Why Doesn’t God Heal Everyone?

Why doesn’t God choose to heal everyone who prays for it? Is there a reason?

Sin and Suffering

If you choose to sin you choose to suffer, and that’s what the world has chosen by choosing to sin. If ever there was a perfect environment it was the Garden of Eden. There was food available for the picking. There were ample supplies of everything Adam and Eve wanted. There could not have been a better environment in which to live, but Adam and Eve, even in this perfect garden, chose to disobey God, and ever since, humanity has suffered the consequences. Some people get sick or get diseases because of their own sins, but others are sick and diseased because of someone else’s sin. We might not be judged for other people’s sins but we can suffer consequences from their sins. People might think we’re a product of our environment, and to a point, that’s true, but as we have seen, even in a perfect environment where everything was “very good” (Gen 1:31), we can still chose to sin and that choice is a choice to suffer. After the fall (Gen 3), human nature took on a sinful nature, and caused humans to be anything but good (Rom 3:10-12). You don’t have to teach a 2 year old to fight for a toy with another toddler. It’s already in their nature, but if we get a disease or get sick because of someone else’s sin, why wouldn’t God heal them since it wasn’t our fault to begin with?

But-he-was-pierced-for (2)

The Suffering Servant

There are far too many people who don’t understand what Isaiah 53:5 is all about. Some claim that where the verse says, “by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5b), is a promise of healing but what is the healing Isaiah is writing about? Is it a promise for God to heal everyone of everything, including the common cold? Did Jesus really die so that you could get over the flue or defeat cancer? Isaiah 53 is not about claiming this verse for themselves and saying they can be healed by Jesus’ wounds. This chapter speaks about Jesus being smitten and afflicted by God (Isaiah 53:4) for our transgressions and our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5a) and it was “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). There is nothing in this chapter about a promise for God to heal everyone who claims this verse. It’s not a “name it and claim it” verse but a verse that resides in a chapter about Jesus’ being brutally beaten and tortured and killed, not so we could get healed, but so that we could have peace with God (Rom 5:1) and have our condemnation lifted (Rom 8:1), because it was Jesus’ “chastisement that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5c), not a chastisement that we can claim to be healed. The greatest healing is not of the physical body but a spiritual healing where our sins are taken away and we are seen as having Jesus’ own righteousness (2nd Cor 5:21). Of course God can heal whom He wants to heal, but He may use our suffering as a way to make us more like Christ and to keep us humble and reliant upon God. We can be healed…but if we die again outside of the faith, what good is that?

Why Suffering?

Suffering has always been a problem on this planet. We can’t get away from the pictures of starving children, abandoned animals, and diseases and sicknesses claiming one life after another. The Apostle Paul wrote “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance” (Rom 5:3), so Paul didn’t pray to have his suffering removed because he knew God was working in him to produce endurance, which Paul would certainly need as the world’s foremost missionary (at least at that time). Suffering is what we naturally tend to avoid but the Apostle Peter wrote that it is “a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly” (1st Pet 2:19), so we should “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1st Pet 4:13). You are certainly not alone if you suffer since “the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1st Pet 5:9). Paul went even further in writing that he shared in Jesus’ suffering “so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10-11). If you suffer, it’s for a reason, since “as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (2nd Cor 1:5). If you suffer from something, you can sympathize with those who suffer from the same thing or something very similar. And most of all, we are sharing in the suffering of Christ, particularly if we suffer from persecution for Jesus’ sake.


Healing is not a given in this world. We can have faith to move mountains but if we are not healed after praying and obeying, we must trust God in all this because even the bad things can be used for good (Gen 50:20). The Christian knows (or at least should know) that whatever happens in this life will work out for our ultimate good, whether it looks like it or not (Rom 8:28), so look at today’s suffering and contrast that with the glory that’s coming, and you’ll see that today’s suffering and the glory that’s coming cannot even be compared (Rom 8:18). Today, as in the past, God is still healing people miraculously, but He has never promised to heal everyone of everything… at least not on this side of the veil (Rev 21:4).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is host of Spiritual Fitness and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • ahermit

    So that innocent little girl on her sixth round of chemotherapy deserves that pain and suffering because it makes God happy to punish her for what Adam did?


    • Jack Wellman

      I don’t see my writing this. Jesus said not all sickness and suffering is from sin.

      • ahermit

        This is what you said:

        Some people get sick or get diseases because of their own sins, but others are sick and diseased because of someone else’s sin. We might not be judged for other people’s sins but we can suffer consequences from their sins.

        So is my young friend being punished for her sins or for Adam’s?
        Or maybe your God is unaware of her suffering? Or it isn’t capable of healing her, or it just doesn’t care?

        Or maybe it just doesn’t exist…

        • pud

          OH no! You’ve befuddled him! Don’t expect any further replies. He is so far gone he’ll do any and everything to avoid having to answer logical tough questions.

          • Sam Andrew

            You have a point…The minute someone starts saying “If you suffer, it’s for a reason, since [insert religious justification here] I think they have passed the point of no return in in terms of trying to rationalize everything that happens through the lens of that religion…that’s the point at which every car crash, hurricane and cancer has nothing to do with physics, meteorology and biology and is all about a God who is fidgeting with every particle in an unseen and bizarre way – no action is too small for said God anymore, not suffering to abhorrent, not rationalization to keep worshiping too absurd. It a bizarre combination of belief to think you are at once insignificant compared to this deity and at the same time this Deity is controlling every atom of your body and judging every t thought that fires in your neural pathways….the cognitive dissonance is startling.

          • pud

            You’re exactly right! The irony is the fact that the christian lunatics sing the praises of the almighty day and night but fail to realize just how diminutive they actually make him! They reduce this celestial dictator to a mere tinkerer…a cosmic dial turner who delights in sticking pins in his little creation all the while demanding under pain of eternal damnation that these lowly creatures love and adore their heavenly captor. They fail to see how cheap they make their imaginary deity who (in their deluded minds) has nothing better to tend to in all the cosmos than their little boo boos and woeful desires. Gods who speak universes into existence don’t need anything and never did from before time until the end of time yet the bleating christians think it’s all about them…everything that ever was or will be is only about them and this fantazamagoric drama they take for actual reality. It’s pitiful, infantile and sadly all too prevalent.

          • Sam Andrew

            Indeed the irony is great, some Christians demean themselves as unworthy “filthy rags”, and fail to realise that by doing so they demean their Gods abilities to create creatures worthy of itself, yet plead to said incompetent deity for forgiveness for what it made…mental circles in spirals and wheels within wheels – it’s all an attempt I think about making oneself feel important and empowered, avoiding admitting the universe is, in a way, a grand mechanism, and all is dust in the end.

            Re “Gods who speak universes into existence”, and yet then goes about ordering people not to eat bacon…I am reminded of a line from Richard Dawkins in a debate with Christian John Lennox…

            “[Mr. Lennox] having produced some sort of a case for a kind of deistic God, perhaps some God the great physicist who adjusted the laws and constants of the universe, that’s all very grand and wonderful then suddenly we come down to the resurrection of Jesus. It’s so petty, it so trivial, it’s so local, it’s so earthbound, it’s so unworthy of the universe.”

          • syllyn

            oops – I obviously replied to the wrong post – sorry! Of course I dont believe in Satan, Im an atheist, but I thought I was talking to some fundamentalist type – they dont really understand the true nature evil and immorality unless you couch it as ‘the devils work’

          • pud

            No worry…Nice to have some rational company in this intellectual dumpster…want to grab dinner?

          • syllyn

            sure, next time you’re in Salt Lake city 🙂

          • syllyn

            The ones who cannot answer ‘tough’ questions are you Christians. You always blame ‘the victim’ (its not god, its MANS fault) and there is never any more cogent or thoughtful, logical or genuine answer to the valid accusations that, if your your deity did exist, he is certainly an exceptionally cruel one, with no redeeming features whatsoever.
            It doesn’t take much in the way of honest reflection to understand that, if your ‘god’ were a man, any decent moral sane human being would be so appalled by his behaviour, we would lock him up in a jail or a mental facility and throw away the key.
            Your God is not, by anyone’s standards, a ‘good’ god – the old christian excuse that ‘man is evil and deserves all the suffering god can heap upon us’ is well past its sell by date.
            No-one sane or decent or moral could believe that an innocent little child ‘deserves’ some horrific suffering, and that its perfectly OK with them that god should mete out that punishment in return for some human wrongdoing centuries ago.

            Take a moment to consider the fact that your religion is actually the evil in our society. It IS utterly immoral to believe a child, or any other human for that matter, ‘deserves’ pain and suffering simply to appease a god! In that respect you are really no better than the aztecs or mayans, who believe that child sacrifice would appease their gods. You may not be guilty of te actual killing, but you are certainly guilty of offering up the deaths of innocent humans as an erstwhile ‘sacrifice’.
            Christianity (especially in the USA) has long since turned away from the path of morality, away from goodness and right and love. You are locked in the grip of the evil you profess to reject, mired down in hate, biases and discrimination – and you are too far gone to even realize you’re working for ‘Satan’ now.

            You all need enlightenment – try to drop the hate and condemnations you are infamous for, and embrace true understanding and genuine acceptance & love of others.

          • pud

            Don’t know why you’re addressing this to me! I’m the most anti-theist that ever lived!

            Helpful hint ….there is no such thing as satan either…you would be a delusional lunatic as much as christians are if you bought that nonsense

          • Lark62

            I expect this is intended for Jack.

          • pud

            Waste of time trying to reach him. He is so far gone you could show him the bones of jesus and he’d find some way to rationalize his intractable beliefs. Reason and logic bounce right off of him

          • Lark62

            Yes. This.

          • Alex Voon

            Interesting comments, I like to know from you. What is your ‘tough’ questions and do you have the answers?

        • d_henderson1810

          Also, how is it my fault or your fault that Adam and Eve ate from the tree, a tree that God allowed to be in the Garden (rather than removing the tree that they shouldn’t eat from, this giving Adam and Eve no opportunity to sin)?

          Isn’t each person responsible for their own sin? So how I responsible for a decision Adam and Eve made thousands of years ago?

          Sounds like a way for God to keep us down and dependent on Him, so that He can stay on top.

      • Lark62

        Ah yes, the magic moving goalposts. Sickness and suffering are caused by man choosing to sin. Until someone points out how malicious and cruel that is. Then magically not all sickness and suffering is caused by sin. Until the next time you want to make mankind look sinful or need to explain suffering. Then all sickness and suffering is caused by sin.

        Rinse and repeat.

    • Lark62

      Yes. When there is no choice, it isn’t a choice.

      God supposedly created this world. God created evil according to your book. God created humans exactly as they are.

      Accordingly to our host, every human is born sinful deserving eternal torture, but it’s their choice. What!? How does that work?

      Yet cancer is all the fault of humans. The worms that live their entire life cycle in human eyes, eating them from the inside are the fault of humans. The devastating earthquake on Haiti followed by cholera and massive suffering was all because gays in America were having unapproved sex and marrying people they loved. Just ask Pat Robertson.

      And if this god, who takes no responsibility for the suffering he created, doesn’t get ceaseless praise and adoration, he throws a tantrum and tortures people.

      Jack, your petty, vicious, cruel, suffering-loving judgmental deity does not exist. He is a product of your own warped imagination and a reflection of your true self.

      • Hilary

        That worm is more honest. It’s not in our eyes as judgement but simply as a creature living it’s life in the environment it’s adapted to. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to eradicate it, but it’s not a conscious decision made in judgement against us by a supposedly omnipotence being.

        • Lark62

          Yes. How life on the planet evolved is morally neutral. It is what it is. Our planet has beauty and joy and suffering and struggle. It just is. I can accept this.

          But the idea that a supreme allpowerful deity would create the cholera bacteria and the polio virus is demented. One day I realized that nearly every animal that has ever lived on earth died or will die painfully from starvation, disease or being eaten alive. A peaceful pain free death is rare. This was the final straw that released me from the myth of a loving god.

  • The Happy Atheist

    What about the people god NEVER heals? Amputees, for instance. So god just…what? Doesn’t do that sort of thing? He doesn’t like amputees? He heals lots of other stuff, but NOT THAT.

    The reason you have to apply such circuitous, tortured reasoning to this issue is because you are avoiding the simplest and most obvious answer: gods are imaginary.

    • Sam Andrew

      Better yet why didn’t all-knowing and powerful god design human biology such that our cells could detect the loss of a significant limb and regrow it…surely in His infinite foresight he realized people might lose limbs, biological regrowth would be an obvious solution much like the immune system that was ‘designed’ and never fails or attacks the body’s own cells!…but who are we mortal to question such intelligent (?) design…..

      • The Happy Atheist


      • Lark62

        Lizards can regrow legs. Sharks can regrow teeth.

        So why didn’t your perfect all powerful deity give these attributes to the pinnacle of his creation?

        Or, since it failed to give humans these lovely skills, the pinnacle of creation, why doesn’t it step in and fix amputated limbs anyway?

        It will do it for a salamander but not a human?

        • Sam Andrew

          To paraphrase – is God willing to prevent limb loss, but not able?
          Then he is not omnipotent.
          Is he able, but not willing?
          Then he is malevolent.
          Is he both able and willing?
          Then whence cometh limb loss?
          Is he neither able nor willing?
          Then why call him God?”

  • Satanic_Panic

    Why has god NEVER healed an amputee, ever?

  • [Quran 20:117] We said, “O Adam, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So do not let him make you leave the Garden, for then you will suffer. https://goo.gl/oAMH2i

  • Rational Human

    “There are far too many people who don’t understand what Isaiah 53:5 is all about”.

    The irony is strong here Jack. Christians have stolen this and other OT passages to fit their made up mythology, giving credibility by making it an extension of an older more accepted mythology. Is. 53 is not a messianic prophecy, and does not have anything to do with Jesus. Just ask any non-Christian OT scholar.

  • pud

    Let me fix that title for you…It should read…”Why doesn’t god heal anyone”?

    The answer is simple…there is no god let alone your delusional Bronze Age celestial dictator so therefore there is no magical healing done by incantation.

    You write..” if we are not healed after praying and obeying, we must trust God in all this because even the bad things can be used for good” How convenient!! This is what you lunatic cult members do all the time…play tennis without a net! Oh look! gawd answered my prayer…Oh look! gawd didn’t answer my prayer for his good reasons! Are you insane? No need to answer…I already know

    “God is still healing people miraculously,”

    Prove it. Demonstrate one single time where “YOUR” gawd healed anyone…show conclusively that it was the work of an invisible deity…any deity. Then explain why the idiot didn’t just prevent the illness in the first place!

    You have the mind of a sick child

    • syllyn

      Pud, that is being far too cruel and unfair to sick children…….children in general are far kinder and more moral than the christian adults who seek to warp them

    • d_henderson1810

      People do recover and get better. But I am coming around to the fact that this is due to doctors and their knowledge and technology.

      The doctors tried their best to heal my brother and my father, but there isn’t a cure for cancer, or a way to rebuild a heart completely destroyed by a massive heart attack. The docs did their best, but unfortunately, we aren’t at that point in medical technology yet.

      At least they tried. I don’t see God, with all his supposed “divine” power, doing anything.

      • He isn’t because it is highly likely that he doesn’t exist.

  • Sam Andrew

    Wow what a strange concoction of rationalizations for suffering, ultimately believing everything is part of God plan or design is ultimately just a way of justifying everything that ever happens. I wonder would anyone truly say “look at today’s suffering and contrast that with the glory that’s coming, and you’ll see that today’s suffering and the glory that’s coming cannot even be compared” to a child being abused? I understand people want their suffering to have a reason, a cause, and a payoff in the future, and perhaps that is the essence of belief in God, humans trying to attribute their evolved sense social reciprocity onto the universe at large by generating an all-powerful chief/father figure to balance the inequalities that result from living in a mechanical indifferent universe.

    “Some people get sick or get diseases because of their own sins, but others are sick and diseased because of someone else’s sin.” – this is simply not consistent with the image of God presented in the Bible – “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the father. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deuteronomy 24:16, and “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18. The God of the Old Testament does not allocate punishment for sins in any consistent way (possibly reflecting the fact the authors observed it didn’t happened that way, indeed the book of Job completely discounts any type or relationship between ones moral actions and ones suffering) but nor does it promise much in the way of a balancing or any meaning to suffering in the end. The only logical conclusion is Gods order in the world, if it exists at all, and the reason for suffering is mechanical, not moral, it is about particles, and chemistry not good and evil.

    Any attempt to rationalize suffering or justify it with a greater good falls flat as that is simply not the lived experience of anyone, and is just a vain attempt again to put a moral order on a universe that has none, to make ourselves and our morality a God.

    • d_henderson1810

      “Fathers won’t be put to death for the children, nor children for the father. Every man will be put to death for their own sin. ”

      Except that God cursed all of mankind because of Adam and Eve’s sins. So God makes us all sinners, even from birth, when a baby draws its first breath, when it was two people, at the start of time who, when God said “jump”, they didn’t say “How high?”

      • Sam Andrew

        No sure where it says in the Genesis account that God made everyone a sinner by default, the curses related very specifically to child birth and agricultural difficulties. Only a few very particular strands of Christianity believed everyone was born a sinner, unfortunately by accident of history they became dominant in some areas.

      • “God makes us all sinners, even from birth…”

        So is that why god is alleged to have commanded the Israelites to commit mass murder (genocide) because the people were especially wicked? The genocide general Joshua carried out his task with great enthusiasm (at least on some occasions) butchering defenceless women, little children and babies with the sword, then to make sure he did a thorough job he burnt the cities to the ground.

        This barbaric Joshua didn’t allow for any healing of relationships. He obeyed the brutal dictator in the sky, the guy who commanded mass murder , because these people were supposedly so evil. What a warped mind!

        He’s the same guy who sends plagues on people, who brings diseases etc. Anyone who believes all this nonsense should ask themselves why god never answers their prayers for a new limb when it has been severed.

        The guy in the sky is a myth.

  • Lark62

    Why doesn’t your god heal everyone? Or anyone?

    For the exact same reason my invisible pink unicorn hasn’t healed anyone.

    • Etranger

      Another creepy pedophile trolling Christians blogs.

      Go back to your kiddie porn, you disgusting poofter.

      • Lark62

        Yet more proof that your imaginary deity is totally powerless, does not change lives and does not turn anyone into a “new creature” bathed in supernatural love.

        You aren’t even honest enough to unhide your comment history. You and your deity are frauds.

      • syllyn

        Hmm – except we all know the kiddie porn is specially reserved for all the christian priests and pastors. Or did you ‘forget’ that abusing kids is such a big part of your christian heritage?
        LOL – Christians who have such a tenuous grasp of what morality and decency means, really shouldnt cast aspersions on others.

    • Raymond

      If it’s invisible, how do you know it’s pink? Or that it’s a unicorn.

      • Lark62

        Because I invited my invisible pink unicorn into my heart and she told me. She speaks to me. It’s true because I know it’s true. 😉

        • Raymond

          Well played, sir…well played.

  • Imaginary beings can’t heal anyone, thats why.

  • A fish with no hands

    As Paul said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

    • d_henderson1810

      Considering that Paul (when he was Saul) stood back as Stephen was killed for his faith, he would know all about killing.

  • A fish with no hands

    Cause he doesn’t want to.