Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Psalm 103:1 NKJV
I love reading the Psalms of David. He knew well how to praise the Lord, even when being pursued by those who wanted to kill him. It would do us good to follow his example and learn how to praise God, no matter our circumstances.
I have often felt like the reason David was able to be so close to the Lord was because He learned early how to praise God in every circumstance. As a young shepherd boy, he spent time alone in the fields watching the sheep. David said there were times he had to fight the lion and bear to protect the sheep. There must surely have been long, dark nights when the only company he had, other than the sheep, was God. He must have felt lonely, or even scared, at times.
Then when he began serving King Saul, David had to run for his life when Saul became jealous of David’s popularity with the people. So again, he had only the Lord to look to for comfort and protection.
Psalm 103 is one of many that I love. This Psalm reveals one reason David was able to always praise the Lord. He did not allow himself to forget what all God had done for him.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits. Psalm 103:2 NKJV
David goes on to list the things God had done for him. That list included these continual blessings: God forgives; He heals; He redeems; He offers love and compassion; He satisfies your desires, and renews your strength.
The Psalm goes on to say that God does not treat us as our sin deserves. If we are honest with ourselves, we could all say we do not deserve God’s forgiveness. Yet He offers it anyway. And the reason God offers that forgiveness is because of His love for us. We need to remember that David understood that even before the death of Christ on the cross. We have even more reason today to proclaim to everyone God’s love for us. He allowed His only Son to be sacrificed for our sin so we could be saved.
Psalm 103 also points out how our life is so brief, but the Lord’s love is everlasting. And His love and righteousness are promised not only to us, but also to our descendants, if we will but keep our covenant with the Lord.
We haven’t had to fight off lions or bears, or hide in caves from an enemy. But during an official order to stay home, we feel threatened by an unseen enemy. We feel that we are in a fight. So, we should also remember the things God has done for us. We need to know and remember that God has always been faithful to take care of our every need. We need to remember that our life is too brief to complain about our struggles, but instead, praise the Lord for His love.
Read Psalm 103 and do as David did. Make a list of all the things the Lord has done for you. Take time to praise Him for Who He is.
Heavenly Father, I do praise Your holy name. You have always taken care of my every need, both spiritual and physical. Help me to remember and recall those benefits when I feel threatened by life’s enemies. I praise You for the offer of forgiveness of sin through the blood of Jesus. Praise the Lord, my soul! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.