3 Reasons Faith-Healing Fails

We tend to laugh at those who say, “All you need is a little more faith.” We know better.

But when this one particular daddy can’t stand to see his little boy suffer, he comes in desperation to Jesus. He wonders if this popular Miracle-worker can do anything about it, and get this – Jesus responds with, “All things are possible for one who believes.”

Before we have time to wonder if Jesus has joined the whacked-out, faith-healing camp, we are relieved to discover three clues to the contrary.

1. All things are possible, not guaranteed. Jesus didn’t promise healing. He only stated that healing was possible. All other outcomes were equally so.

All things are possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23

2. Belief in what? All things are possible for one who believes . . . in himself? Santa? Buddha? In those cases, you’re pretty well doomed. As Jesus said to his disciples in a completely different conversation a few weeks later . . .

All things are possible with God. 10:27

3. Unbelief persists. This boy’s daddy believed, and wanted to believe some more, so he cried out for more faith because he knew he hadn’t quite hit the mark. And Jesus didn’t respond with, “Well, you don’t have enough faith yet, so come back later.” He healed the man’s son on the spot. If this healing required any faith at all, it only required some measure of it {and by a second party at that!}.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe. Help my unbelief!” 9:24

If “faith-healing” says, “All you need is a little more faith,” then it fails.

It fails to recognize a desired outcome as one possibility among many, not a promised result. It fails to affirm the persistent unbelief the most believing of persons possesses. And it fails to acknowledge the object of our faith: the Only One from whom any good may come and by whom all things are truly possible.

It seems a much better choice, then, to boldly ask for greater faith, to humbly recognize God’s power and sovereignty, and to finally rest in whatever – whatever – he brings.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]

16 thoughts on “3 Reasons Faith-Healing Fails

  1. There’s so much warmth in this man’s interaction with Jesus, I wish we could be there to experience it for ourselves, maybe then we would understand better who Jesus was and what he offers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  2. Lydia,
    Thank you for this post. One of my favorite scriptures over the years has been, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Our humanness aches to trust, but God doesn’t condemn us for coming up short now and then. His mercy and grace encourage us to keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Right on, right on! Excellent post! Scripture must be taken as a ‘whole’ and must compliment itself, not ‘cherry picked’ to fit a narrative. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE how our Lord allows us to ask for help with our ‘unbelief’…grace upon mercy upon grace♥♥♥ #smallvictoriessundaylinkup

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post! I too love that verse because I can relate to it all to well. It breaks my heart that many, many people give money to the false preachers and teachers on TV who promise total healing of all kinds of things. God has never promised an easy life this side of Heaven, but He has promised to be with us no matter what we go through! Thanks Lydia.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great job explaining healing, Lydia. Too often we can blame the victim that they lacked “enough faith” if they aren’t healed. But that’s not how it works. You’ve got it right here: “It seems a much better choice, then, to boldly ask for greater faith, to humbly recognize God’s power and sovereignty, and to finally rest in whatever – whatever – he brings.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bottom line: God loves me too much to not allow my faith in Him to grow–as well as answering my heart’s desires just because I’m His. Finally, resting. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with Michele. While miracles from the Lord are fantastic and we can all be strengthened by these accounts, it takes greater faith to live with difficulty than to be delivered from it. And praise God, that he provides whatever we need… all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jesus didn’t promise healing. He only stated that healing was possible. Powerful words. I am going to post them on my facebook. Loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We wonder why healing evades us when we so desperately need a touch from the hand of Jesus. Those who pray for healing and there are no results cannot blame the person for now having enough faith. Rather the blame rests on the person praying because there are gifts of the Holy Spirit when operating in a powerfully filled believer will bring results. There are many in full time ministry who are operating in these gifts, but my hope is that more believers will seek the face of God and cry out to become endowed themselves to see results and not excuses. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.


  10. Very well said! One of the hardest lessons to learn is that it is not always God’s will to heal us. He is always concerned most with our heart, and giving him praise through any physical struggle is a worthy goal in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for this, Lydia. The “you just need more faith” movement has always rubbed me the wrong way. Jesus said that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed – that’s it! And that faith grows into a mighty tree through the work of the Holy Spirit – not by anything we can muster up. Also, healing may not be simply physical healing, but most of the time, it is a promise of healing from SIN. God will always heal us from our sin when we ask Him to. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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