Faith, when I was so ill after colon surgery and in the hospital three times, I never thought I would ever feel better again. I was SO discouraged!
The third visit to the hospital, with a nasal gastric tube inserted all 3 times,
I was discharged on Christmas Eve 2012. Christmas morning I was expelling an enormous amount of blood, so back to the emergency room I went. The surgeon on call (my surgeon was out of town) did blood work on me, and told me, "you are fine, it is just a fissure from all the diarrhea you have had," and he discharged me.
I was so very weak, I had lost 28 pounds, but I had put on my lipstick and had gotten dressed before going to the hospital. He looked at me and he said, "You look the best I have ever seen you look! You are 99 percent HEALED!"
Faith, I KNOW that God had that happen so that I would go to the hospital and hear those words! My Spirit was SO uplifted as we were headed home. I did not FEEL any better physically! But it was at that moment, when he said that, I KNEW I was going to be okay. That Christmas night we had Chef Boy Ar Dee ravioli for our holiday meal and watched a DVD on television...It was the BEST and most memorable Christmas EVER.
Then on New Year's Eve my husband and I went out to eat...for the first time I actually ENJOYED food...on the way home we stopped at the grocery store...and we ran into the surgeon! HE approached us and he told me I looked terrific, and reminded me again I was healed!
To answer your question, I believe God uses people or circumstances to strengthen our faith. Or even an epiphany, a Divine spark in the form of an inaudible Voice within. In my case it was a trip to the emergency room and a divine encounter with the same surgeon a week later...because I never thought I would EVER feel better.
I know you have had illnesses and problems, too, and your stories, I am sure, have been used to help others, which is another answer to your question...reading or hearing testimonies of others on TV or the radio.
THANK YOU for another great question! Blessings, Sparklea :)