The thought that God is punishing us when we’re suffering is common, especially amongst those who don’t know God very well. It’s understandable when we read of God punishing sin so severely, even visiting people’s sins to the third and fourth generations!
Are you asking yourself this same question?
When I was a child, I just loved the story of Jonah and the Whale. The excitement and thrill that God would send a large fish to swallow someone whole.
As an adult, I see that the whale was saving Jonah and not a punishment for disobedience. In the mind of a child, being in a whale’s tummy was the worst thing that could ever happen! Surely this was punishment?
I remember when I first became unwell, there was an unconscious part of me that probably did wonder if God was punishing me. After all, I was ‘in the whale’s tummy’ and God was the only one to deliver me. But the healing was nowhere to be seen.
IS GOD PUNISHING YOU?
Perhaps there is no explanation, not even from dr’s as to why you’re sick. You’ve prayed and prayed but to no avail. You’re probably angry that you have to live this way.
Maybe you’ve gone through every sin in the book, repenting for everything you’ve ever done wrong, just in case God is punishing you after all.
Cognitively you know God isn’t behind your sickness, but in that moment of distress and confusion, you can’t help but wonder. You remember the God of the Old Testament, destroying cities for their sin. ‘Maybe I’m wrong, maybe God is punishing me after all….’
When we’re hurting or in pain, we don’t often think rationally. We say and think things that in our right minds we wouldn’t. It’s like a coping mechanism. The rational part of our brain switches off and our emotional brain comes online.
‘God why are you doing this to me?….’
Thankfully our loving Father loves us so much He forgives our emotional outbursts.
You may be living with a condition that has plagued your family down through the generations which confirms your belief that this is a generational curse.
The good news, is that you and I, as children of God, cannot be subject to generational curses.
In the Old Testament, God ‘will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Ex 34:7
But this is before the Cross. In the New Testament, God forgives us completely.
Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
We must rightly divide the Word, the sins of the fathers were punished before Jesus died.
The sin of your ancestors cannot impact you or curse you anymore. If you’re ill in your mind or body, the sins of your ancestors is not the cause.
You and I are forgiven for our past, present and future sin. See IS SIN CONSCIOUSNESS HINDERING YOUR HEALING?
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24
In the New Covenant, God cannot judge or punish us. We are resurrected from death (the old life) into life (in Christ).
If you believe that He punishes us (at all), then it devalues Jesus death, and in effect Jesus died for nothing.
We would never accuse God for making us sin, so why would we accuse Him of making us sick? It makes no sense.
CURSES FROM GOD
In the Old Testament, everyone was cursed by the Law. If you broke one commandment, you broke them all. God punished disobedience.
Thankfully we’re living post Cross and can’t be cursed with an illness because Jesus was punished instead of us.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” ),
It’s impossible for God to punish you today: The law of double jeopardy. God cannot punish the same crime twice.
Surely He has borne our griefs [Hebrew, choliy] And carried our sorrows [Hebrew, mak’ob]; Is 53:4
In the original Hebrew the word griefs, [choliy] means ‘sickness’ and sorrows [mak’ob] is translated ‘pains’.
If the Bible tells us that Jesus carried and was punished for our sicknesses at the cross, it stands to reason that God wouldn’t put sickness upon us today.
JESUS THE HEALER
We read in the Gospels of Jesus healing all who came to Him. If this is the case, why would he be healing them if God caused the sickness in the first place?
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38
This verse suggests that it is the devil who oppresses people with sickness, not God. Jesus is the answer to sickness, not the author.
IS GOD TEACHING YOU A LESSON?
Maybe you think that God is teaching you something?
In a way, this is very similar to believing that God causes your illness. Think about it, if you believe he is delaying your healing until you learn something, then you’re accusing God of abusing His power.
Now, as we journey through illness, we no doubt will learn many things: perseverance, hope, how to increase in faith, how to apply Scripture…..the list is pretty in exhaustive.
But these learnings are a consequence of the journey, a by-product if you like.
It’s unfair to claim that God is delaying the healing until you’ve learnt these things. It makes him sound like some kind of tyrant.
Over the years, I hear well meaning Christians time and time again, suggesting that God is delaying their healing until they have learned or dealt with something.
I don’t see this anywhere in Jesus teachings or healings.
The famous verse in Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s plan is to prosper and not harm us. Surely sickness contradicts this? Sickness does harm us so how can it be from God?
If you believe that God wants you sick or is keeping you sick, then why go to the dr? why pray about your situation? why take medicine?
I know of a woman who really believes that her chronic pain keeps her humble and causes her to rely on God. She also believes this is why God won’t take it away. This is sad.
My understanding of God’s chastening, is that this is synonymous with instructing or correcting, not punishment.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
If you’ve raised children, there were times when you needed to show your children right and wrong, for their own benefit, or you may teach them that their actions have consequences.
But God does not use sickness to discipline us. Remember, Jesus carried our sickness.
He usually disciplines us through the Word of God. Let’s say you’re believing a lie, then through reading and studying the Word, you have a revelation and you begin to think differently. That’s correction from God.
Or God may discipline His children with circumstances. For example, He might allow someone who aggravates you to be in your life for you to learn grace or cause every slow driver in your vicinity to drive in front of you for you to learn patience….and so on.
In the early days, I never blamed God for illness, but I did think He was disciplining me by delaying the healing. Do you think this too?
I can’t believe I actually thought this now. If you’re thinking the same right now, I hope this post will help you see your Father’s heart for health and healing.
God isn’t punishing you my friend, nor is He disciplining you with a sickness. I suspect this is the despair and the heartache speaking.
He wants you well more than you do. He sent Jesus to take your sickness to the cross, that’s how much He loves you and wants to heal.
So next time, you’re in a state of distress, or in a fit of anger, remember that everything in this world will tell you God doesn’t love you or that He is responsible for your illness somehow.
If that’s not bad enough, even Christians will convince you that God is waiting for you to sort something out before He heals you.
There is nothing wrong with you. You’re doing really well, God will show you the next step on your journey. Trust Him.
God bless you today,
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