Summary: We are instructed to give thanks. Some of us struggle to do that because we aren't sure that God has blessed us lately. Situations and circumstances cause us to wonder if God even deserves our thanks! The truth is that we are loaded!
Pt. 1- Benefit 2
We have been commanded repeatedly to be thankful. Over and over again gratitude is commanded because God is worthy and because the writers understand that He responds to grateful people. With that said there are times when we must make the conscious choice and decision to take a posture of thanks. Circumstances, trials and life in general can push us to a place where we forget and overlook just how blessed and favored we already are. We have to practice this and rehearse this in settings like this so that when we are up to our necks in chaos, pain, and in the fight of our lives instead of winding up shaking our fist at God we have our hands raised to God in thanksgiving. So in this safe environment with a little swag and attitude let's practice.
Touch your neighbor and tell them "Don't let what you see today fool you . . . I am loaded!"
So, let's go back to our text and remind ourselves of the benefits we are loaded with! Just like you do with your job examining the benefits helps us to keep going because we realize it is worth what we are dealing with in this moment.
Text: Psalms 103:1-5
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits (There is the choice - control your soul - make yourself praise instead of complain) — (VERSE 3) who forgives all your sin and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
a. We are loaded with healing.
David now takes us to another level of benefit. He starts with the greatest benefit . . . forgiveness. It would have been enough if God had decided to send His son to simply bring a solution for our iniquity and our transgressions. However, we are so loaded that God then makes provision for more than just a spiritual benefit but a natural benefit as well. He goes beyond just dealing with our eternal issues and deals with the physical, in the moment issues. His forgiveness deals with the spiritual fallout of sin. His provision for healing now addresses and confronts the physical fallout of sin! We are loaded with healing!
In fact, we need to remember the power of Isaiah 53. The Messianic proclamation addresses forgiveness. He was wounded (outward bleeding) for our transgressions and bruised (inward bleeding) for our iniquities. And then this passage takes on the physical.
Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. Through his bruises we get healed. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
So it is clear provision has been made for our physical healing. Our challenge this morning is the benefit has been discussed, described but so often we don't see it is deployed. In fact, I believe what may be the biggest challenge today is that many of us have no problem believing that God forgives sins! We just struggle to believe that He heals our bodies. We trust Him with the spiritual but the physical is a challenge. Jesus apparently knew we would struggle with this and that there would be days that we would question or doubt this benefit existed. So, He plainly and forcefully address this in Luke 5.
Friends, moved on by compassion, lower their friend through the roof to get him to Jesus. Jesus acknowledges their efforts and heals the man. The Pharisees get angry because instead of addressing the physical Jesus said "I forgive your sins." Jesus' response confronts our challenge and our doubt. Luke 5:23-24 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Did you hear it? Jesus makes it clear that dealing with sin or dealing with sickness are equally easy for Him. We like to act like forgiving sins is easy and healing is difficult. Jesus says there is no difference.