Remember All Your Benefits.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)
Psalm 103 is a very uplifting read. For anyone who is downcast, it’s essential reading. Whether you’re a Christian or not, it’s also a great example of positive self-talk. We all talk to ourselves all the time, maintaining a constant internal dialogue throughout the day. For a lot of us it tends to be quite harsh, full of worry and self-reproach. What if we were kinder to ourselves in our self-talk?
Even for those who don’t believe in God, this psalm encourages us to remember all the good things we have. We all have ‘benefits’ we can be thankful for, regardless of whom or what we’re thanking. The past few weeks have shown us the value of mundane things we used to take for granted – like seeing pasta on the shelves or being able to sit next to your colleagues each day – so let’s be grateful for the things we do have, great and small.
Most of us still have electric lights, running waters, food in the cupboard, internet connections to keep informed and speak to loved ones, warm clothes, family, cars, phones, etc. etc. Don’t take any of them for granted – you never know what you have until it’s gone.
And for those of us who do believe, let’s still be thankful, but let’s direct our gratitude squarely at God. Every good thing comes from Him (James 1:17). In these few verses we see a wonderful list of things God has done for us and which we should thank Him for, both spiritual and physical. He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems our lives, shows us love and compassion, satisfies us with good things, and renews our strength. Never forget how much we have to be thankful for.
This psalm is also an opportunity to pray for those in need of these things. For those who are sick, with Covid-19 or anything else, let’s pray healing. For those who are distraught or lonely, let’s pray for love and compassionate companionship. For those who are now struggling without many of the good things the rest of us take for granted, let’s pray for them to be satisfied. For those who are tired, let’s pray for strength and energy. For those who have no hope, let’s pray that they find redemption in Jesus.
And lastly, when I see a promise for youth to be renewed, let’s pray for society itself to be renewed, that as individuals we’d keep coming together to look out for each other and make this world a better place.
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