By His stripes I am healed
Centuries before Jesus was born Isaiah (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV) predicted that “by His stripes we are healed” and Peter (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV) claimed Jesus as the One, “by whose stripes you are healed.” When I am sick, do I believe that by Jesus’ stripes I can be healed?
Jesus came to save us and to heal us. In the New Testament, the Greek word sozo is translated “save” or “heal.” In Mark 5:23 Jairus asked Jesus to lay hands on his sick daughter, “That she may be healed.” And in Acts 2:47 it is recorded that “. . .the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Sozo is the Greek word used in both verses. It is used interchangeably to mean “save” or “heal.” Since we know it is God’s will to forgive us our sins and save us, we must also accept the fact that it is His will to physically heal us and make us well.
Often our sicknesses are due to “chemical imbalance.” The causes of the chemical imbalance could be due to stress—emotions of anger, fear, hate, insecurity, anxiety, bitterness, lust, greed, etc—or viruses and bacteria or whatever. However, when these chemicals in our body are balanced and taken care of, either by taking the medicine we trust and/or by believing in and accepting forgiveness from Jesus, we normally get well. In many instances Jesus told the person that his sins were forgiven and he was healed or saved. For example, Jesus heals a paralyzed man let down through the roof at Capernaum by forgiving his sins (Luke 5:17-26) and He saves a woman who came to Him by forgiving her. (Luke 7:37-50)
Healing and health are free gifts from God, just as salvation is a gift from Him. Do I have the faith to accept and receive this healing? But like all gifts it all depends on how the person receives it. For example:
My friend gives me a shirt; I can wear it often or I can keep it in the cupboard.
He gives me a watch; I can wear it or I can keep it in the drawer.
He gives me a painting; I can hang it in the living room or hide it in the attic.
I can receive and treat the gift as of no value and of no benefit to me or I can make the gift useful for me and of great worth to me.
Jesus bore my suffering and illnesses and I can claim my gift from Him that “by His stripes I am healed.” How? One way is to constantly pray and repeat this phrase together with the following phrase, “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” (Philippians 4:13 TEV) until they seep into my subconscious and become second nature to me. This does not mean that I will do nothing for myself. To have such an attitude would be like a man hopping on one leg. I will not be able to sustain and move far.
What I need also to do is to make use of the other leg. What is the other leg? It is action. Prayer and action are the two legs that can move me forward, without the temptation to give up. What this mean is that when I am overtaken by sickness or adversity I must seek whatever remedy Jesus affords me. But, will I be tempting His divine providence, if I don’t do my best? Doesn’t my best mean that I must not be lazy or apathetic or slovenly in my attempts? Thus, I must act and do whatever I can—use my intelligence, experience, consult doctors, family, friends, Internet, experts, prayers and whatever Jesus has put within my reach—and then calmly endure and patiently await the outcome. If Jesus sees fit to cure my sickness or to overcome my adversity I will thank Him joyfully. But if, on the other hand, He permits the sickness or the adversity to persist, I need to vigorously steel and battle myself to surrender to His will for me. Meanwhile, I must still maintain that faith and sing praises to the Lord and rejoice always in His kindness. In another word, pray fervently for the grace to act as Mother Teresa advises: “Accept whatever He gives—and give whatever He takes with a big smile.” (A Gift for God, 46) I have to believe that God will guide my life. I have to believe that joy can come amidst my suffering just as crushed grapes can produce delicious wine. I have to believe that God is preparing me to “bear much fruit” (John 15:2 TEV).Such an attitude is vital for my long term health and well being.
Today, it is up to us to receive or not to receive Jesus’ gift of healing. This gift of healing is freely given by Jesus, but will we have the faith to claim it? Before we can benefit from Jesus’ gift of healing we have to be convinced that healing must be believed and received, just as forgiveness of sins must be believed and received. So, do we have the faith to accept and receive Jesus’ gift of healing? It is important to note that Jesus “could do no mighty work” in His hometown because the people there did not believe Him. (Mark 6:5-6) Similarly, Jesus “could do no mighty work” to our illnesses if we don’t believe and receive His healing for us.
The passages below are taken from the booklet, “GOD’S BENEFIT—HEALING” byMarilyn Hickey, published in 1981.
One of the most important things to be considered when choosing a job is the benefits offered. Employers talk about “fringe benefits,” “health benefits,” “dental benefits,” “maternity benefits,” “travel benefits,” and others. A good question to ask, whether you’re applying for a job or maybe even considering an insurance policy, is, “What are the benefits?”
I like this definition for “benefit”: “anything contributing to an improvement in condition.” A benefit should improve our condition! That’s why we like all those benefits—because they make things better for us.
Do you know that God has benefits for His children? He does! They’re benefits that really improve our condition. Psalm 68:19 (KJV) says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits. . .” Two of those benefits are listed in Psalm 103:2-3 (TEV): “Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” Aren’t those two wonderful benefits? I don’t know of any employer who offers benefits like those!
Would you ever work for someone and not accept their benefits? That wouldn’t be very smart, would it! We’d never consider doing something like that in the natural; but I want you to know, there are many people who refuse God’s benefits!
People say to me, “I don’t believe it is God’s will to heal everyone,” or, “I don’t believe this is the dispensation for healing.” But if you’re a child of God, one of the benefits of that relationship is healing for your physical body. “. . . forget not all his benefits.. . Who healeth all thy diseases.”
Human nature is funny to me. In the day that Jesus walked upon the earth, the Pharisees didn’t become upset over His healing of the sick; they became upset about His forgiveness of sins. In our day it’s just the opposite! People don’t become upset when you say that Jesus forgives sins, but mention that Jesus heals sickness and they really get ‘up-tight.” Actually, it’s the same old enemy, fighting against the full message, the entire Good News, of what Jesus wants to do for mankind. God wants to forgive us of our sins, thus allowing Him to give us a new life and nature; and He also wants to heal our physical body. Don’t forget all His benefits!
Psalm 103:3 is very revealing. It shows how forgiveness and healing go hand in hand: “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” They shouldn’t be separated!
. . .
Healing is not something new. God’s healing begins in the Old Testament and flows throughout the New Testament. It continues to flow to day! I always take the overall view of the Bible on any topic. Some people say that they just like to study the New Testament, and some people like to study the Old Testament. I like to study both because then I think I get the full message of what the Lord is trying to say to me.
HEALING IN THE WILDERNESS
God wants His people well, but it is up to us to make the decision to walk in health. One thing that works against good health is murmuring[grumbling, complaining, whining]. Numbers 16 records how the Israelites murmured against Moses and against Aaron. Verse 49 says that 14,700 people died in the plague that followed the murmuring. The Bible says that a lot more were going to die, but Aaron made intercession as a priest, and stopped the plague. Jesus is our great High Priest, and He has come down to the people to stop the plague of sin and sickness. He does not want us to be sick. He wants us to be healed. He wants to improve our condition.
There was another time that the Israelites murmured. Numbers 21 tells of how “… the people spake against God and against Moses. . .” Fiery serpents came against the people and began to bite them. The people became sick and were dying. The Lord gave Moses a remedy: “Make a brass serpent Moses. Put it high on a pole, and everyone who looks at it will be healed.”
Jesus referred to that incident when He said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. . “(John 3:14). Everyone who looks to Jesus will be saved eternally. When we lift up Jesus as Savior, He heals people of sin; and when we lift Him up as Healer, people are healed physically, just as the Israelites were healed physically.
If people are not being healed in your church, maybe it is because Jesus is not lifted up as Healer. If those people in the wilderness hadn’t looked up to the serpent, they would not have been healed. If you don’t look up to Jesus to be your Healer, you will remain sick and in pain. It is very, very important that He be lifted up as Healer, as well as Savior.
HEALING IN THE PSALMS AND PROVERBS
“Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy. He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.” (Psalm 103:2-5 TEV).
You don’t have renewed youth unless you have good things in your mouth. If you murmur, you are going to be sick and cut short your life span, and you will be weak while you are alive. But if you speak good things (who Christ is; what He’s done) the benefits are that He forgives your iniquities, He heals you of disease, He redeems your life, He crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, He satisfies you with good things, and He renews your youth. Those are the benefits of Jesus! Don’t neglect any of them. Don’t say, “Well, He forgave me of my sins—that’s enough.” Take them all. They’re all your benefits. Step up for every one of them!
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen to my words. Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart. They will give life and health to anyone who understands them.” (Proverbs 4:20-22).
God has given us the Word to bring life and to bring health. We have the heavenly prescription for good health: attend to the Word by listening to it (which implies obeying it), reading it, and meditating on it. God is always wanting to improve your condition by giving you health for all your flesh.
If you are not in the Word every day, if you are not confessing the Word, I don’t believe that you have that health flowing through you all the time. Jesus said, “My words are spirit and they are life.” If you are not using the Word, then I do not believe that you have that life flowing in you all the time. I think that is one reason why Christians decay and fall apart, because they haven’t kept the life principle of the Word in them all the time.
Have you noticed that sometimes when you get up in the morning the devil really hits you? Maybe you had a bad dream, or things were not going very well, and the enemy talks to you and says, “This day is going to be a drag. It’s going to be terrible. You’ve got all these things to do, and everything is falling apart around you.”
When that happens, I pray and go through the Scriptures that I’m confessing that day. After I’m through confessing the Word, there is something of life that begins to go around inside of me. Then I think, “This isn’t a bad day. This is the best day of my life!” The Word has brought life into the situation. That’s a wonderful principle, and we need to exercise it every day.
HEALING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Very early in His ministry, Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read. He was handed the book of Isaiah and read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-1 9).
He said that He was “… To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” What is “the acceptable year of the Lord”? I believe it refers to the year of Jubilee, mentioned in Leviticus 25. Every fiftieth year the trumpet was sounded and liberty was proclaimed throughout all the land. Everyone who owed debts and everyone who was in trouble was set free to go back and claim their own land. It was a beautiful time when everyone celebrated.
When Jesus stood up and said, “This is the acceptable year of the Lord,” He was saying, “This is Jubilee! You can claim back all your possessions that Adam lost to Satan.” The brokenhearted could be healed, the captives could be set free, the blind could receive their sight, people who were bruised emotionally could be set free. Jesus was standing up, and, in a sense, blowing a trumpet and saying, “This is Jubilee! There’s Good News! Get back all your possessions that you lost in Adam. I’ve got them all back for you.” One of those possessions is divine health. Jesus got it back for you. Claim healing as your rightful possession.
You have every legal right to claim your healing, and I want to consider this carefully. In Matthew 8:17 there is a reference all the way back into Isaiah 53. Jesus had just physically
“. . .healed all that were sick. . .” in that area, and the Bible says He healed them “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness.”
Isaiah, speaking of the suffering Savior, said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our transgressions. It was on the same cross and by the same suffering that Jesus paid the price for our healing. We have every legal right to forgiveness of sins because Jesus bore our sins for us. We have the same legal right to healing because Jesus bore our sickness and carried our diseases.
Do you believe it? Are you sure it’s true? Healing must be believed and received, just as forgiveness of sins must be believed and received. The reason I know that is true is found in the first verse of Isaiah 53: “Who would have believed what we now report? Who would have seen the Lord’s hand in this?” Are you going to receive this report, or are you going to turn it down? Receive it today!
HEALTH AND OLD AGE
Some people will look for any excuse to be sick! They will say, “Well, you know, your body just wears out when you get older, and you’re bound to be sick.” Really? Let’s read what the Bible says:
“The days of our years are three score and ten” (Psalm 90:l0a).
“0 my God, take me not away in the midst of my days” (Psalm 102:24).
“Why shouldest thou die before thy time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:17b)
“Well, Marilyn, if people never get sick, how are they going to die? They can’t live forever.”
The Word says, “Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust” (Psalm 104:29b). God can take away your breath and you just go, and that’s it! The Old Testament doesn’t talk about the patriarchs dying in agony with a big cancer on each side of their head. It says, “They gathered up their feet and were gathered up to their people.” That was it. They seemed to know when they were going to die.
Paul, in the New Testament, said, “You know, I’d really like to die; I would far rather go on, but I’ve made a choice that you need me more. I’m going to stay around a while longer.” Paul believed that he had authority over his life span. And I do too! I’m just that radical. I believe that there is a life span that we can have, and when it is time, we can say, “OK Lord, I believe that I’ve fulfilled what You told me to do. I’m willing to go on now.” At that time I believe He can take our breath, and we’ll be gone.
I don’t believe that we are to die in defeat. It bothers me when I see Christians suffering, and I don’t believe that you should wait until you are seventy years old to start claiming strength for your old age. I think that every day you should thank God for the “law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that sets you free from the law of sin and death.
Start planning and planting right now for your older years to be strong and healthy. Don’t wait. That doesn’t mean that you can break all of the health rules either. People who do not brush their teeth are going to get cavities. You can’t say, “I just gave up that old devil toothbrush.” I think you should take care of your body, feed it properly, and give it rest. I also believe that we should thank God every day for the divine health that flows through us. We should still be at our best at the time the Lord calls us home. We can say, “OK Lord. I’ve completed Your plan for me. Take me home. I’m ready to go.” Don’t go sick—–go in health!
HEALING AND THORNS
There’s another favorite excuse people like to use to justify staying sick—–Paul’s thorn in the flesh. I want to discuss Paul’s thorn, but most of all I want to tell you, “Don’t look for excuses!” When you are believing for healing, and people come to you with negative reports, don’t receive them into your spirit. I don’t think you have to slap the person down and say, “Shut up! I don’t want to hear you.” But I think you can say in your own spirit, “I just don’t receive this. This isn’t mine. I’m not going to take this into my spirit. I’m standing on the Word, and I believe that I have received.”
When you begin to walk in faith in the area of healing, the devil will test you and test you. Sometimes people will bring certain Scriptures to you, and they’ll say, ‘See, it isn’t always God’s will to heal!” One thing they will always bring up is Paul’s thorn in the flesh. I’m going to expose the devil right now so that he can’t use Paul’s thorn to create doubt in your mind and cause you to not believe God for your healing.
The first thing we need to do is read the Bible instead of listening to what other people say about Paul’s thorn. Carefully read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. There fore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Now, people will say, “See Marilyn, he was sick! And God didn’t remove his sickness because His grace was sufficient. And sometimes more glory is given to God for people to be sick and endure it and be sweet before the Lord than if they got healed.” Have you ever heard that story? Maybe you told it in the past! I know that I have visited with some in the past, and they have said, “Well, I’m a real blessing being sick like this because people come here and I can comfort and strengthen them.” Sometimes people say, “I went to pray for sister Jones, and she was so sick. But, when I left, she had ministered to me. I just wonder if her sickness wasn’t in the will of God so that she could show how she endured illness in Jesus.”
Those are all suppositions. When you begin to rationalize, you find yourself in trouble with the Word of God. You can end up rationalizing away God’s promises! I know because I have done it. It happens like this. You think, “Well, if Paul had a thorn in the flesh, and he’s more spiritual than I am, then I suppose sickness is my thorn, too.” Don’t rationalize the Word. Don’t “suppose” yourself into being sick! Before you go confessing something about sickness, you had better know what the Word really says!
The best way to understand the Bible is to let the Bible interpret the Bible. Doesn’t that make sense? The Bible tells us very plainly what Paul’s thorn was. Paul knew the Old Testament intimately. He had memorized great portions of it. Old Testament examples and quotes and expressions are abundant in his writings. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul uses an Old Testament expression to describe what it was that was given to him. Read Numbers 33:55: “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”
And Joshua 23:13: “Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.”
And Judges 2.3: “Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”
What, according to the Bible, are thorns? Sickness? No! Thorns are people. Now go back to 2 Corinthians 12. What are thorns? They are simply people. Did you ever have some people who were thorns to you? Maybe a nasty relative! Scripturally speaking, thorns are people, not sickness.
Paul describes what the thorn was doing. “It was the messenger of Satan to buffet me.” Buffet means “to hit.” And messenger here means “an angel of Satan.” A fallen angel was coming along and beating on him.
Ananias prophesied when he met Paul. He said, “Paul, you’re going to suffer many things for the name of Jesus. You’re going to be persecuted.” And sure enough, every place that Paul went he was persecuted. They physically hit him, they stoned him, they beat him. Who was inciting all those things? Satan. Paul saw behind the people and knew that Satan was behind the persecutions.
The Bible does say that Paul was sick at the beginning of his ministry (Galatians 4:13), but the Bible also says that at the end of his life he said, “. . . I labored more than all of them. .” That doesn’t sound like a very sick man, does it? It sounds like he was healed and went on to labor for the Lord.
Some say that Paul had an eye disease and that he had running pus coming from his eyes. But the Bible doesn’t say that! The Bible says in Acts that people took aprons from Paul’s body and put them on the sick and they were healed. Paul had divine health flowing through him!
Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities. . .” Was Paul speaking of sickness there? According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, infirmities mean “want of strength, weakness, indicating inability to produce results.” Paul was rejoicing in his own inability to do anything for the Lord. “. .. for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Paul listed his infirmities in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30 and never once listed sickness! We need to know these things so that the devil has no ground to put sickness on us!
No matter how much you talk to some people, they’ll still fight to keep their sickness. Even if you convince them from the Scriptures that Paul’s thorn was not sickness, they’ll still say, “Well Marilyn, I just don’t think that it’s God’s will to heal everyone.” I want to let you read what the Bible says about that. The Word is very clear regarding God’s will to heal all. Jesus is God’s will in action (John 5:19). What did Jesus do when confronted with sickness?
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35).
I want you to have so much Scripture, and so much faith in the Word, that you would be ashamed to be sick anymore. Does that Scripture say that He healed some sickness? No, He healed every sickness and every disease.
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1).
“But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from there; and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15).
Is it His will to heal part of the people? To heal how many? ALL!
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
It doesn’t say He just healed part of them. It says, “. .he healed their sick.”
“And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased, And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole” (Matthew 14:35-36).
It is His will to heal all. Everyone who touches Him is made perfectly whole.
“And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people, out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, And they that were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him; for there went virtue out of him, and HE HEALED THEM ALL” (Luke 6:17-19).
Virtue means “miracle working power.” The same word is used when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are filled with power. Did you know that you are filled with miracle working power? That’s why He said to lay hands on people—–so that the miracle working power could come out of you. It wasn’t given just to be in you. It is to flow through you. “And he healed them all.” In His home town He didn’t heal many people, but that was because of their unbelief (Mark 6:6).
God’s benefit package includes healing for your physical body. Will you believe it and receive it? “Who would have believed what we now report?” (Isaiah 53:1 TEV). Will you say, “I do!”? If you’ll believe, the arm of the Lord shall be revealed to you!