Bless the Lord

“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 eagles.”

We are commanded in Psalm 103 to call our souls to action.  We are called to bless the Lord.  This praise should not be one of legalistic requirement, but rather from a heart that overflows in gratefulness for what great things the Lord has done.  He is the God who has forgiven our sins!  He is the God who is powerful to heal.  He is not limited or bound by human limitation.  He is the One who drew us up out of the pit of destruction.  And now, He guides us, leads us and satisfies us every step of the way.

Psalm 103 goes on to describe why we should bless the Lord.  It’s important for our souls to not merely say words of thankfulness, but to tie those thoughts together with attributes of our great God.  This will help us avoid the trap of legalism, and will also guard our hearts from complaining, as we consider more deeply the great God we serve.

  1. We worship a God of justice. If you struggle with sins committed against you and injustice in your life, remember that we serve a just God.  He will avenge, He has not forgotten you. “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed…
  2. God is merciful and overflowing with love. When we are tempted to think that he may be angry with us, we can cling to this promise that through the cross of Christ, the wrath of God does not rest on the children of God. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.”
  3. God does not give us what we deserve. He welcomes us to stand in confidence before the throne of grace, expectant of mercy and help in our times of need. “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.”
  4. He has removed our sin from us and no longer views us as guilty and condemned. “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.”
  5. The Lord is compassionate. He knows our weakness and He is powerful to save. “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”

We just celebrated Thanksgiving… a time to stop and be grateful for the many blessings in our lives.  As Christians, every day should be one of thanksgiving and praise to the God who continually blesses us.  Join me today in praising our great God together.  No matter your situation, you deserved hell and instead found mercy at the cross.  With all that is within me, I will bless His holy name!

[copyright, 2009, Emily Schankweiler; A Sacrifice of Praise]