“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits” – Psalm 103:1-2
Psalm 103 is packed with beautiful and encouraging truth. In the space of twenty-two verses David covers a wide range of truth about God and His relationship with us. We have many great and wonderful reasons to be constantly praising the Lord.
David knows that since we are frail and fickle like “dust” (vs. 14), we often lose sight of the eternal. We forget all of the reasons we have to be thankful and to praise the Lord. We focus on the temporary physical challenges facing us and neglect the greater and lasting truths contained in our God.
When we don’t feel like praising the Lord, when we can’t see beyond our current difficult situation or if we have been lulled into boredom by the repetition of regular day after regular day, we must remind ourselves of who the Lord is and what He has done for us.
In writing this Psalm, David is speaking to and exhorting himself. He addresses his “soul” and “all [his] inmost being”, his heart and his spirit. He reminds himself not to forget or neglect the reasons that he has to be joyful and to be in a state of praising the Lord.
There are times when our hearts are not filled with the joy that comes from the Lord, when we don’t have the majesty of God before our minds. If we find our spirit weighed down and heart heavy or even just an overall feeling of malaise, that is an indication that we should take time to exhort ourselves in the same way that David does in Psalm 103.
Throughout scripture we are called to remember who our God is, to remember His mighty acts throughout history, to call to mind His promises and the ways in which He fulfills them. We have all of scripture to use remind ourselves as well as looking back in our own lives and personal journeys. We can look back at the events in our path through life and see God’s hand and His character throughout. We remember His love that is shown to us over and over again, His never-ending faithfulness, His mercy and grace in spite of difficult circumstances, His forgiveness when we have turned away and His gentleness in bringing us back, His comfort in the face of heartache and His strength in the midst of the storm.
Don’t forget the works He has done in your life. Call them to mind often and praise Him for them all over again. Be filled again with the joy that you had when He showed Himself faithful and good. Let your heart be lifted to sing in remembering all of His good gifts to you. He is a compassionate and gracious father, slow to anger and abounding in love. Remember, let those memories fill your inmost being with joy and praise.