Bible Reading: Psalm 103
As Americans, we cannot help but feel a heaviness in our hearts today. For those of us who are old enough, we remember where we were when the terrorist attacks struck the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. Maybe you were so young that you did not fully understand the gravity of what was happening, or maybe you were old enough to have been filled with anger, sadness, and fear. Most days in our past are hard to remember. I cannot remember how I felt on the day I became a teenager, or the nervousness of my driving exam. I do not fully recall the happiness and fear when graduating high school. Some pictures, emotions, and thoughts are burned into minds, and we will never forget them. For example, I can remember watching those planes collide with those towers, the first time I saw a dead body, and seeing a fist fight break out during a party. I also remember amazing things that have happened. I remember seeing my bride coming down the aisle and the happiness I felt. I recall graduating from college and seminary and the feeling of accomplishment. I still remember vividly the night of March 16, 2008, when Jesus Christ saved my soul and made me His own.
The events and emotions of our lives have shaped who we are, how we respond to others, and how we cope with our circumstances. We are who we are because of our history and how it shaped us. But going beyond this and rolling that thought out a little bit farther, I can see God’s hand on me throughout my life, and how He was shaping and molding me into who I am today. Can you see God’s hand throughout your life? Can you see Him working in the mountains and valleys of your personal story? Do you see how He has never left you, or left you for even a moment? Can you see that God has always been faithful, even when you were faithless?
Psalm 103:2 it says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”. David then goes on to list a few of these benefits. They include: forgiving our iniquities, healing our diseases, redeeming our life from the pit, crowning us with His love and mercy, and satisfies us with good to renew us. David recounts many of the amazing things that God does for His people. David’s soul is remembering and celebrating who God is. As I read through psalm 103, I cannot help but praise God for the countless ways He considers us. He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west, showers us with His everlasting love, shows us fatherly compassion, and God does this all the while remembering, “that we are dust.” (103:14). God knows the struggles and trials we face throughout our life, because He walks with us through them. Our God is not distant, nor is He cold and unconcerned. God is with us, considers us, blesses us, and loves us all the days of our existence. Have faith in God, surrender your heart to Him, and never forget all that He has done. Bless the Lord with all of your soul!
Call to Action: Every day, people all around us are dealing with things. Do you know of anyone whose marriage is struggling and on the brink of divorce? Do you have a friend who recently lost a loved one? Is there someone close to you who is wrestling with addiction? Are there any families you are aware of who are dealing with a “prodigal son”? Remind them of the steadfast love of the Lord, and encourage them to never forget all of His benefits. Minister psalm 103 to them.
Also, minister this psalm to yourself. You may be the person or family from the questions above. Look to God, and remember that He is never far away. He is near, and willing to love you forever. Run to Him, and never forget that He is with you. God is a refuge for His children. Hide yourself in Him, and allow Him to renew you with His presence.