“Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” (Psalm 103:1 NASB) I am so grateful for the Word of God that teaches me to pray. This verse speaks to me often, no matter what I am experiencing or where I am in the journey. It’s the “all that is within me” part that comforts me today. You see, like you, I am a complex individual, believing the Lord lives and also at the mercy of my frail humanity. Nevertheless, Jesus rules and reigns over all things, even those things in me that are not in line with His Word and His heart. So, I can confidently say, “Let all that is in me, bless the Lord..”
Today, I am not feeling well in my body, and it is easy during physical struggles to fall pray to self-pity, to think it ought not be this way. When I am laid low, I do sometimes ask the Lord, “Why?” Very rarely do I find that He explains, and I’m not sure understanding would actually help me. What I do find, every time, is that He is near to comfort me. He knows, and He sees, and He cares.
This momentary light affliction is nothing compared to the substance of His glory and the reality that He is working in everything. And this leads me to pray differently. It ceases to matter so much that my body sometimes betrays me. After all, it is but a temporary home, and one day I will fold it up like a tent. In the meantime, I have the moment to pause and reflect on all His goodness. The dozens of people with whom I share life seem suddenly nearer and more precious. My heart fills with gratitude for each of them and the beauty of the Lord that is revealed in their individual stories.
“Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget any of His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2 NASB) My soul prospers in the ways of the Lord: His faithful mercy to forgive all my transgressions, His grace to disclose of His heart to me, and His redemption plan for the world to be restored and reconciled to the Father. It is such a great big story, and it encompasses the vastness of space and time and even beyond to all the ages to come.
That He would call me into this incredible adventure, full of discovery and wonder, thrills my heart and strengthens my inner man. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though the outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV)
Dear reader, do you sometimes quail at the difficulties and trials of life on planet earth? Does eternity seem dim and far away? Rest assured, eternity has come for you. He came that anyone who believed on Him would not die but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) And that life is the light we now live by. It is in that light, the light of His love, that we see things as they really are. We see the value of others, because we see they are made by Him on purpose for His good pleasure. We see the place and purpose of our own life as being part of something beyond ourselves. We see the power of love that willingly gives everything to purchase redemption.
Father, I pray for all of us that we would be invaded and infected by your love and your kingdom, that we would be quick to repent and quick to obey because we love you so much and believe you so deeply. Let us not forget Your benefits, and let the light of Your love shine through us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Until next week, beloved, may your soul prosper in the knowledge of His love for you.