In the last chapter we referred to substantial healing. We want to point out that when we use the word substantial, we must recognize two things. The first thing is that there is the possibility of substantial healing, but the second is that ‘substantial’ does not mean ‘perfect’.
The bible makes the possibility of miracles very clear, and most of us have experience wherein we have seen or heard of miracles inside of our life circle of relationships. Thus our experience confirms this biblical teaching of miracles. And when we look at the historical biblical story, we see miracles in which God reached down into history and completely healed, either physically or psychologically, at a certain point of time. But we must point out that both Scripture and experience show that while sometimes God does this, sometimes he does not. This is not always a matter of faith, or of the lack of faith. God is personal, and he has his own purposes. Just because a person is not healed physically, we must not assume that this necessarily implies a lack of faith.
Let us notice that even when God does heal a person perfectly in one illness, that person may not be in perfect health. Here is a person with a hernia, let us say, who is completely healed of the hernia in answer to prayer. God has done this miracle in answer to prayer, in response to faith, and according to his own purpose. But this does not mean that this person is now at all points physically perfect. He may have a headache that very night! Thus, even such a miracle falls properly under the term substantial. It is exactly the same with psychological healing. A person may be healed psychologically, but that does not mean he will be psychologically perfect the rest of his life. I often think of Lazarus after he was raised from the dead. He surely had physical sickness after this; he may have had psychological depression; and we must remember that eventually he died again. The results of the Fall continue until the second coming of Christ.
Now grasp this…if we refuse to accept, or move to a place—physically, morally, or psychologically—short of perfection, we will not have what we can have. I am not to set myself at the center of the universe and insist that everything bend to the standards that I have set upon my own need or sense for perfection or even a sense of superiority. I am not to say, ‘I must be thus,’ and if it is not thus, there is nothing but psychological despair.
We wait for the resurrection of the body. We wait for the perfect application of the finished work of Christ for the whole of man. We wait for this, but on this side of the Fall, and before Christ comes, we must not insist on ‘perfection or nothing,’ or we will end with the nothing.
In this life, the best-of, highest-most-possible experience of joy, peace, and love are found in the knowledge and experience of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an eternal relationship, begins now and last for eternity. It is the best and most wonderful news of each day.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 15:11 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc