A Heart of Praise and Thanksgiving: Psalm 103

David, the psalmist, demonstrates a heart filled with praise and thanksgiving in Psalm 103. He begins this song by reminding himself to praise the Lord. We need these kind of self-check reminders. David wants to remember the good things that the Lord has done for him, so he starts listing them in this psalm.

We can take David’s example and do the same thing. Consider what the Lord has done for you and give Him praise for His goodness to you. Write them in your journal.

Davids recognizes the gifts of forgiveness, healing, being ransomed from death, God’s tender loving mercies, and all the good things God has filled his life with. What else can you add to his list?

Lamentations 3:23 tells us that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. What a beautiful promise that we can count on.

David recognizes the many facets of God’s character. We can look from Genesis to Revelations to see these truths about our great God. We, too,can praise God for Who He is.

  • He is a God Who is slow to anger. Joel 2:13 “Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”
  • He is a God of justice. Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
  • He is a gracious God. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” 
  • He is a God filled with unfailing love. His love remains forever to those who fear Him.               2 Chronicles 20:21b “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
  • He is removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
  • He is like a father to us, demonstrating compassion and tenderness to us. 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are…”
  • He understands the weakness of our flesh. Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet he did not sin.”
  • He rules over everything. Ephesians 1:21 “Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else–not only in this world but also in the world to come.”

David knew His God well. God’s Word is full of examples of reasons to be thankful.

David completes Psalm 103 by reminding all mighty creatures to listen and obey, and to carry out the Lord’s commands. He tells the angels to praise the Lord, and repeats this again for all, for every created being should praise the Lord. And then David reminds everyone that he too will praise the Lord. How about you, is your heart filled with praise and thanksgiving?

This Thanksgiving season take time to read Psalm 103 and find reason to praise and give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and worthy of our praise!

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Facets of God’s Character: I AM WHO I AM

Fear gripped my heart. I woke up startled, my heart racing, my thoughts filled with anxiety-producing worries. I got up, found my favorite chair in the living room, and tried to calm down. Soothing music wasn’t helping. I opened my Bible and started reading passages to calm the terror within, but that didn’t seem to help either. I talked to God telling Him what I was feeling, He immediately impressed on me the evidence of His presence with me. I am here. 

When you are feeling fearful, just knowing someone is with you is calming. But, when you are fearful and you recognize that the LORD, YAHWEH, is with you, the fear suddenly dissipates. It wasn’t simply I am here.  It was I AM here. 

Moses dealt with great fear when he was asked to go speak to Pharaoh. God told him to tell the Israelites that I AM sent him. The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac, The God of Jacob. He identified Himself as the Self-Existent One. He said, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS WAS.” (See Exodus 3.) The LORD promised that His Presence would go with Moses.

The reality of knowing the LORD’s presence changes everything. Jesus helped us to learn so much more about who I AM is through His own I am statements.

Jesus told us in the Scriptures that He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Gate (Door) for the sheep, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the True Vine. The One Who Always Was sent His Son to be all we need.

He is always with me, I need not fear.

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV says,

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged.”

Proverbs 139:5 NLT says:

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

How can we fear if we know the One Who goes before us? How can we be anxious when we know the One Who goes with us? How can we tremble if we know He follows close behind and has our back?

Jesus is the Shepherd Who guides me, and the Door that leads me safely in. He is the True Vine that when I am connected to Him I am able to accomplish His will. He is the Bread of life that meets my each and every need. I am saved for eternity by way of trusting in Him and His Resurrection. He is the Way, showing me direction, the Truth, the plumbline of righteousness for me, and the Life, the One Who gives me life eternal.

I have all I need in knowing the great I AM.

What do you need today? Find it in the LORD, He is with you.