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I have pondered this question for a couple of days now and offer solely my personal faith based perspective herein. Having just had a first time, 10 day hospitalization in early October, during which I was diagnosed with some pretty heavy duty conditions, I turned to the Lord in my weakness for when I am weak, HE is strong! Through the trials He buoyed me up, gave me great joy and perseverance and ultimately played a big part in my recovery. I still have miles to go, but I used that time to testify to all my doctors and health care providers for His glory. Maybe He will heal me (I believe He will!) or maybe He will use this and me to bring others to Christ. Either way, He will never leave me. So, if God has the right to give or take life, I believe God's hand is in everything, including bringing the health care providers into the picture, healing someone miraculously, or alternatively, allowing someone to succumb to disease. Medicine as a science, is based on God's design, and the talents that physicians and health care providers have, are also God given. So to say that medicine doesn't perform miracles is to separate God from all of those scenarios, and I do not feel that is accurate. Yes, human beings can only do so much, but even when one is not healed, God has made a decision for good reason, oftentimes beyond our comprehension as to why. It is our faith and trust in Him that sees past the tragedies and loss, and in many cases, strengthens our faith. Remember the woman whose faith healed her? She believed just touching Jesus' garment would be sufficient, and it was and HE said so! Aren't all times when our lives are seen as finite, opportunities for our faith to grow, strengthen and for us to be victorious in HIM? Blessings from God come in many shapes and forms, and miraculous healing happens frequently - just ask anyone who works in health care how often a patient recovered when the prognosis looked bleak. Bringing a team together to heal someone, or taking someone, is God's design TOO, or so I believe. How often do we hear someone say 'It's a miracle!"? We close our eyes to the miracles of today, but they are everywhere around us for the Lord, our God, is a very involved God. When someone doesn't recover we often blame God, but in that too there is design and purpose that we just can not comprehend. So I believe anything that has God's hand in it is a miracle, and His hands are everywhere in all things. Praise the Lord for His glory in all things!
According to the dictionary: "A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws." My opinion is that according to this meaning, no human being has the power to do miracles of themselves. But they can receive power to work miracles by the Holy Spirit. Take a look at the following scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (KJV)1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. These gifts are available to all that have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for a person to use as needed by the power of the Holy Spirit. You noticed there is "working of miracles" in these gifts. The gifts are not a learned or educated process by man. They are spiritually given. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries has some good resources on The Gifts of the Spirit. My opinion about healing by miracles is that it is done instantly without medical assistance and can't be explained by human intelligence. As with medicine it is done gradually and can be explained. Miracles do not require surgery or removal of body parts. What about healing by medicine? The dictionary says healing (literally meaning to make whole) is the process of the restoration of health to an unbalanced, diseased or damaged organism. My opinion healing by medicine is a learned science. It can be done over and over again with the assistance of man. God created the human body under normal circumstances to heal itself. That is why we have fever because the body is trying to fight off the affliction to the body. Thru time man has been able through the use of herbs and various other concoctions to come up with the ability to help the body heal itself. Science has been able to make synthetic drugs of the natural healing remedies. And they do allow the body to heal. People go to colleges to learn how to use these various remedies and also become schooled in surgeries and other practices of medicine to help heal the body. Can this ability to learn this be a gift from God. It could be. My Opinion is that God has allowed people to be more gifted or talented in all walks of life. But for the most part people have the ability to learn different things through a natural process that is not a Spiritual Gift from God. I hope that something I have written will help you with this issue.
In my personal opinion, healing by a miracle restores to perfection, to a state that is even better then before the illness started, and heals the spirit as well. Think about when Naaman the leper was healed by Elisha in the book of Kings, his skin was restored and as soft as a baby's skin. This is just one example. Healing by medicine usually has side effects during the treatment and sometimes does not achieve what hoped for, medicine's healing is most of times temporary as well and your illness may come back after a while, beside it will hardly restore you to a perfect state, even though God has enabled doctors to carry out an outstanding performance nowadays.
As Vanessa pointed out, medicine does not always heal completely or permanently. Modern day medicine seems almost miraculous at times but pales in comparison to the miracles performed by the Lord and his apostles. A biblical miracle has two outstanding characteristics that modern medicine cannot claim. 1. The miracle completely, totally and permanently healed the individual. 2. The healing was instantaneous. In the case of our Lord's healings, Matthew 12:15 states : "But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;" "And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." (Luke 6:19) There was no testings, exams or lab work, the Lord healed them ALL. Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
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