When we take a moment to look back over our lives, we can see the many hardships we have experienced. Difficult challenges, loss and pain, illness, suffering, and for some, even abuse from the words or actions of another. But God has been there with us, feeling our pain, and holding us up. Psalm 103 reminds us of the many blessings and benefits the Lord then gives us, each moment of every day.
A Psalm of David.
103 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5 (NKJV)
Though God does permit some extremely difficult events or conditions to come our way, He also remains by our side throughout them, and brings us safely through. He will often heal our painful diseases, using good doctors, medication, or even miraculous cures to do so. For that gracious benefit, we are extremely thankful.
With God’s help to open our eyes, we can also recognize our own negative contributions towards humanity’s condition. This is known as sin, acting in an ungodly or unloving way towards another, towards God, or even towards ourselves.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word iniquity means “gross injustice, wickedness or sin”. We tend to look at ourselves as innocents in any conflict, and usually assign all the blame to others. But when God opens our eyes, we can see that, barring the case of abuse, we often play at least some small role in these offenses or broken relationships.
Psalm 103 assures us that, even during our ugliest behavior, God still loves us, and wants to forgive our sin and to shower us with His blessings. He will freely do so if we come to Him in repentance, seeking to turn away from our sin. He will then ask us to love and forgive those who have harmed or offended us, and if applicable and possible, to make amends for any wrongs that we have done.
Some of us have strayed into addiction and may remain trapped there to this day. Psalm 103 tells us that the Lord will redeem our life from destruction, even that which we bring upon ourselves. He will renew our youth, and give us a new energy to be able to enjoy His creation, something that perhaps we have been missing out on for decades.
There are many other benefits that God provides. We all have our favorite meals – the favor of the Lord makes these possible. He satisfies our mouth with good things. And He gives us our daily bread, as well.
The lovingkindness and tender mercies of the Lord are all around us. May we all take in and enjoy His many loving benefits and gifts today!
Psalm 103 reminds me of a friend named Irving. He shared that peak excitedly with me one day as we drove to a prison ministry in Louisiana together, over two decades ago. He blessed my old car and told me it would last a long time if I kept doing the Lord’s work. It did, and when I finally replaced it, I was able to pass it along in good condition to someone else who needed one.
What blessings of the Lord are you most thankful for today?
Father God, thank You so much for the many rich blessings from Your hand – forgiveness, healing, restoration, freedom, safety, mercies, lovingkindness, food to enjoy, and a restoration of our youth. Your grace and goodness are poured out in abundance and are far beyond what we deserve. May You be praised and glorified today. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought for the day that I heard from someone: Gratitude is the antidote for self-pity.