A TIME OF PRAISE AND REFLECTION

Scripture Reading: Psalm 103:1-22

“Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:1,2)

We looked at the importance of perspective in yesterday’s devotion. David recognized the importance of keeping a godly perspective in his life. He was in dialogue with himself when he wrote this Psalm. He is talking to himself. We all experience self-talk, don’t we? Sometimes my self-talk is negative and I become anxious and miserable. But at other times, my self-talk is positive, which is what David is doing in Psalm 103. He is reflecting upon all the blessings God had bestowed upon his life.

Notice that David encouraged himself to praise God with his soul. His starting point is God. True praise for God comes from our souls — “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” The soul is the immaterial part within us that gives us life. It is eternal and to bless God with my soul is to bless him with the very essence of my being.

David understood that we are to bless the Lord with ALL that is within us. We are to bless Him with our minds, our intellect. We are to bless Him with our hearts, our emotions. We are to bless Him with our wills, by surrendering ourselves and our desires to Him.

David goes on to reflect upon all the benefits that God had bestowed upon him — “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles” (vs. 2-5).

Let’s take time today to answer these two questions. First, what attributes of God have you experienced this past year, for which you can praise Him? Second, what are some of God’s benefits that you have enjoyed this past year? Then do what David did — Bless the Lord, praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for you.

As we face the beginning of this New Year, let’s remember these things from Psalm 103 about our God — “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him” (v. 17). Don’t forget God’s great love for you, for it is from everlasting to everlasting. “The Lord established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all” (v. 19). We have nothing to fear, for our God is sovereign and rules over all things. We are loved more than we can begin to imagine and we are safe in the hands of our sovereign Lord.

Lord God, I bless You with all my soul and all that is within me. Your steadfast love for me never fails and I know that I am safe in Your hands for Your kingdom rules over all. Thank you for all the blessings You bestowed upon me this past year. Even though it was a difficult year, I can look back and see Your hand at work in my life. Don’t ever let me take for granted all the benefits You have lavished upon me — forgiveness, healing, redemption, Your steadfast love and mercy, and the satisfaction I have because my value is found in my relationship with You. My soul and all that is within me blesses You and thanks You for all You have done for me.

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