BLESS THE LORD

In just a few short days we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a shame that we have only one day set aside each year to give thanks to God as a nation. We should have some time set aside each day, to give our praise to Him who has blessed us so richly.
I was shopping in one of the local grocery stores just before Thanksgiving last year and most everything in the store was promoting the great commercial power of Christmas. You remember when all the stores use to have the paper pilgrims to decorate the stores not too many years ago. Now as soon as the big push to buy costumes and candy is over, out comes the commercialization of Christmas. We are bombarded with Santa Claus and snowmen.

As God’s people, we should focus our thoughts, not only now but often, on the goodness of God and offer our gratitude to Him for who He is and for all He has done for us.
Psalm 103:1-5 is David’s Hallelujah Chorus! “Praise the Lord, my soul! Praise his holy name, all that is within me. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and never forget all the good he has done: 3 He is the one who forgives all your sins, the one who heals all your diseases, 4 the one who rescues your life from the pit, the one who crowns you with mercy and compassion, 5 the one who fills your life with blessings so that you become young again like an eagle.” Notice he addresses his soul. He is reminding himself, as he praises the Lord, of all that God has done.

 

PRAISE THE LORD AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS – (vs. 1-2)

This is a prayer of nothing but praise to God. There is no supplication, no request, no petition or plea in this prayer. It is pure unadulterated praise to God. David was awestruck with God’s blessings. We are not told the circumstances in which David received this Psalm, but it is not difficult to imagine how it happened. Looking at his life, counting his blessings instead of complaining about his burdens, it dawned on David just how much God had done for him. He realized how good God had been and how undeserving he was of all these blessings. Springing up from the depths of his heart and gushing out onto his parchment came this prayer of praise, expressing his gratitude toward the Lord.

David praised the Lord with his song. If you ever have a problem praising the Lord all you have to do is read this psalm. A psalm is a song. All the psalms were sung by the Hebrews. The book of Psalms is a hymn book. So David sang this song of praise to the Lord.

I can see David, full of emotion, passionate in all that he did, praising God with all his heart. He’d have a difficult time in some of our churches today. He believed in putting his all into it. King David was also an accomplished musician, a man who sang with feeling and with conviction. This was a joyous song of praise to the Lord.

These words were not dry and stale when David sang them. They were full of life and energy. They were part of his worship. You remember that David danced when he worshiped God. Remember that one of his wives, Michal, did not approve and criticized him, and God made her barren for her criticism. Now a guy who dances when he worships God, would not be dry as he sang this song. It would not be sung like he was at a funeral. This was a song of praise. David sang it with joy and with a deep desire to let God and everyone who could hear, know just how much he really wanted God to receive praise and glory. The psalms are filled with these kinds of praise songs.

In Psalm 34:12 when David pretended to be insane in the presence of Abimelech, who drove him out, he said, “I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim with me the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.”

Psalm 66:1 – 4: “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. Say to God, ‘How awe-inspiring are Your works! Your enemies will cringe before you because of your great strength. All the earth will worship You and sing praise to You. They will sing praise to Your name.'”

Psalm 81, 92, and many, many others are songs of praise to the Lord.

David was serious about praising the Lord. It wasn’t something he only did at the temple during religious ceremonies. It was part of his everyday experience. He was grateful to the Lord and he could not help but praise him. We need to be the same when it comes to the way we sing our songs of praise. David was singing the Hebrew version of “Count your blessings.”

 

YOUR LIFE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS HEALTHY AND WHOLE – (vs. 3)

One of the names of the devil is the accuser of the brethren. In Job we see him going before God to accuse Job. We have every reason to believe that he goes before God even now to accuse us. He says, “Look at what he said. Look at what she did. These people of yours are sinners. How can they say they really love you and continue to act like they do?” He does not have to lie about us when he comes before the Lord, for God would not permit it. No, there are enough faults in all of our lives that the devil simply has to point out the obvious.

The Bible calls him the adversary, the enemy. But we also have an Advocate. We have one who goes to the Father on our behalf. We have Jesus Christ the righteous. When the old devil accuses us, our Advocate, Jesus, raises His nail-pierced hand and says, “Just a minute. We see no stain of sin on that one or on that one or on that one, because they are mine. I have bought them with a price and their sins, though they were like scarlet, have been washed white as snow. They belong to me.”

As David writes under the anointing of the Holy Spirit he understands that God forgives our sins. But he also sees believers as people who have been made whole because of their relationship with God.

Verse 3b – who heals all your diseases – remember that he is addressing his soul. So what kind of healing is he speaking of here?

Many take this to mean physical healing. We know that God heals physically. God is the great physician and we can take all of our physical needs to Him. He made us and has the power to save us and heal us.

James 5:14-15: “Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

But physical healing is not the kind spoken of here. If we are to do justice to this passage, we can’t simply assign to it any meaning we would like. David is talking to his soul, telling it that God heals all the diseases of the soul, sin being chief among them. Does the soul have diseases? Absolutely! Fear, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate, jealously, pride, greed . . . the list goes on and on. These soul diseases can all be traced back to our fallen nature and the effects of sin. But God can give permanent healing to the soul.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

 

LIFE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS MEANINGFUL – (vs. 4-5)

Because He forgives our sins, because He gives us relationship, because He heals our souls diseases, then we see that life is meaningful. This verse can be translated, “He keeps your life from going to waste.”

How many people waste the years of their lives on things that, in the long run, really don’t count? They spend their days in pursuit of the temporal passing things, and wake up one day, empty, tired and feeling like there is no use going on. In fact, they end up feeling betrayed because the things they worked so hard to obtain failed to bring them the satisfaction for which they longed. The world does not offer any hope for meaningful living. Money, material, power, position, things, won’t do it.

God gives His people purpose in living. He gives us meaning. He keeps our lives from going to waste. Our lives are lived with eternal purpose. All lives not lived in Christ are only a shell of what they are intended to be. This is one of the benefits of knowing God, our lives count; they are not lived in vain. They have eternal significance. This is one of the things David is praising the Lord for. In verse 5 David said, “He satisfies your mouth.”

He gives us satisfaction in our old age. Remember David is speaking to his soul and he said that one of the benefits of being God’s people is that when we are old we will not have to look back on our lives with regret. Regardless of your age, or of how many years you have walked on the earth, God will give you satisfaction.

Are you living a life in relationship with God? If so, you can’t help but praise Him. This is the same passion David had. How do you praise him? With your life. But we have to be careful not to fall into the same rut the Israelites fell into – saying one thing and doing another.

Isaiah 29:13 “These people worship me with their mouths and honor me with their lips. But their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is based on rules made by humans.”

David said I will praise Him with all that is within me. That means, praise Him with my attitudes and my actions, my family and my finances, my words and my work, my relationship with God and my relationships with others, my voice and my vocation, my church and my children, my hobbies and my habits, I will praise Him not only in word but also in deed. I will praise Him with everything that is within me!!!

When was the last time you stopped to consider all His benefits? Do you enjoy those benefits? Have you ever experienced forgiveness? Are you living a meaningful life, a satisfied life? Does your soul have diseases that need to be healed? Are you living with an eternal purpose? As we approach Thanksgiving Day consider DAILY the many blessings and benefits God has given you!

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING MINISTRY PRAYER REQUESTS

 

  1. Our Revival Services and Evangelistic Crusades as we preach the uncompromised Word of God! We are witnessing more people get saved, filled with the Spirit, healed, delivered and set on fire for God than ever before!
  2. Providing Truth for Youth Bibles for the young people in America. (2.5 million given away so far.)
  3. Providing full Bibles and Truth for Youth Bibles for the young people in Cuba. (in the process of giving away 50,000 now.)
  4. Providing Bibles for our soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces defending America in the war on terror. (More than 250,000 have been given away so far.)
  5. Upcoming evangelistic crusade in Melbourne, Australia area in January, 2019.