Psalm 103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
This Psalm is a glorious recitation of the “benefits” mentioned in this verse, and as such is one of David’s finest, and most important, Psalms. The first two verses and the last three are commands/exhortations to praise God, and the whole rest of the Psalm tells us why. It is not specific to any particular time or circumstances, and so is appropriate for anyone at any time. We have a sad tendency to forget all that God has done and continues to do for us, just as this verse warns against. We take things for granted, and like spoiled children, say to God, “What have You done for me lately.” For starters, He hasn’t wiped us out of existence in total disgust! We need to remember that, when we’re feeling like whining. As Jesus said, God does “cause his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45) In other words, there is general grace, and it is possible to live a fairly “normal” life without a relationship with your Creator. However, when you do have that relationship, how marvelous it is! Again, though, the risk is that we can let that relationship go stale, taking it for granted instead of pressing in for more of our Lord. That’s why the advice in this verse is so important.
I’ve certainly done my share of taking God and His benefits for granted! I’ve had the stupidity of thinking I deserved them, and that I owed Him nothing in return. I am very grateful to have learned, as the little chorus says, “All that I have, all that I am, all I will ever be cannot repay this love-debt I owe. I surrender to Thee.” The moment I am disappointed or upset about anything I need to stop and remember all that has not gone wrong, all the mountain of blessings God has provided for me. I would do well to recite this Psalm daily, as a reminder to my forgetful soul. The world is fallen, and as long as I’m in it I will encounter things that are not pleasing, but if my focus is on my marvelous, gracious, absolutely perfect Lord, I will be able to rejoice regardless of what is going on. (John 16:33)
Father, thank You for this reminder. The news is full of negative things, but that’s nothing new. Thank You for the truth of this Psalm, that is far more valid and accurate than anything on TV or the Internet. Help me walk in the gratitude and obedience that are the only appropriate response to who You are and all You do, so that those who see me may be drawn to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!