Psalm 103

 Happy Spring Lakeside Church Family!

Psalm 103 is one of those Psalms that always remains in the forefront of my life. Time and time again it has stood out and has come to be one of my favorite Psalms. Throughout my life the Holy Spirit has used its rich depths, powerful realities and astounding truths to feed my soul, wipe my tears, fill my heart with hope and give me perseverance to continue on in this journey of following Jesus.

The Psalm opens with a call to bless the Lord. Blessing the Lord seems to be a much easier and less daunting task when life is going well. Praising God is fun when life is good. However, when life is a struggle, joy remains elusive and hardship and pain seems to be the dominant theme, blessing the Lord from within (read: inside my being, under all my external facades) seems impossible, even ludicrous. But that’s what I get to do as a lover of God and a follower of Jesus. We get to bless Him. We get to exalt and lift high His holy name!

Yet if you’re still like me and thinking to yourself, “how in the world is this still possible”, the Psalmist leaves us with a clue. A key insight into this kind of blessing reality is to not forget all that God has done. He uses the concept of benefits to be that motivating factor in our cause to bless the name of the Lord. Employers offer their employees a “benefits package” when attempting to hire and bring new employees to join their team. Perks and incentives are parts of a “benny package” used to incentivize prospects and retain existing employees.

To not forget God’s benefits are what the Psalmist uses to incentivize Israel to bless the Lord. He lists five amazing benefits of God and when you begin to honestly and openly read through them, I think you’ll begin to see how blessing the Lord regardless of your current situation is even possible, and maybe even probable? Let’s take a look at them:
  • God forgives all our iniquity. I don’t know about you, but forgiveness is a blessing to receive and really hard to give out. Yet this is who God is, and this is what He graciously does to us. Every. Single. Day.
  • God heals all our diseases. Now before we accuse him of not healing a loved one from a recent bout with cancer, let us step back and understand what David meant. God is the giver and creator of life. He gives healing in a broken and sinful world, which He doesn’t have to do. But even more, how many times does God heal and we are completely unaware? How many times does God use the natural order of the world (science) to carry out his good and faithful power in our ailing lives?
  • God redeems our lives from the pit. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. When we understand our desperate need for a savior and the critical wreckage of our lives we cry out to a strong and faithful redeemer who exchanges His life for ours so that we might be free!
  • God crowns us with kesed (steadfast love) and mercy. As daughters and sons through His eternal adoption we are made royal. This is the most brilliant rags to riches story the world has ever known!
  • God satisfies us with good. This is one for whatever reason hits me the hardest. God satisfies me with good. Whatever is going on in my life, as a good, kind and gracious Father, it’s always for my good. What a promise; what a reality!
So my prayer is that Psalm 103 would feed your soul this week as you reflect and remember (don’t forget) the incredible benefits of God our Savior!

Your fellow servant and pastor,