All the Benefits of Believing (ATBOB) #2
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
Psalm 103:2 (ESV)
We continue our series on “All the Benefits of Believing” with the second verse of this great Psalm. And it’s a cracker…!
This verse repeats the phrase found in verse one – Bless the Lord, O my soul! I discussed before that this encourages us to stir ourselves up to praise God – even in times when that might be difficult. In such times, we must speak to ourselves – our own souls – and remind ourselves of the many reasons to worship the Lord. No matter how bad things get in this life, there are always more reasons to praise.
If you are reading this now, then you must have Internet access – a blessing if used correctly! But more than that, you probably have eyes to read it. Look around you, wherever you are, and there are likely many reasons to be thankful. Whether it is lighting, heat, electricity, a roof, food or drink or many other physical things. Beyond that, if you are interested in this subject, then you either know God or are seeking Him. So the reasons to praise God are already mounting up.
Our petition should not outweigh our praise!
This verse instructs us not to forget all of God’s benefits, and we see this little word – all – once again.
Remembering – forgetting not – the benefits of the Lord is a powerful thing to do. What our mind dwells on has a huge impact on our lives. The fruit of your life today depends greatly on the thoughts you sowed yesterday. Joyce Meyer says, “Where the mind goes, the man follows.”
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
Proverbs 23:7a (KJV)
Our minds are incredibly powerful, and everything we perceive in life goes through the “filter” of our inner thought life. If that filter is clogged or damaged, then our perception could be off. For instance, if someone doesn’t return your call straightaway, it could be that they are angry with you and that you have offended them in some way. Or, it could simply be that they are busy right now.
How we choose to use our minds impacts our life
We can use our minds in many different ways. This verse is instructing us about how we use our memory.
When you think back, what key events or situations stand out in your memory? Are they generally positive or negative? It’s probably easier to recall in vivid details the times when you have been hurt or when some tragedy befell you. Perhaps it’s in our nature to dwell on the bad, rather than the good, but it is a choice.
Ultimately, you can choose what you think about and how you use your memory.
There are times when we need to examine a bad thing that happened to us, and work through it. I’m thinking of those who experienced some kind of trauma. I’m not suggesting you simply bury those experiences and don’t deal with them in the proper way.
However, if we spend our time recalling only the bad things that have happened to us, then our minds – and subsequently our lives – will not be in a good place.
For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened.
Romans 1:21 (AMP)
Here Paul explains how some fall away from the Christian faith. Even though they knew God as Creator, they didn’t honour Him as such. Paul points out that they stopped giving thanks and that their thinking became worthless.
We must not allow our thoughts to become worthless. We must continue to give thanks always. We must not forget all the many reasons to worship God.
What is your thought life like? Perhaps you’ve never thought about it! Try to memorise this verse from Psalm 103 (above) and if you find yourself not being thankful, complaining or dwelling on negatives, then speak to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to forget the benefits of God. Think back over your relationship with Him, and the times He has come through for you.
Your memory is extremely powerful – don’t waste it!