“Going to see a doctor? Don’t you trust God to heal you?” “The only reason why you are not healed is lack of faith !!!”
You might have come across similar conversations many times and heard even preachers and believers claiming, “Going to see doctors or taking medicine means you don’t trust God.” But, is that really the case? Is Christianity against science? If God can heal then why doctors? Does the Bible prohibit you from getting help from doctors or promote healing by faith alone?
It is pretty common among believers to have these kinds of views on faith and healing. I would argue, this is unbiblical and even counterproductive to the gospel. God has created and ordained the world in such a way that natural law can take its course of action for the glory of God. Science is dependent on order and predictability. Medical Science must be seen as a provision of God in His ordered world. We don’t have to make a dichotomy of “Medical science or faith-healing”. Both are not mutually exclusive. One should understand that getting help from a health professional or taking a drug is not a substitute for your faith in God.
There are various mentions of doctors throughout the scripture. Jesus explicitly mentioned, it is the sick who need a physician and not a healthy (Mark 2:17). Jesus affirmed the value of medicine when he told the story of the Good Samaritan(Luke 10:30). As we all know, Luke, the ministry partner of Apostle Paul and author of a gospel account and Acts was himself a physician. I’m reminded of the passage where Satan asks Jesus to jump off the building. There Satan quotes scripture out of context and tells Jesus that God would command His angels to catch Him before hitting the ground. Jesus’ answer was pretty much straight to the point. He countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” To demand healing from God, denying his already given provisions, would be presumptuous and also similar to testing God.
God is not responsible if your sickness gets worse because of your unbiblical views. Our faith is not contradicted or diminished if we use something that God Himself has created for us. There are divine interventions and miracle healings happening to this day. God does that as he pleases, for His glory. This principle can be applied elsewhere too, for instance praying and trusting in God for your marriage or your job, where you can still claim that God's miraculous intervention is alone needed to bring about matters. You also have to use your due diligence and resources and do something about it. You can't just sit around and do nothing while expecting God to perform a miracle in your life. If you are sick, you can pray and ask the Lord to heal you. When you pray, do not doubt (James 1:6). God can bring about healing through miraculous interventions, natural healing processes of the body, and through medicines and surgeries given by doctors. He has also gifted people to be able to perform their healing work.
"Healing is God’s gift. Even if you are healed or not healed, God is glorified."
The reason I told the idea is counterproductive to the gospel is that it entails an extremist or fanatic view of fideism. Most of those people who see medical science at odds with Christianity also see science and faith as counterparts. It also makes an impression on the unbeliever that Christianity is anti-science.
Healing is God’s gift. Even if you are healed or not healed, God is glorified. Paul’s thorn in the flesh glorified God, while in other instances Jesus miraculously healed people which also brought glory to God. So, neither does going to doctors nor not getting healed mean you don’t have enough faith. God is the ultimate healer and doctors can be fruitful instruments in His hands. Being a noble profession, doctors can extend the love and care of God to the sick, leading them to the ultimate giver of life and love. God uses both miracles and secondary causes to execute his eternal plan.
For a Christian, there is meaning and joy even in the midst of sickness and suffering. Your sickness and pain are not wasted. So, you can pray and still trust in God to heal even when you are consulting a doctor. God hasn’t promised to heal everyone in this broken world. It’s at the end of time, there won’t be any mourning, crying, sickness, and pain (Revelation 21:4).