Phil Cox


(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)

Home page
Recent Columns
Previous Series
Phil's background
Preaching engagements
Creation and science
Contact Phil

Stubbington Baptist Church
Acorn Christian Healing Foundation
Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith

Co-operating with God in our own healing

16th September 2008

Let's look at the first 5 verses of Psalm 103.

Verse 1
Of David.
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

We’re often encouraged to praise God with our lips – to sing and speak and even shout His praises. But David understood that more is required. The most important part of us – the only immortal part of us – is our innermost being. And it’s our innermost being that most needs to acknowledge God, celebrate His goodness and submit to His rule. And if our innermost being does this, then our bodies, our lips and hands will follow.

Verse 2
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —

As well as praising God for who He is, we should remember to praise Him for all that He does for us.

Verse 3
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Well, this verse says what it says.

All Christians believe, at least in theory, that God forgives us all our sins. And the same verse says that He heals all our diseases. I don’t really think we can believe half of the verse and reject the rest.

Jesus forgives our sins the moment we are born again through faith in His redeeming blood.

And Jesus is the God who heals. He doesn’t heal all our problems – physical, psychological, relational, spiritual, all at one moment. Our healing is a lifetime’s work. But if you belong to Him, He is healing you.

We need to learn more about letting God heal us. We need to co-operate with Him in that process. We need to allow Him to choose the chronological order in which He heals us of our various disorders. But He wants to do it.

We co-operate with God in the process of our healing by wholeheartedly praising Him, and remembering His benefits.

Verse 4
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

All who know the Lord Jesus Christ know that we’ve been saved from sin, degradation and decay. We know that Jesus loves us and is filled with compassion towards us. But forget not His benefits. We can put our knowledge of His love and compassions at the back of our minds, while we deal with some crisis or other, or while we indulge in some fun.

We co-operate with God in the process of our healing by bringing to mind His love and compassion, meditating on them, and giving Him thanks for them.

Verse 5
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Do we truly believe that God satisfies our desires? Or have we settled for less?

And is our youth renewed like the eagle’s? Or are we growing old and discontent?

God does refuse to satisfy some of our desires. This is because some of our desires are bad for us. Our Heavenly Father will never give us what is bad for us. But what He gives us will more than compensate for what He refuses to give us – as is true of all good fathers. We need – like good children – to accept gratefully what He gives, to give up what He says is bad, and to trust in His generosity and wisdom. Some Christians have held on to an unhelpful desire for many years, and bitterness has grown between them and God. We need to allow God to change what we desire. As Paul wrote:

Philippians 2v13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

It’s so important to work with God in the area of changing our desires.

We co-operate with God in the process of our healing by allowing God to change what we want as well as what we do.

Why do we find that our youth is not renewed? Because we stop wanting God to change our attitudes, beliefs and desires. We gradually become hard of heart. We settle into a bitter, resentful, inflexible attitude towards either God or other people.

If you’re an older Christian, check that you're just as open to God and to others, and to the possibility that you might not be all-wise, as you were when you were young. Rediscover the willingness to change and the tolerance of others that you had in your youth.

Jesus said:

Matthew 9v16-17
"No-one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.
Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

Our youth can be renewed. But only if we are willing to let God renew our innermost beings. Ask God to make you open, flexible, tolerant and humble again.

The next time you’re a conversation, and you find within yourself the attitude that you’re right and the other person is wrong, then repent. Especially if you assume yourself to be right because you are older or more experienced. And especially if you get irritated by the other person not agreeing with you and bowing to your superior knowledge or experience.

We co-operate with God in the process of our healing by staying humble.