We know from the New Testament that God’s purpose for humanity is for all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2: 4). What is salvation? It is our return to God, acquiring true happiness through the knowledge of the truth and deliverance from sin. Salvation is immersion in the love of God, the acquisition of the grace of the Holy Spirit and growth in the likeness of God. This is the overcoming of loneliness, autonomy of existence, in which man found himself after the fall, in Christ, Who inseparably united the Divine and human nature in Himself.
Many people consider health and well-being to be the main values in human life today. And the Lord, through our prayers, often gives us healing. The number of sick people healed by Jesus Christ and the apostles is incalculable – only the most vivid, instructive cases are described in the Gospel. However, health itself is not a goal. It is necessary for something. If every healthy and prosperous person used his or her physical resources for salvation, in order to make themselves and the world around them better, then we would live in paradise. However, the reality around us is completely different. Often people, initially completely healthy and prosperous, commit improper acts, or even purposefully destroy themselves physically and spiritually. Hence health is a gift from God, which can serve both for our salvation and destruction.
A person suffering from a serious illness or an injury, as experience shows, often thinks about God, the meaning of life, and pays attention to his or her inner world. There are cases – and this is no exception – when, through rethinking their life, repentance and prayer, terminally ill people get completely recovered, so that even experienced doctors shrug their shoulders in bewilderment and cannot explain the miracle that has happened. There are such people among my friends and acquaintances. They remember their illness, if not with gratitude, then with some special deep feeling, because as a result they realized something very important for themselves, and their life after their miraculous recovery has become completely different – conscious, full of meaning, and full of value. It would not have been like this if trouble had not happened to them, which prompted them to radically rethink themselves. Does this mean that only through illness or misfortune can we turn to God? No. But quite often, such cases really become a turning point in a person’s life.
Why doesn’t the Lord heal everyone? Probably because, first of all, He does not strive to give us temporary benefits, but He does everything to bring us to eternal joy, independent of physical health, prosperity and external comfort. In this case, a disease can become a kind of means for spiritual growth, overcoming some vices, gaining the experience of trusting in God, acquiring humility and patience. And secondly, because of the lack of faith in people. God is truly omnipotent. However, His omnipotence recedes before our freedom. Christ worked numerous miracles in Palestine, and when He came to Nazareth, His hometown, then, as the Evangelist Matthew writes, He did not perform many miracles there because of their unbelief (Matt 13:58). If a person does not believe in the possibility of miraculous healing, if there is no ardent prayer request on their part, if they do not want to know anything about God, then God simply has nothing to give an answer to. Healing in this case would be violence against the will of the patient.