** Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. ** Psalm 103:1
Have you ever read something over and over again and then stopped and asked yourself…
“What exactly does that mean?”
** Bless the Lord**
Have you ever heard someone say?….” well, bless the Lord, honey”….Uh, okay. Those words always left me in a quandary. (a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation.)
So, I spent some time learning a bit about “Blessing”.
Bless, according to a concordance in Hebrew can mean…to kneel…to bless God as an act of adoration…praise…praise still…and thank. It also has some negative connotations but for today we will look at the positive.
If we apply these definitions to Psalm 103, we can see more clearly what ‘blessing God’ means for all of us.
** Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: ** Psalm 103:2
As David writes, he is talking to his soul, to himself, to his inner thoughts and maybe even his inner doubts.
So he tells himself, DON’T FORGET ALL THE GOOD THAT GOD HAS DONE AND ALL THE GOOD THAT HE IS.
These first two verses of Psalm 103, let us know that David sometimes struggled with dealing with his tough times. Like when everyone saw him as too young, too inexperienced and maybe even too small to get the job done. Or when the king that he served and helped and only did his best for, wanted to kill him. Or maybe it was when his wife was given away to another man. And then there was the time that his own son took his throne from him. And all those days he spent running away from that king and that son and lived in caves and had no choice but to make his wives and children and his best friends live there, too.
At times, David wrestled with himself to find his faith. Those times when life became overwhelming and didn’t make sense to him. He didn’t spew out cursings or ultimatums at God. But there were some heart journeys that needed to be traveled before he could stand strong again, believing that all that was happening to him had a purpose and was for his good.
Maybe the Lord allows us to see so much of David’s life and struggles, and his very human emotions and inner battles so that it will help us to go a little easier on ourselves when times get tough. Every trial is meant to stretch our faith and draw us closer to the Lord. But sometimes, it is a process that takes time. Days, weeks, maybe even years.
When the trial is over or at least enough time has passed, we can see a bit more of what the Lord was doing in us. We see His benefits in us. We see the fruit of His gentle purging. We see His transforming Hand, molding us into the image of Christ. His essence. His demeanor. His compassion. And all of this making us stronger.
We might also see more of His mercy, grace, kindness, goodness, or gentleness and then recognize that He is calling us to a higher place in each of or any of these Christ-like traits.
We are going to spend a few days in this Psalm. But for now….
Forget not His benefits.
What has the Lord done for each of us over the years? Even before we came to know Him.
What mercy or protection did the Lord pour out on us before we knelt before the Cross?
What amazing things has He done since the Cross?
And what great grace and comfort and compassion did He show us on the worse days of our lives? The days when we couldn’t hardly breathe for the pain? What love did He pour out on us? What comfort? What miracles?
It’s okay that it took us time to get to the place of blessing. It’s okay that we struggled. David did. A man after the Lord’s own heart. It’s okay. The Lord never rebuked him for struggling. He doesn’t think badly of us. He loves us, unconditionally, mercifully, graciously, completely. FOREVER.
Forget not His benefits. Bless the Lord, O my soul!