Nov 26 2021 Model of Gratefulness, Part Two
Psalm 103 gives a list of benefits in the first five verses where gratitude is the subject. While there are more benefits that are available to us and we could take advantage of, we are just focusing on the ones in these verses. David, the great personality of the Old Testament, wrote this psalm. The first benefit is that the Lord pardons all of our iniquities. Our iniquities are not our mistakes or mess-ups, they’re our ingrained perversities. It means all of the bitterness of who we are and how we are all bent. It is continual forgiveness and it is divine because God is one who gives the forgiveness. It is far reaching and covers our omissions – the things that we fail to do – and our commissions – the things we intentionally do. In other words, it is as real as a physical or emotional healing.
I love Isaiah 1:18, which says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Where could you find that other than in Jesus Christ? The sad thing is, when we don’t have a relationship with Jesus, when he doesn’t live in our lives, then we don’t have the advantage of that forgiveness. And when we don’t have the advantage of that forgiveness, we have to live with our guilt, shame, and all the things that come by running our own lives!
Oh boy… What would our country look like if people were all filled with the forgiveness that only comes in Jesus Christ?!
The second benefit David writes about is that he heals all our diseases. When I think about diseases, the first thing that comes to my mind are physical diseases like diabetes, cancer, different viruses that come our way… My first wife Ruth Anne struggled with all the things that come when a person experiences diabetes. And it was a result of complications with diabetes that is really what took her life.
So, let’s talk about these diseases and the healing that God wants to bring:
- God can heal a person physically in an instant… if he wants to, if he’s willing to, if its in his plan to, if the timing is right… Sometimes he does. And sometimes he doesn’t. We prayed that Ruth Anne would be healed from diabetes. We had people praying all over the United States for it! And God chose not to do it.
- God heals the soul. The soul is the innermost being of an individual, who we really are on the inside. And we can have diseases of the soul! Some of those could be setbacks and adversities, guilt, shame, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate, jealousy, bitterness, spite, and greed. When sin is forgiven, I find and I’ve observed that many of these soul diseases also begin to be healed.
But let me give you a warning… Be careful about promising healing to people. Sometimes he heals, and sometimes he chooses not to heal at the moment when we ask for it or when we need it.
If you want to study more about healing in the Bible, take a look at the story of Job. He’s an Old Testament guy who got wiped out. He lost family, he lost crops, he lost livestock, he suffered physically Go to the book of Job and read about the whole thing! But in chapter 23:10-12, he says, “But he (talking about the Lord) knows the way that I take when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps and kept his way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips. I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
So what does that mean? Job probably went through more than any of us have or will ever go through. And yet he was steadfast in his perspective and thinking of the Lord and his truth and what he knew of him. And in the end, it was good. God made good come from the worst evil and pain Job could imagine.
Job shows us how to thank and bless the Lord in the midst of pain and heartache. So, why don’t you and I thank him for his amazing undeserved forgiveness of our sin? I thank him daily and many times throughout the day. And thank him for your physical needs! It may sound a little weird, but thank him for what you’re going through physically, for the adversities and setbacks in your life, and maybe for the healing that you need in your soul! Thank him for him beginning the process of healing in your life.
The Scripture says in Philippians 1:6 that the good work that he began in you and me will be completed on the day that we go to be with him! We are people in process. Sometimes we see dramatic, instantaneous healing, and sometimes healing is done over many, many years. But either way, in the end, he wins and we become whole.
You think about that!