Psalm 103:10-13 “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
Every person on this planet has sinned (Romans 3:23). Every person on this planet will continue to sin, no matter how hard we try not to, and God does not punish us with illness because he is angry with us for sinning. You may be thinking, “But if you knew what I did in the past, you would know why I think God is angry with me.” The devil will bombard you with thoughts of the things you have done and continue to do wrong, convincing you that God is angry and your illness is the result of that anger. He wants to destroy your trust in Him, and although he cannot take away the power of Jesus’ blood to wipe away those sins, he can make you think you are paying for them. But they have already been paid for. You are cleansed of any bad thing you have done if you are a Christian because of Jesus’ sacrifice. As the song says, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” God may allow sickness to teach us or to shape us in some way, but He does not deal with things we do wrong by pouring out his wrath on Christians.
Some sickness is our own fault and the direct result of sin. Take for instance alcoholism. It is a sin that can lead to serious health problems. Among them are liver disease, certain types of cancer, an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, neurological diseases, high blood pressure and even chronic pancreatitis. People who have willingly consumed excess alcohol and have health problems as a direct result of this are only suffering the consequences of their sin, not God’s wrath. Smoking and drug abuse can also have devastating effects on the body, but these effects are the natural consequences of abusing substances. Even food can be abused and lead to serious health issues.
People who are promiscuous and do not follow God’s guidelines for purity can suffer from a number of diseases, some life-threatening, because of their lifestyle. Again, this is not because God is angry and punishing Christians. He is the one who tells us in His Word how to keep safe from such diseases. He is on our side! If we follow the guidelines given in the Bible, we can avoid many maladies. It is just common sense. They were written for our protection.
Another sin with health consequences is worry. Worry is a lack of trust in God, and it can cause serious health problems, heart disease probably being the most serious. But worry can also lead to sleep problems, poor immune function, chronic pain, headaches, and chronic fatigue.
In posts on this topic, we will explore more about why God allows some people to suffer from poor health and not others, the difference between punishment and discipline from God, and how illness can even be a blessing!