He “heals all our diseases”!
God really encouraged me with Psalm 103 this week. As I read the first few verses, one of the phrases confused me at first glance. Verse 3 says that God “heals all [our] diseases”. I thought, “How could this be true? I know tons of people who are sick, and I know tons of people who were sick and never got better!” What did God mean when He inspired David to write that phrase?
Looking at the context, it seems to me that that phrase is not mainly talking about physical healing.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. vs. 1-5
There’s something to be said about our God being a physical healer who can do miracles. I don’t discount any of that. But this passage seems to be talking mainly about spiritual healing. Here’s one of the cross-references I found for that phrase.
Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of d.e.a.t.h. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:17-20
Yes, these men were physically sick because of their sin. That does not always happen, but it can. I think the main point God wants to show through this passage is that 1) our sin is a serious and infectious spiritual disease, and it will k.i.l.l. us spiritually (and sometimes physically) if it is not cured (just like the people in Psalm 107), and 2) God is the only one who can heal our disease. God wants us to understand the depth of our sin first and foremost. It is that understanding which makes grace so much sweeter! He also wants us to know that we will not be k.i.l.l.e.d by our disease. He heals us. It is so tempting to look at our sin and think it’s still hopeless, but that’s not the case. Jesus Christ has conquered sin and d.e.a.t.h and sickness and Satan in our place!
So I hope that you and I will gain the proper understanding of our sin and God’s amazing grace. Do you struggle with anger? God will heal your disease. Do you struggle with covetousness? God will heal your disease. Do you struggle with impure thoughts? I struggle with all of the above…and God will heal our diseases! Those who are well have no need of a physician, Jesus said. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, but the sick (Luke 5:31-32)!
Let’s let our lives and our love for God and our fellow man reflect the reality that our hearts and minds have been and are being healed by the Great Physician, and we are glad in Him!