Bless the Lord, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless his holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings, and thank God for His work in our life. Yet, there are times in our life that we need faith to be thankful.
In the late 1800s, George Muller operated an orphanage that at one time had 1,000 orphans. One morning there was no food to eat, but he called all the children and staff together and prayed to thank God for the provision of food, even though no food was on the table. A few moments later a baker knocked on the door. He told Mr. Muller that God had led him to bake bread the night before and give it to the orphanage. Before the bread was given to the children, a milkman knocked on the door. He said that his milk truck had broken down and he wanted to give the milk to the orphanage. George Muller gave thanks, even when it took faith to do so.
A little boy was asked to pray for dinner. Before he bowed his head to pray, he looked at the dish. Then, closing his eyes, and prayed, “Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I’ll thank you and eat it anyway.”
We don’t always like what’s on our plate in life, but we need to trust God that He knows what is best for us.
I’m convinced that Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. Take time and reflect on all that the Lord has done for you. He has intervened in your life to guide you into a good pathway. Even when we don’t quite understand all that God is doing in us or through us, we know that He is bringing us to an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thanksgiving is also a time of remembrance. Remembering the wonderful things that God has done for us (Psalm 72:18).
Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth
1 Chronicles 16:12
I believe that this is what David is doing in Psalm 103, he’s remembering and reflecting on God’s personal work in his life.
He calls upon his soul to bless the Lord. The word bless has the idea of praise and adoration. David understood that God was worthy of all the praise offered to Him.
David also calls upon his soul to remember all of his benefits. He says in verse two that he would not “forget” the benefits of God.
The word “forget” in verse two has the idea of leaving the true God and following after a false god. This spiritual lapse of memory would cause a believer to stray from the true God.
David was remembering God’s benefits which speak of His dealings toward him. God’s dealings with David were filled with compassion, mercy, and faithfulness.
In Psalm 103, David was recalling to his mind how God treated him from day to day, and God’s dealings toward him were worthy of praise.
I believe that David is spending a season of Thanksgiving in Psalm 103. He’s remembering and reflecting on God’s goodness and grace.
In Psalm 103, David begins to list all of his blessings. In the following Scripture, David begins to thank God for who He is, and what He has done in his life.
DAVID WAS THANKFUL FOR GOD’S FORGIVENESS (Vs. 3)
David was thankful for the forgiveness that he experienced in his life.
In order for us to truly understand God’s forgiveness, we need to fully comprehend what we have been forgiven of.
The greatest need of mankind is not wealth or health. Our greatest need is for our sins to be forgiven.
Our sin has separated us from God, and this sin problem is keeping us from having a relationship with the Creator.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins
When we go all the way back to the Garden of Eden, we can better understand the impact of our sin and the work of God to save us.
God created this world in six literal days, and He rested on the seventh day -not because He was tired, but because He was done.
God created Adam and Eve in His likeness, after His image. For those who believe that we come from the descendants of monkeys, only humanity was created after the likeness of God. We are a triune being – a spirit, soul, and body (Genesis 5:23).
Satan knew the purpose of God for mankind. He understood that Adam and Eve were created to have fellowship with God. Satan also understood the holiness of God, and if sin entered into the picture that fellowship would be broken.
If you’re familiar with Genesis you know that Eve was deceived (2 Corinthians 11:3), but Adam willfully disobeyed God. This caused a chain of terrible consequences. Humanity was plunged into separation from God and began to physically die. The whole earth was changed because of the disobedience of Adam (Romans 5:19).
Though Satan understood the holiness and glory of Almighty God, he didn’t quite understand the love of God, and the great lengths that God would go in order to save this fallen race.
This fall didn’t catch God by surprise. He sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be born of flesh and live a perfect life, and ultimately die on a cross for our sins.
He is a Sufficient Saviour
David says in Psalm 103, that God would forgive all of our sins.
Have you ever noticed in the Bible that when God healed someone, that He did it completely and instantly? The same is true when He saves us.
The moment we put our faith in Jesus, all of our sins are washed away and we became instantly a part of the family of God. By the way, salvation is the greatest miracle that God has ever performed.
He is a Saving Saviour
God has forgiven us. This forgiveness means that we are free from the condemnation, burden, and guilt of our sin.
The Lord has saved us, and we are free.
He is a Supplying Saviour
God saw our need before we even knew that we had a need. He sent Heaven’s best to provide for that need.
Often times we give God what’s left, but God always gives us what is best.
I heard of the story of a woman that found an old Thanksgiving turkey in her freezer that had been there for over 30 years. She pulled it out and called Butterball to see if it was still good to eat.
The Butterball Company confirmed that if the turkey was frozen for the last 30 years, then it would be safe to eat. Yet, they said that the flavor wouldn’t be any good.
“That’s what I thought,” said the woman, “I’ll just give it to my church.”
That’s how most Christians treat God. Yet, I am glad that this is not how God treated us. When we were in need, God sent the best that Heaven could offer – He sent us Himself.
DAVID WAS THANKFUL FOR GOD’S DELIVERANCE (Vs. 3)
Our bodies are weak, fragile and at the end of the day, we are nothing more than dust. We struggle with pain, illness, and diseases all of the time, and things are not going to get better.
One day, we will be with the Lord and we will not experience any more pain or sickness – what a wonderful day that will be.
I do not believe that Psalm 103 and verse three is speaking of physical diseases. David is singing a song from his soul, and I believe that in Psalm 103:3 David is speaking about diseases of the soul.
You see, not only will God forgive us of our sins, but He will also heal the results of sin. These are diseases of the soul: hate, greed, jealousy, discouragement, depression, anger, fear, guilt, doubt, and bitterness.
There are lots of examples in the Bible of people who faced diseases of the soul.
1. John the Baptist struggled with discouragement
2. Elijah struggled with discouragement
3. The disciples were afraid
4. Thomas was a doubter
5. Peter struggled with guilt and decided to give up serving the Lord in John 21
6. Even David faced times of deep depression.
I thank God that He is the answer to the diseases of the soul. God is there to help us. He wants to turn our fears and tears into cheers, our doubts into shouts, and our sadness into gladness.
Would you allow the Lord to lead you from the prison of these terrible diseases into freedom in Christ?
DAVID WAS THANKFUL FOR GOD’S SALVATION (Vs. 4)
Every soul that enters into this world is a slave to sin.
We have come short of the glory of God, and because of our sinful nature, we all will die.
God saw the plight of the human race and sent His Son to take our place. Now we can enjoy the freedom of sins forgiven and a wonderful home in Heaven.
The word “redeemeth” in Psalm 103 and verse four speaks of God’s purposes in our life. The word redeem means to buy back, and this is exactly what God did for us. We were slaves to sin and heading to a devil’s hell, and God bought us back from the devil’s grip.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood…
A duck hunter was with a friend in the wide-open land of southeastern Georgia. Far away on the horizon, he noticed a cloud of smoke. Soon he could hear crackling as the wind shifted. He realized the terrible truth; a brushfire was advancing, so fast they couldn’t outrun it. Rifling through his pockets, he soon found what he was looking for—a book of matches. He lit a small fire around the two of them. Soon they were standing in a circle of blackened earth, waiting for the fire to come. They didn’t have to wait long. They covered their mouths with handkerchiefs and braced themselves. The fire came near—and swept over them. But they were completely unhurt, untouched.
The fire would not burn where the fire had already passed.
I am thankful that God’s wrath was satisfied by the death of His Son, and all that put their trust in Jesus have eternal life. Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the Law. The Law cannot judge what Christ has already forgiven.
DAVID IS THANKFUL FOR GOD’S GRACE (Vs. 4)
The psalmist uses the illustration of a king passing his crown to his son. God passes down his crown of lovingkindness and tender mercies to His children, and we live our lives in the very mercy and grace of God.
The word lovingkindness is the New Testament word for grace. It speaks of God’s unmerited favor toward us, and His working in our life each day.
Where would we be today if it were not for God’s grace? It’s that matchless grace that makes the difference and brings us from a place of woe to wonder. God’s grace will never run dry, it’s like an eternal stream running through the desert.
God’s Faithfulness is so wonderful in our life.
Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866. He received his education in a little country schoolhouse, and at age 16 began teaching there.
He was saved at age 27, and with no college or seminary training was ordained to the gospel ministry at age 36.
He served as a minister for a year, but ill health made it impossible for him to continue. He moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where he opened an insurance office.
Always interested in poetry, Chisholm wrote hundreds of poems during his lifetime. Lamentations 3:22-23 inspired him to write the text for “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Those verses read, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Chisholm experienced that faithfulness. He suffered ill health most of his adult life, and never made much money, but he said, “God has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”
God’s faithfulness is truly great, and His work in our life is filled with his lovingkindness.
DAVID IS THANKFUL FOR GOD’S PROVIDENCE (Vs. 5)
God satisfies our mouths with good things.
Isn’t it interesting that children love to eat junk food, but are not big fans of food that will actually nourish them? They are not impressed by the physical impact of their food, just the flavor.
If you have children, then you know exactly what I’m saying. They would eat candy all day if we allowed them, but we know as parents that they need to eat things that are not just good to them, but good for them.
This includes broccoli and Brussel sprouts – yum!
In the Christian life, we expect God to only give us what we think is good, but an all-wise God knows what is needed in our life to make us spiritually strong. He fills our plate with things He knows are good for us, things that we need to become strong in our faith.
Let’s commit to be thankful. Take some time today to reflect and remember God’s impact on your life.
Download my Blessing Counter Worksheet PDF below and use it to recall, reflect and remember God’s work in your life.