Wednesday, November 27, 2013

God's Benefit Package

Psalm 103:1-2 tells us, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  That’s a good reminder for me since I sometimes have problems remembering things.  We should praise the Lord with our soul (our thoughts, actions, plans, dreams, etc.) and don’t forget all His benefits.  The problem is worry, doubt, and unbelief all have a short memory. When we allow these sins in our life it causes us to forget God’s character and Word.  All jobs have benefits.  When looking for a new one, questions you may ask about benefits are, “How many vacation days are there?  Are there sick days?  Does it provide insurance?”  Benefits vary from job to job but God’s benefits do not vary.  He is constant.  We tend to forget His benefits when something attempts to tell us He’s holding out on us.  We ask, “Will God live up to the benefit package He promised.”  None of us would forget the benefits a job offers and demand them when we needed them.  But, we too often forget the benefits of God.

Verses 3-5 go on to tell us it is God, “Who forgives all your sins 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”.  What if your job offered you that kind of benefit package?  Think about the offer of forgiveness from sin, healing from sickness, rescue from the pits of life, love and compassion, satisfaction with good things, and renewal of youth.  That would be the job of a lifetime.  What’s better than reimbursement for mileage?  Try forgiveness of sin.  What sounds more promising than 3 weeks paid vacation?  God offers healing.  A gym membership is tempting but I’ll take renewed youth any day.  Redemption from the pits of life sounds like the kind of insurance plan that doesn’t have loopholes, especially when God is the benefactor.   AFLAC has nothing on God.  You’re in good hands with Allstate but you’re in God’s hands with the Almighty.  GEICO?  What about GODCO? 

But pastor, I don’t feel forgiven.  Forgiveness of sin isn’t based on feeling but the facts of Scripture.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.”  But what about healing?  It’s obvious not everyone is healed.  True.  Lazarus was healed but eventually died.  Elisha healed others but died from a sickness he suffered from (2 Kings 13:14).  Some say, “I bet healing comes if you have more faith.”  Tell that to Paul who suffered with a “thorn in the flesh” and prayed three times for it to be removed (2 Corinthians 12:5-10).  Timothy suffered (1 Timothy 5:23).  I think they had tremendous faith.  “I know!” They say, “Those who pray hard don’t get sick, right?”  What about Jesus?  Didn’t he pray hard for the cup to pass from Him?  David prayed hard for his baby not to die but it did (2 Samuel 12).  I know many godly people who have died from sickness they prayed in great faith to be healed from.  The promise isn’t instant healing but eventual healing.  Sometimes God heals on this earth and sometimes He doesn’t.  Sometimes we don’t feel forgiven or rescued from the pit on this earth.  But, in eternity forgiveness, healing and rescue come full circle.  It doesn’t mean we stop praying for healing on earth.  I believe God alone forgives and heals.  We don’t give up hope but trust in Him.  Praise has a way of putting life into eternal perspective.

God cares for your spirit, soul and body.  Remember to praise God today.  He cares for you! No matter what you are facing today, don’t forget your benefit package.  Forgiveness is a benefit.  Healing is a benefit.  If you feel tired and overwhelmed then His strength is your benefit.  Turn your thoughts toward Him today and He will encourage you. 


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