When we speak of God, often we seem to think of Him as the “good guy in heaven” but we don’t seem to think about who it is that we worship. Oh yes, we call upon Him when there is trouble or when something doesn’t go our way, but we don’t recognize His hand in the blessings that we receive.
It is rather like the children at Christmas time. We know their lists of toys that they just have to have this year, primarily because the advertisements tell us that they want these things. When one or two of the “must have” toys are presented, after a perfunctory “oh yes!”, they settle back into the whining that comes from materialism.
When we receive blessings from God, too often we think that we, somehow, are responsible for the receipt of those blessings. Our financial status gives us our home and food. Our educational status provides the work that brings riches to our account. We take credit and forget that God is the Person who is responsible for all good things that come to us.
David knew this, and he expressed the goodness of God like this in Psalm 103:
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, 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.Psaalm 103:1-5
I dare say that on an average, normal day, we don’t think about God forgiving our iniquity or redeeming our life from the pit. I expect we do seek healing from Him if the need arises, but the rest is nowhere near the radar of our life. It should be! Forgiveness, healing, redemption, steadfast love and mercy … these things are worth so much more than presents around the tree. These are the things that count eternally. Oh that we would have an eternal perspective on our life, not a temporal one.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.Psalm 103:11-13
God is shown by David as a loving Father, a Father who shows compassion to His children. A Father who has steadfast love for His children and who removes our transgressions, not because we are worthy of such action and not because we could do anything to remove them by our own actions, but because of His Son’s sacrifice on our behalf.
Again, David continues:
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.Psalm 103:17-18
Steadfast love – do we really know what that looks like? In our culture, where divorce is so incredibly easy to obtain, simply by saying there are “irreconcilable differences”, where is steadfast love exhibited? It is not on any of the television programs that I have seen. It is not paraded in social media.
Steadfast love is shown by God to His children. It is from everlasting to everlasting. It is not transient or illusory. It is not here today and gone tomorrow. It will not be extinguished because of something that we do. It is steady, like a rock, it is not going to go away simply because life got a bit messy and illness interfered with our plans.
Look around. Bill and I have been married 34 years. A number of couples in our church have been married in excess of 60 years and some are well into the upper 70-year range. As long and meritorious as that is, it is just a tiny little amount when viewed from an eternal perspective.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!Psalm 103:20-22
I believe that we would be included in the last group mentioned – all His works in all places of His dominion.
Beloved, don’t relegate God, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Author of our salvation, and the Lover of your soul to the top shelf of the closet. Don’t neglect Him this year. God, through His Word, the Bible, is calling you to bless the Lord.
Blessing God and declaring His wondrous works toward us is something that should come naturally to the Christian. We have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who took our place on the cross so that we could be with Him in heaven, forever. Praising God should be something that we do with heartfelt gratitude for God’s mercy and love to us.
Beloved, praise the Lord. You will receive a blessing when you do, and you will want to continue to do it all day long! Say it with David:
Bless the LORD O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!Psalm 103:1
Father, forgive me when I have been too caught up on events and situations in my own life and I fail to Bless You as You deserve. Forgive me when I attribute good things to actions that I have taken rather than recognizing that those things have come because of Your providence toward me. Forgive me when I respond to illness with griping and complaining, rather than blessing Your name even for illness, knowing that Your will for me will prevail. Enable me to remember David’s pronouncement: “Bless the LORD O my soul!”