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God’s promises and the certainty of healing

From the April 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The historic narrative of Scripture is woven through with God’s promises of hope, well-being, safety, and deliverance. There were promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Nehemiah, Noah, and Kings Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, David, and Solomon—to name a few—that their good purposes would be rewarded, battles would be won, individuals healed and protected, families provided for, lands settled, and wise governments established.

The point of profound importance to us today is, these promises were all kept. In every instance, there was complete follow-through by a loving God who was, and continues to be, ever faithful to His Word. Although each fulfilled promise involved individuals responding to spiritual inspiration and being obedient to divine leadings, in the final analysis, a power much greater than those biblical notables was at work. It was God Himself, bringing forth His loving will for humanity, and revealing man’s heritage of spiritual freedom from the constraints of mortal belief.  

Our awareness of, and gratitude for, the many biblical instances of God’s promises fulfilled inspire confidence that healing will surely come in our own lives. Perhaps this is why Mary Baker Eddy, in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, points out the need to be more cognizant of God’s promises, particularly as they relate to the healing of physical ills. “If we are Christians on all moral questions,” she writes, “but are in darkness as to the physical exemption which Christianity includes, then we must have more faith in God on this subject and be more alive to His promises” (p. 373).

We might wonder just what it would mean, in practical terms, to be more alive to God’s promises, especially in regard to the healing of illness. One way we may do this is by going right to the Bible and reading those wonderful promises in context, noting how, in the many moving narratives, they were fulfilled. In the process we’ll likely discover that so many of these promises are timeless—that is, they speak beautifully to our own experience and to whatever challenges we’re currently facing. In fact, they can be particularly strengthening and encouraging in difficult times, reminding us of the utter reliability of God’s care. 

Several biblical promises that are especially dear to me, which have come to thought during prayer and have been clear harbingers of healing, include: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Also this one, directly related to healing: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17). And this powerful assurance: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, . . . and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Finally, these words, familiar to many: “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

These passages have reminded me many times of the promise of spiritual healing. Reading them, I’ve been able to discern, to a greater extent than I had before, that God brings all right ideas to fruition, including the very right idea of healing—whether I’ve been praying for the healing of a physical challenge, seeking guidance in making important decisions, or striving for progress in overcoming some undesirable tendency. 

Recognizing the authority of Christian Science as fulfillment of prophecy helps us recognize our own authority in the practice of Christian Science.

The reason that prophets and others could trust those promises was because they knew them to be given of God. In fact, these promises represented the very Word of God, which was moving upon their hearts and minds, and inspiring clear realizations of His divine goodness and might. This self-asserting spirit of divine Truth and Love in human consciousness is the Holy Ghost, or Christ, which the Gospels describe as having divinely anointed Jesus and utterly imbued his teaching and healing ministry. This hope-inspiring influence compels all healing and progress, and is felt by anyone who is receptive and responsive to its message. It breaks through a dark sense of hopelessness, fear, futility, even apparent impossibility, and testifies to God, Spirit, as our origin and loving Father-Mother, and to ourselves as entirely spiritual, the expression of Spirit, graciously endowed with divine authority over the erroneous claims of the material senses.

We experience this divine animus in ways we would naturally associate with the Comforter, or healing Christ—as spiritual assurance of God’s presence with us, a quickened sense that good will prevail, an expectancy of healing, a strengthened conviction that God is actually already supreme in our lives. These assurances come sometimes in words and other times more as a feeling or spiritual intuition. They inspire us to reject the evidence before the senses and to accept the God-given certainty that He is guiding our prayers and that healing is going on. 

Not long ago I had an experience that brought many of these ideas into clearer view and resulted in a deeply meaningful healing.

Shortly after falling asleep one night, I awakened in pain and feeling feverish. I prayed to resist the temptation to speculate about the symptoms, and to silence fear. Then, listening for the Father’s directives, I heard—quite unexpectedly—this message: “God’s promises are kept.”

This idea had such a quieting effect on my consciousness that I knew it was from God. So I thoughtfully considered various promises recorded in the Old Testament, and acknowledged with reverence how God had brought each one to pass. 

Then the idea came to think about the “larger” promises recorded in Scripture, the ones that embrace humanity and involve the scope of human history. The most notable of these, of course, was God’s promise to ancient prophets of the coming Messiah. This promise was fulfilled in the virgin birth, as well as in the healing ministry, resurrection, and ascension of the Master, Christ Jesus. And Jesus promised that his heavenly Father would send humanity another Comforter, which he told his followers would be with us forever as healer, Savior, Redeemer. “This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science,” Mrs. Eddy would eventually write (Science and Health, p. 55). 

I saw in a fresh way that just as Jesus’ unique mission was fulfilled, so will the mission of the promised Comforter come to full fruition, healing and saving humanity individually and collectively through the ages, and establishing God’s kingdom “in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The sheer extent of these larger promises—overarching human history, and being fulfilled first through the mission of Christ Jesus and now through Christian Science, the full and final revelation of the Truth he demonstrated—gave rise to immense gratitude as I prayed.

It then occurred to me that the fulfillment of the Father’s purpose for His divine Comforter surely included my own healing on that dark night, as I strove to hear God’s Word and accept more fully the reality of His all-presence. In that sense the healing was irresistible.

Increasing joy and peace came throughout the night as these ideas expanded in thought. I remember thinking at one point that I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything, because the challenge was being turned into a cherished blessing through this very meaningful unfoldment. As the night proceeded, pain and fever gradually diminished, and when I rose to begin the day, the symptoms were gone.

Looking back on the experience, I recalled this statement from Science and Health: “Truth’s immortal idea is sweeping down the centuries, gathering beneath its wings the sick and sinning.” And a little further on in the same paragraph we’re assured, “The promises will be fulfilled” (p. 55). I felt that I had come under this great sweep of “Truth’s immortal idea,” and had been lovingly “gathered beneath its wings.”  

Recognizing the authority of Christian Science as fulfillment of divine promise and prophecy helps us recognize our own authority in the practice of Christian Science. It strengthens our capacity to heal and be healed, because we see that we’re not on our own, meagerly attempting to apply the truths of Christian Science. The power and authority of the Holy Ghost, which impelled the many victories in the Old Testament, and the Messianic work and establishment of early Christianity in the New Testament, is at work in each of us to ensure the healing efficacy of every prayer. 

Buoyed by this realization, we’re not so likely to be mesmerized by discouragement in our healing work, or to feel uncertain about the outcome of our prayers, or to be taken in by a myriad of mortal mind “what ifs” about a case. We experience more surety that our prayers will come to fruition.

So as we pray, we can gratefully acknowledge that the healing we’re seeking will surely come. It won’t be thwarted by persons or circumstances, by a materialistically inclined mental climate, or even by a sense of our own human shortcomings. But it will come as certainly as day follows night, in fulfillment of our Father’s healing purpose for His divine Comforter—the Holy Ghost and Christ—which we lovingly entertain in prayer and practice.

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