A very fundamental principle of Biblical interpretation is that the meaning of a passage is determined by its immediate context. Today, there is a “Word of Faith” movement. Does the Bible refer to such a thing? It sure does. It can be found in Romans 10:8. In what context is this word of faith mentioned? That concerning salvation. I do believe in living and walking by faith, and I personally have many friends who are part of the Word of Faith movement. A basic premise of the Word of Faith is that God’s word is God’s will, and I agree totally.
The problem I have is this: Do they believe that ALL of God’s word is God’s will? For example, is Philippians 4:19 more the will of God than Job 3:16? Was Paul out of the will of God at those times recorded in 2 Cor 11:23-27 because God’s will for “everybody” is found in 3 John 2? Why would Epaphroditus be held in esteem when he was sick while serving the Lord? Hebrews 11 gives us a list of people who by faith in the Lord did great things, INCLUDING, verses 35b-38. Note carefully that all of these people obtained a good report through faith.
Double talk prevails in this false doctrine of the Word of Faith. In regard to physical healing – and I do believe in healing because the Bible says that God heals – they say that God’s will cannot be sickness because there is no sickness in heaven. Question – is not Exodus 4:11 as much Scripture as any other verse? If God didn’t put diseases upon the Egyptians, where did they come from? Secondly, there is no marriage in heaven, but God’s will IS for people to be married on earth. Is Acts 13:11 true? Did blindness come from the hand of the Lord?
Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was unquestionably “a messenger of Satan”. It is irrelevant what that thorn was; God did not take it away. Scripture records that Paul prayed repeatedly about it. He most likely had others pray for him. Having had revelation that it was from Satan, he probably resisted, rebuked, and so forth; but it NEVER went away (this side of Glory).
Selective packaging of “positive Scriptures” is NOT the true word of faith. Is Job 2:10 a lie: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Jesus Christ loves me, cares for me, blesses me; this I know for the Bible tells me so. His will for me includes suffering. In this world tribulation is inevitable. Storms of adversity do come. God is sovereign in good times and bad. If I choose to ignore certain passages of Scripture, I’m not walking in God’s whole counsel. Random, selective reading can only produce random, subjective faith.
Christ is our example of abundant living. Although He was never sick because He was sinless, the bottom line really is that God is always in control. I admit that I see through a glass darkly and I don’t have all the answers, but I can understand what I read and my Bible not only talks about salvation, healing and provision, but it also talks about sickness, poverty, hurting, and pain. There’s triumph and tragedy, healing and hurting, laughter and crying. I do groan with all creation, and I do not expect heaven on earth until the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:6) becomes a literal reality.
The victory that I have is found in Christ apart from my circumstances or health. I’m looking up. I’m clinging to His mercies and trusting in His faithfulness. I concur with the word of faith in Romans 10:8,9: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Read His word and learn of His forgiveness and love. You’ll discover that earth is not your home, nor is it all that nice a place to live. God’s kingdom brings sunshine into the midst of a darkened human race. The wind will not always be behind you, but that’s fine because God assures those who love Him that everything will be okay. Revelation 21:1-4 tells us when.