Read: Psalm 103:1-5
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (NIV Psalm 103:1-5)
Study: Sometimes we speak as though gratitude to God is just automatic—and sometimes it is. But not always. The first verses of Psalm 103 sound more like the psalmist giving himself a “pep talk,” a reminder of how spiritually important gratitude is. There are times in almost all of our lives when we need that reminder, when God feels distant and our pain, disappointment or suffering may feel unending. This psalmist had apparently been through a hard time, likely a moral crisis that needed pardon, a severe illness or maybe both. The call (to himself) to “bless the LORD” (Yahweh) wasn’t a vague summons to act grateful even though he didn’t feel that way inwardly. It focused on God’s healing and forgiving as central reasons for gratitude. How can you, like this psalmist, learn at hard times to refocus your attention on the enduring reasons for gratitude to God?
Prayer: God of all creation, you are the unchanging, dependable source of all the forgiveness and healing that I (and all of us) need. I thank and praise you for that. Amen.