God used the apostles to heal:
Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. . . The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Acts 5:12, 16
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. Acts 9:32-34
This is one of those dangerous places where some are tempted to say, “see that! We can expect healing, too!”
My response is that God can certainly heal people if chooses. But he doesn’t always choose to do so. And he is still kind and strong and gracious and merciful.
And we should not confuse what Jesus was able to do with what the apostles were able to do. Jesus healed out of his own authority and power over creation, always in perfect obedience to the Father. The apostles needed God; in themselves they had no power and no authority and no ability to change anyone’s physical condition.
Very early in his pastoring at Bethlehem, Pastor John addressed the issue of healing:
That is my theology of sickness in a nutshell. First, in this age all creation, including our bodies, has been subjected to futility and enslaved to corruption. Second, there is a new age coming when all those who endure to the end in faith will be set free from all pain and sickness. Third, Jesus Christ came and died to purchase our redemption, demonstrate its character as both spiritual and physical and give us a foretaste of it now. Fourth, God controls who gets sick and who gets well, and all His decisions are for the good of His children even if they are painful. Fifth, we should pray for God’s help both to heal and to strengthen faith while we are unhealed, and should depend on the Holy Spirit’s intercession when we don’t know which to pray for.
Finally, we should always trust in the power and love of God even in the darkest hour of suffering.
John Piper, Christ and Cancer, August 17, 1980.
Amen! We can always trust God.