For he doth not afflict willingly - It is no pleasure to God to afflict men. He takes no delight in our pain and misery: yet, like a tender and intelligent parent, he uses the rod; not to gratify himself, but to profit and save us.
But it is not always safe to ask for unconditional healing. Let your prayer include this thought: “Lord, Thou knowest every secret of the soul. Thou art acquainted with these persons; for Jesus, their advocate, gave His life for them. He loves them better than we possibly can. If, therefore, it is for Thy glory and the good of these afflicted ones to raise them up to health, we ask Thee in the name of Jesus, that health may be given them at this time.” In a petition of this kind, no lack of faith is manifested. CH 375.1
The Lord “doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13, 14. He knows our heart, for He reads every secret of the soul. He knows whether or not those for whom petitions are offered would be able to endure the trial and test that would come upon them if they lived. He knows the end from the beginning. Many will be laid away to sleep before the fiery ordeal of the time of trouble shall come upon our world. This is another reason why we should say after our earnest petition; “Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done.” Luke 22:42. Such a petition will never be registered in heaven as a faithless prayer. CH 375.2
The apostle was bidden to write, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13. From this we can see that all are not to be raised up; and if they are not raised to health they should not be judged as unworthy of eternal life. If Jesus, the world's Redeemer, prayed, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me,” and added, “nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39), how very appropriate it is for finite mortals to make the same surrender to the wisdom and will of God. CH 375.3Read in context »
[Gospel Workers, 239-241 edition, (1915).]
I am pained at heart as I see so many feeble ministers, so many on beds of sickness, and so many closing the scenes of their earthly history—men who have carried the burden of responsibility in the work of God, whose whole heart was in their work. The conviction that they must cease their labor in the cause they loved was far more painful to them than their sufferings from disease, or even death itself. CH 563.1Read in context »