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A friend with a serious illness recovered quickly. He believes that God miraculously healed him. Medical websites say some people with that illness naturally recover quickly. Should I tell him?

You and your friend can praise God for the healing regardless of how it happened. Should you tell your friend about those medical websites? The answer to that question depends on your friend. Christian medical professionals sometimes face similar situations.

Many Bible passages praise God for miraculous acts of deliverance for God’s people. Many Bible passages also praise God for ordinary natural events—things we can study scientifically, like the changing of the seasons or abundant crop growth.

Some people try to set science and miracles in opposition by claiming that if you believe in one you can’t have the other. But if we start by saying that God is sovereign over everything, there’s no need to choose. God typically governs the natural world with regular, repeatable patterns. By doing science, we can understand those patterns and develop new medical procedures. And God has given our bodies many natural ways to heal itself that we are learning about through science.

But God is not limited to working through those regular patterns. When it suits God’s kingdom purposes, God works outside those ordinary patterns, and we might experience a miracle. Science is a great tool for telling us about the ordinary patterns, but it doesn’t rule out that God might occasionally work beyond those patterns for particular reasons known to God.

If you think your friend is comfortable praising God however God brought healing, and if your friend would enjoy learning more science, maybe you could discuss those websites sometime. If you think your friend might experience that information as a threat to their closeness to God, maybe hold off for a while. We don’t know for sure what happened in your friend’s particular case. However God brings healing—whether through medicine or the body’s natural abilities or through supernatural miracle—it ultimately comes from God.

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