reveal the truth about how healing from chronic diseases comes from our diet, attitude AND YOU.

      • Karen Kolbinsky

        I have mixed feelings about all of this. There are some illnesses that can’t be treated or changed by changing one’s diet and there are deaths that aren’t due to illness. How many times have we seen believers who lose a limb or have been born without limbs? or have been in “accidents” where they’ve survived but emerged without an ability to walk or talk or ever totally recover physically? I lost a child to a drunk driver. Never would I blame God or question His ability to have saved her from that accident even though her friend who was with her that night did survive and has married since. At the last minute our daughter steered her car in such a way that she took the full impact of a car that ended up hitting her instead of the head on collision that would have killed them both on impact like it had her. She was only 19. the drunk driver was an illegal who was driving on the wrong side of the freeway at 80 mph I could imagine every scenario that could have saved her but have had to come to accept that even though I know it wasn’t God’s will for a drunk driver to be out on the highway who killed our daughter (not intentionally but carelessly) there will come a day when we are together forever because of our faith. I will say with Paul “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” and find comfort in knowing HE is never untouched by our suffering .. HE wipes away all of our tears and heals our hearts as we surrender to HIM whether in the body or without it. I will trust Him with all of my heart and not lean to my own understanding. With JOB I will say “Though He may heal, though He should slay I will still trust HIM and I will obey the Lord who gives and takes away BLESSED BE THE NAME of the LORD ! ” Soon we will all who know Him be given an incorruptible body that is no longer subject to sin and death

        • Karen Kolbinsky

          that being said I agree that poisoning a body doesn’t ever bring real or lasting healing. “FIRST DO NO HARM” there are many new treatments involving immunotherapy that are working and yes, starving the cells from sugar will also stop the growth of cancer.

        • Linda

          Very very insightful. Thank you. I am amazed at the Christian mothers who have lost a child and continue to put one foot in front of the other and even smile. Only God could sustain a mother through that.

  • Ethan

    ..whom am I to question the Living God..His ways are higher..we are just dust in His sight..we all know Nabeel is with the Lord..but what about his daughter..does she have to grow up without knowing her earthly father..why not take Nabeel before his daughter was born..and what about Nabeel’s wife..how hard is it to bring up a child as a single mother..the church will move on after a month..but Nabeel’s immediate family n his close friends n especially his wife and daughter are the ones who would bear the brunt of Nabeel’s absence..God grant them grace and comfort and strength in Jesus Name..

  • NLB

    You wrote; “You might believe that God simply decided to take his son home, purifying his character through cancer. I would just ask you for scriptural examples of our Father doing this. And why, again, is serious sickness virtually always associated with curses, sin, demons or the devil in the Word? Why is sickness, in and of itself, never spoken of as a blessing from the Father? (I don’t think Job or Paul’s thorn are exceptions to this statement.)” I found this whole paragraph to be somewhat of a “straw man” statement. God tells me to “count it all joy” when I encounter various trials (James 1:2) Why? HE tells us why… that the testing of our faith produces endurance, and that endurance should have its perfect result.. that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing… is this not a BLESSING? And in Romans 8:18, we find the sufferings that we experience produce in us a groaning and a further hope for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies..is this not a BLESSING? And we can be sure that God causes ALL things to work together for good … is this not a BLESSING? To know that we have been called according to HIS purpose… is this not a BLESSING? And most of all, that which Dr. Brown addresses so casually in his very first sentence above, concerning the purifying of our character, this EXACTLY why I can receive everything in my life knowingly from the hand of GOD. For it is HIS purpose that we be conformed to the image of HIS SON. Is this not a BLESSING?

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    I’m reposting this from a previous reply to a similar consideration posited by another commentator on this site. I might add that II agree w/Dr Browns affirmation of the word over personal experience. I also agree that it’s appropriate that believers have a “positive expectation’ regarding God’s will where healing is concerned. The other article asks the question ” Why didn’t God heal Nabeel Qureshi ? ” – Is it not w/in the realm of possibility that in the face of tragic loss this timeworn question maybe the wrong one being asked ? Why must so many sincere, faithful & even intellectually honest believers presume that God somehow looked the other way when a faithful & fruitful follower makes a painful & premature exit from a life well lived ?

    It’s rarely if ever asked “Why didn’t God save him from a life of self abuse & depravity ?” when a notable sinner dies in his sins.

    Is there a double standard among the theologically perplexed going on here? Why is it that a significant number of believers treat the healing of their bodies as though it were something only to be hoped for while the saving of their souls is an accomplished deed to be fully realized as they pass through those “pearly gates? No , it’s not a “lack of faith” as Mr Turek suggests some may say. Nor is it a reflection upon Mr Qureshi’s faith in God’s love & faithfulness . It’s so simple that many in the face of seemingly inexplainable & onerous events wind up complicating it. The challenge for many of us who subscribe to a particular view regarding faith for healing ,especially in the face of tragedy is having to admit to being wrong about it. We’d almost rather not know the answer than have to look back w/regret.

    The Christian life is designed to be a life of grace. It’s a life from which the “hand off faith” reaches into this amazing awe inspiring grace & receives from that grace what it was believing for. God won’t love us any less ’cause He can’t love us anymore.. Yet, it is not Gods love for the” saint & sinner”alike that effects the change we are hoping for. Healing not excluded. I am saved from the wrath of God towards sin not because of anything other than the simple but profound act of receiving it by faith from this all sufficient grace of God. I grieve for Nabeels’s family’s loss. This may be difficult to grasp, but except for the joy that a child has been united w/his Heavenly Father, it is bitter sweet. For how much more must the Master “weep” for the untimely removal of this profitable servant, husband, father & friend …?

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    in a reply to Linda which for some reason is not allowing me to post –
    There are plenty of “reasons for a believer to be sick or poor”. The teachers that you reference would be among the first to acknowledge that. The issue is not so much the reasons but rather the conditions the believer must meet to appropriate the healing that scripture teaches is already theirs. Everything God has provided in the redemptive work of the Master must be received by grace through faith. No exceptions. Somewhere even w/the gifts of healings referenced in the word somebodies faith in some measure is involved. Why must the physical manifestation of the finished work be the first criteria by which God’s healing grace is affirmed. Were we to treat salvation that way we’d all be uncertain of our assurance of this so great (an inclusive of healing) salvation …

    • Linda

      Thank you.

  • Karen Kolbinsky

    I have witnessed many miracles in my own life and in the lives of my husband and children who God chose to heal. He also chose to take through death others I’ve loved who’ve loved me and at times allowed us to suffer through illnesses and afflictions without being healed here on earth. What I’ve come to understand is it’s up to the Lord to heal in His own time and at times He will use suffering in our lives to touch others in need even when we ourselves aren’t being healed physically. I trust that Nabeel had such a close relationship to Jesus that he had come to accept and embrace HIM through the suffering and trust HIM totally to use his death as He’s used his life for His Highest Glory. I am praying for his family. It’s we who are left behind who hurt while those who are caught up to live forever with Jesus are rejoicing with the whole host of Heaven .. yes, HEAVEN IS REAL. The tomb is empty.

  • Ray Catlett

    “Because of your unbelief;” Jesus responded. Healing is basic equipment for every Christian (Mark 16). How many Church’s train their congregations to heal the sick? Jesus commanded us to heal the sick (Matt.10:7-8,Matt.28:20). We have to heal in faith, not unbelief. Nabeel’s life was cut short because of our unbelief. Job didn’t have a covenant with God, yet God healed and blessed him despite of it. Paul was healed of his “thorn in the flesh (Phil.2:27).”

    • Billtownphysics

      Not every Christian is healed, not being healed does not always mean a lack of faith. You are generalizing. There is no indication that Paul was ever healed of the “thorn”, if it was a physical ailment. Phil 2:27 refers to Epaphroditus healing, not to Paul. Godly and faithful Christians do die from disease, it is not a matter of faith necessarily. We all may suffer physical death before the Lord returns. If you die from cancer, will that mean your faith is weak? This is a destructive heresy and is not biblical.

      • Ray Catlett

        “Indeed he was sick (Epaphroditus) almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also (Paul), lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow (Phil.2:27NKJV).” The removal of our diseases is included in Christ’s redemptive work, along with the removal of our sins, “forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases (Ps.103:2-3).” We receive healing the same way we receive forgiveness of sins, by believing… having faith in what has already been accomplished. “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses (Is.53:4).” If Christ has borne our sicknesses, why should we bear them? At the cross He paid a price for us to be forgiven of our sins. At the whipping post He paid a price in His flesh for our bodies to be made whole. “By His stripes you were healed (1Pe.2:24).” In connection with the Lords Supper, the cup is taken “in remembrance” of His blood which was shed for “the remission of our sins (1 Corinthians 11:25, Matthew 26:28).” The bread is eaten “in remembrance” of His body on which were laid our diseases and the stripes by which “we were healed (1 Cor. 11:23, 24; 1 Peter 2:24).” Christ’s promise for the spirit-that it shall be saved- is in His commission and is for all. His promise for the body–that it shall recover- is in His commission and is for all. To deny that one part of His commission is for today, is to deny that the other part is for today. God’s grace has already provided, the issue is: Will you believe and receive, or doubt and do without? Faith merely appropriates what God has already provided by grace.

  • Dan_Cartwright

    It is my belief that we all (believers and unbelievers) go through the “stuff of life”, including tragedy, sickness, you name it. The miraculous seen in the NT was to prove the message of Jesus and the Apostles was indeed from God. I will not go into a dissertation concerning continuationism / cessationism. There is no point in that. I do know that according to charismatic teaching my wife was not healed miraculously of cancer (although she is still here), and our second son was not raised from the dead (automobile accident) because we didn’t have enough “faith”. I also know that in spite of radical cancer surgery and the death of one of our sons, we have been together for almost 42 years now, against a lot of the odds we are fed. That is a work of God. Many times our greatest testimony of the glory of God in our lives is HOW we go through the same “stuff of life “

  • “Why No Miracle for Nabeel Qureshi?”

    When you have a religious puzzle, take off your God glasses and answer it that way. See if that answer isn’t much simpler.

    For example, in this case, God didn’t heal Qureshi because there is no God. The natural explanation explains quite a lot.

    • littleeif

      Perhaps God didn’t heal Qureshi because Qureshi isn’t God.

      The “natural explanation” does not comment one way or the other on the existence of God, since were he to exist, nature would be of Him. You meant to say “the materialistic explanation”, which of course would explain quite a lot less about the need for meaning experienced by those grieving.

      • If the naturalistic explanation explains things better, that’s the way to go–that’s all I’m saying.

        Why would people’s need for meaning while grieving be a problem for the naturalistic explanation? There doesn’t need to be a supernatural for people to want to believe in one.

        • littleeif

          If a materialistic explanation explained “things better”, it would satisfy the natural human desire for meaning. The desire for meaning doesn’t necessitate the supernatural, but points to the inadequacy of a material explanation to answer it.

          • Inadequacy? What does naturalism leave unexplained?

          • Shaquille Harvey

            How the universe came ? what caused the universe ? where morality came from ?

          • We don’t know
            We don’t know

            I suppose you’re saying that Christianity has other answers? I’m sure it does, but so what? Are they worth believing? Science backs its claims up with evidence. Does Christianity? I’ve seen nothing that we’ve learned about reality from religion (in stark contrast with science).

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Yet it was because of likes of Christendom that helped to push for modern science.

          • Yes, modern science (say, 1800 and beyond) did come from Europe, and most scientists, particularly in the early part of that period, were Christian. That doesn’t argue that Christianity spurred science, however. In fact, if you look at how long Christianity was in charge (from the 400s nearly to the present), it’s disappointing what Christianity did with its power. Impressive artwork and cathedrals, that’s true but very slow advances in health and social progress.

          • littleeif

            You have used “natural”, “naturalistic” and “naturalism” in three successive posts, each having a different connotation, none of which convey what I understand to be your underlying meaning. You, too, must be uncomfortable with your theory. The fact that people pass away through natural means in no way speaks against the reality of God, since the author of nature may certainly make use of his invention.

            Why is beauty beautiful? Why do we prefer beauty to ugliness? Why do we recognize perfection, and measure all things against the perfect ideal of each? Why do we love? Why does love continue beyond the death of the beloved? Etc.

            And if as below your answer is “We don’t know”, you must concede this is an inadequate explanation to the perennial questions man asks.

          • You, too, must be uncomfortable with your theory.

            Not quite sure what you’re saying, but I’m comfortable accepting every scientific consensus in every field of science. Indeed, I can’t imagine a layman defending any other position.

            The fact that people pass away through natural means in no way speaks against the reality of God

            I have no proof that God doesn’t exist, of course. I’m saying that none of this demands that there be a God. Death, suffering, good and bad—natural explanations are sufficient for all this. And if there aren’t explanations (“What caused the Big Bang?” “How did abiogenesis happen?”), there’s no reason to accept Christianity’s answer over any other religion’s answer while we wait for science.

            Why is beauty beautiful?

            You should look up Douglas Adams’ puddle. It’s a story a few sentences in length that illustrates the importance of getting our frame of reference correct.

            And if as below your answer is “We don’t know”, you must concede this is an inadequate explanation to the perennial questions man asks.

            Sure—“We don’t know” is no answer. But science delivers. I think we’ll get more of value waiting for science than for going with whatever evidence-less answers religion has.

    • Kodie

      Settle down, Bob. All in good fun. Can I borrow your picture for a little bit? Just kidding. Why do you have such a hard on for all this Jesus stuff? It’s a little creepy.

      • Hey, Jeff. Thanks for stalking with me.

        • Kodie

          I just wanted to make sure you were ok. You seemed very worked up. No need to thank me.

  • littleeif

    Jesus already taught us how to pray for a miracle: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass over me; nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.”

  • Jordan Fowler

    There is a question behind that: Why do we try to hang on so strongly to here? Our loved ones and it’s what we know? Why are we not more eager to get home? I am asking myself these questions, too. (Yes, the physical pain stinks. It’s horrible. I don’t wish it on anyone. If I get cancer, I, too, want prayer for healing.) I have to preach to myself the resurrection is our ultimate bodily healing.

  • Christine Wright

    I feel there is something missed in your writing, perhaps you missed this in your thoughts on the topic as a whole. All miracles, no matter what they are, are a means and a sign of God’s power and sovereignty over all things – with the sole intention of leading the unsaved to salvation, and the saved a greater knowledge of and understanding of God.

    Healing, like any other miracle, isn’t to stop trials, we are promised we will have them, even the best of us will have our own trials. Death comes for us all, we must pass from this life to the next, one way or another. Would it be nice if there were no trials? Sure, but even Job (who was righteous) had trails. We are promised trials. If our healing does not speak to the unsaved about God and salvation, it’s worthless.

    Every single healing in the Bible had a specific purpose of bringing people closer to God. Nabeel Qureshi HAD his ministry – God decided that the ministry he had was enough, and that it was done and time to come home. There was no need for another ministry of God’s power from him. He fulfilled his purpose… We should rejoice in that and not wonder why God did not have more work for him on earth.

  • Hildabeast

    When someone asks me to pray for something they want, 10 out of 10 I ignore them. I just pray for God’s will for them.

Jesus, ‘Thou Art Fairer Than the Children of Men’
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