Paul believed God could remove his “thorn” but modeled trust when the Lord chose not to heal him.
If God is all-powerful, why do we witness so few miraculous healings? There are many reasons for this. Sometimes we do not ask Him. Other times, we might ask but with wrong motives or a lack of faith. And then there is the reason that we do not like to hear: God may choose not to heal.
Beware of theology that promises healing to anyone who asks. This is not biblical. The problem is not inability; God is able to heal anyone and anything. And be careful if someone claims the lingering illness is the result of sin. This may be true, but often our heavenly Father, in His great love and unfathomable wisdom, allows our ailments to persist.
Consider Paul, who asked the Lord three times to remove his “thorn.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.) Yet it remained. We can learn from his response—he did not question God’s authority, nor did he complain. Instead, recognizing that divine strength would show through his weakness, Paul trusted God.
We, too, can believe that God will work all things for good in His children’s lives (Rom. 8:28). In fact, character growth usually occurs in times of suffering, loss, or hurt. While adversity is uncomfortable, we can feel hope and joy in what our Father is accomplishing through painful times.
Ultimately, God brings glory to Himself and good to His children. There are instances when this involves miraculous healing, but He often refines us by allowing the hardship. As with silver and gold, impurities are usually removed from hearts in the fiery furnace of life’s struggles. Trust God’s plan and rest in His love.