Psalm 103:1-5 - Five Reasons to be Thankful
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The first thing we are exhorted in this Psalm is to praise the Lord. Our hearts should always abound with thanksgiving and praises to the Lord. The Bible says:
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Heb. 13:15).
The second exhortation is that we should not forget all His benefits toward us. By nature, we are a forgetful people. But that ought not to be so. The Bible says:
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name" (Psalm 100:4).
Psalm 103:1-5 gives us five reasons to be thankful and it is an excellent reminder as we approach Thanksgiving. Here they are:
1. We are to be thankful for the forgiveness we have in Christ.
The greatest blessing is the forgiveness we have in Christ:
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit" (Psalm 32:1-2).
2. We are to be thankful for good health.
Good health is a blessing for God and we should never take our health for granted. God does not guarantee healing every time we get sick; but when we do get sick and recover, it is because God has healed us. Sometimes God lets us get sick for God can even use sickness for our good and for our sanctification. God works through medicine and doctors to heal us.
"O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me" (Psalm 30:2).
3. We are to be thankful for God redeeming our life from destruction.
Many times we wander astray like lost sheep and like the prodigal son. But Christ is the Good Shepherd of the sheep (John 10:11) and He cares for each of His sheep and will seek out His sheep till He finds it. Christ cares for each of His sheep not only as a group but also individually. Each of Christ's sheep is very precious in His sight.
"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses" (Psalm 107:13).
4. We are to be thankful for God's lovingkindess and tender mercies.
God's mercies are great. God does not give us what we deserve. His grace is unmerited and undeserved. The Bible says:
"The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:8-14).
5. We are to be thankful for God's provision.
We need to be thankful for God's providing for us all that we need such as food, clothing, and housing.
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1).
Indeed God is very faithful and that is a cause for thanksgiving. Even "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tim. 2:13). His mercies are new every morning and great is His Faithfulness.
"Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23).