Daily Devotion: The benefits of the Lord

The previous devotion focused on the first two verses of Psalm 103 and the need to remind ourselves of all the reasons we have to praise the Lord. This devotion will work through those reasons as David lists them in the Psalm.

“who forgives all your sins”

Through Christ all of our sins are atoned for perfectly and completely. Not just many of them or partly, but all of them completely.

“and heals all your diseases,”

Healing comes in many different forms and methods. We receive spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional healing. God has created our bodies to heal naturally, He has given doctors and counselors wisdom in how to help the body heal, and He heals and restores supernaturally. Whatever the case may be, the healing comes from the Lord. In His compassion God heals many of our diseases in this lifetime, but even if there are some that are not healed while we are on earth, we can be confident that He will bring complete healing and beyond when we receive our glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21). 

“who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion”

God has “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (Colossians 1:13), He is ” the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3), and loves us so much that He laid down His life for us (John 15:13).

He lifts us up out of the pit, out of the trap that our life of sin gets us into. Not only does He pull us out of the muck and mire, but the imagery of crowning us has connotations of royalty and from the New Testament we know that we have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). It is through Christ that we receive God’s perfect love and compassion as part of God’s family and share in the inheritance of Christ. We are not only rescued, but we are elevated as well.

who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Our heavenly Father knows what we need (Matthew 6:32), gives good gifts (Matthew 7:11), and “every good and perfect gift” is from Him (James 1:17).  He calls the weary and burdened to Himself (Matthew 11:28) and says that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18).  He is a Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, sets the lonely in families, and leads prisoners out with singing (Psalm 68:5-6). His justice is complete, often performed in this life, but surely performed in the next.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:

The same God that freed His people from slavery, parted the Red Sea, broke down the walls of Jericho, brought water from a rock, and manna from heaven is the same God that we worship and watches over us now. He does not change (Hebrews 13:8) and He is always faithful, even when we are not (2 Timothy 2:13).

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

God’s mercy and grace should always give us reason for praise. Both the distance God casts our sin from us and the size of God’s love for us are immeasurable. The distance of east from west and the height of the heavens above the earth let us know that we cannot begin to measure the extent of God’s mercy or the expanse of His love.

As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord knows we are but a mist and yet has great compassion on us. While our life may be just a moment, His love for us is eternal, “from everlasting to everlasting”. We should also remember that God sees us clothed with the righteousness of Christ, therefore His love is with us and we stand before Him perfect, as if we perfectly “keep his covenant” and “obey his precepts”.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

God is sovereign over all. We know His love and compassion for us, we have been reminded of His grace and mercy, He has revealed His caring heart for us. To also know that the one who loves us most–more than we can comprehend–is also completely in control of all things ought to bring us to a humble and peaceful state of worship and praise. What do we have to fear? What is worthy of our worrying? Nothing can happen outside of His power or control and His love and compassion for us cannot be measured.

We will not understand all that happens in this life and we will have times of doubt or confusion, but even in those times the Lord has compassion on us and “knows we are dust”. We can look to Him and trust Him for He is good and remind ourselves of “all His benefits”

We have many reasons to praise the Lord.  

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

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