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 eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2–5)Because of what God does, I bow before Him in adoration. He blesses me; I bless Him. If all that He does in blessing me speaks of how I should respond to Him, then there are some interesting implications.
For instance, God forgives all my iniquities. My sins are real and an affront to Him and to His holiness. What about reversing this? What about those “evil” things that happen to me, things that I know are under the sovereign control of Almighty God. Do I think God has sinned? Do I need to “forgive” Him?
Even though God has not sinned against me, I can be upset and angry at circumstances in my life. Because God is in charge, isn’t a complaining attitude very much the same as being angry at Him? If He blesses me with forgiveness, the least I can do is bless Him with acceptance, even thanksgiving. To bless God means to speak well of Him, even when life seems unfair.
Tied to this is the next line; He heals all my diseases. God has no sin or sickness for which I could bless with healing. However, do I ever think that He has made mistakes, is careless or forgetful — as if He has no consideration and some sort of dementia? My attitude toward life and the events of life is a direct reflection of my view of God. Do I bless Him when life seems skewed, remembering that He is totally whole and well and without flaw?
These verses talk about redemption from the pit. God redeemed me from a life of sin. This is the core of why I ought to always bless Him. There is no counterpart in Him where this can be a two-way blessing. He is the sinless Savior. I am the undeserving sinner. But I can bless Him with steadfast love. I can satisfy Him with good thoughts, good words, good deeds. He has done so much for me.
In blessing God, I remember all His blessings on my life. But even in the act of blessing Him, He turns it to become a blessing for me! Offering Him praise and adoration results in a renewal of my own spirit. When I am thankful for all that He does, my energy returns. He makes me feel young again.
Do I realize how heavy is the weight of thankless griping? I know guilt adds lines to my face, but do I realize that a constant resistance to His will takes its toll also? When I am upset with people, am I not seeking the will of God but my own? When I am upset with life’s events, big and small, am I not angry at God for not letting me have my own way?
Further, some of the biggest tests of life are little things like my response to being misunderstood, or interrupted, or ignored. The hand of God offers blessing. Those blessings can be hidden in trials, even those trials. He does say to rejoice when negatives happen (James 1) for He has purpose in them for my good. Can I bless God in trials, even the small ones that I generally think are annoyances in my life?
******************God, I asked this morning for light that I would need today. Right now, the sun is shining and all is peaceful and calm. Do You have some small tests in mind for me? Will You be looking for a blessing even if the events of this day are unpleasant from my perspective? Or will this day continue as it started making it easy to praise Your name?
Forgive me for sometimes being a fair-weather follower that blesses You only when I like what You are doing. Your blessings are not like that. You bless me no matter what I say and do. You take care of me even though I do not deserve even the least of Your blessings. May I speak well of You and adore You no matter what happens today or any day.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! (Psalm 103:1)