Illness is a universal part of human existence, which is keenly acknowledged in the Bible. Even in the oldest biblical accounts, physiological ailments, sickness, and disease appear frequently, demonstrating the pervasiveness of health issues throughout human history. The way Christians understand and respond to their own or others’ bouts of illness has often been informed by this ancient text. These biblical verses concerning sickness express a range of perspectives, from embracing suffering as a test of faith to seeking God’s healing.
Who in the Bible Encounters Illness?
Some of the most well-known Biblical figures confronted illness or infirmity in their personal journeys. Job, perhaps the most famous, suffered from severe, disfiguring illness as part of his trials. Yet despite his physical suffering, Job persisted in his faith, his story serving as a poignant example of steadfast belief in the face of tremendous adversity. The Apostle Paul is another figure who experienced chronic illness, referring in his letters to a “thorn in the flesh.” In such instances, the Bible frames illness not as a punishment, but as a challenge to the individual’s faith and trust in God.
What Lessons Does the Bible Teach About Illness?
One recurring theme in the Bible’s depictions of sickness is the notion that illness, while difficult, can bring spiritual growth. This is a point emphasized in the letters of James, who advocates for joy in trials, including health trials, as they can produce spiritual maturity. Another lesson is the theme of reliance on God during times of sickness. Throughout the Psalms, the psalmists often cry out to God in their affliction, demonstrating an ongoing dialogue with God during times of pain. Additionally, in both the Old and New Testaments, physical illness serves as a metaphor for spiritual maladies, with God often portrayed as the healer who can mend both body and spirit.
Where in the Bible is Healing Mentioned?
The Bible is replete with accounts of healing, both miraculous and ordinary, providing comfort and hope for those afflicted with sickness. The Old Testament contains vivid stories of miraculous healings brought about by God’s power, such as Naaman the leper’s healing in the book of Kings. The New Testament, on the other hand, carries numerous accounts of Jesus healing the sick, blind, lame and leprous, demonstrating His divine authority and compassion. In these accounts, healing is not just about the eradication of a physical condition, but, importantly, about restoring the individual to community and kinship.
Why Do Some Biblical Verses Encourage Prayer in Illness?
The Bible contains several passages encouraging believers to turn to prayer during illness. The intent is not simply to ask God for physical healing, but also for strength, comfort, and peace in the midst of suffering. This concept is illustrated perfectly in the Apostle Paul’s writings, where he speaks of his continual prayer during his own illness. By maintaining a conversation with God during times of sickness, believers can find spiritual sustenance and communion. Some verses even suggest that it’s during these times of weakness that God’s power is made most evident in the lives of His followers.
When Does the Bible Indicate Divine Healing?
While the Bible does express the belief in divine healing and includes stories of miraculous recoveries, it does not present such healings as universal promises or guarantees. Old Testament accounts of divine healing co-exist with depictions of long-term, chronic illnesses, and the New Testament miracles of Jesus are balanced by accounts of Christians who remained ill, like Paul. The Bible does not provide a simple formula for understanding why some people are healed while others remain ill. Rather, the biblical treatment of healing emphasizes faith in God’s sovereignty and trust in His purposes, regardless of the outcome of illness.
Below is our full list of bible verses on illness (King James Version – KJV) provided in ranked order.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Illness
“17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
“9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
“2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.4 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.”
“33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
“22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
“19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
“3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.”
“3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
“17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
“1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
1 Corinthians 6:19
“19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
“17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.18 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.21 And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.23 Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.24 The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
“18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
“24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.”
1 Peter 2:24
“24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
“7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
“3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”
Related Themes: Healing
“8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?”
“7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
“25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
“3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
“14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”
3 John 1:2
“2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
“26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”
“26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
“1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.”