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  • Steve McFarland

Hey Soul Bless the Lord!

"For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. I eat ashes for food. My tears run down into my drink. My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass."


Wow! Sounds like someone was having a bad day. Those words come from Psalms 102 which is known as the "Prayer of the Overwhelmed". The writer eventually moves on to speak to and about God. But he does so from a third-person point of view, of how God will help others.


Then we come to Psalms 103:

Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!


I don't necessarily believe the author wrote 103 in a time of great success and was filled with joy. I think perhaps he was feeling much like the writer of 102. It seems as though he has been in despair but now he is taking control of his thoughts and his spirit. That he's saying ok soul you've looked at the bad, the ugly, the painful, NOW - LOOKat GOD. He purposely, assertively, commands " Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:" Then he begins to rehearse all that God has done for him:


"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 psalmist turns his focus from his problems to look at God and what He has done for him in the past. This builds faith and confidence that God will continue to care for him. This is a principle the apostle Paul communicated to the Philippians:


"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."


When we are faced with a challenge it can often dominate our thoughts. As we dwell on it the emotions follow, fear, worry, desperation, the list goes on and on. Soon we are being controlled by those feelings, sapping us of the fullness of life that Christ promises. But it doesn't have to be that way! Take charge, apply the principle of worship and thanksgiving and look at Jesus. Fix your thoughts on Him and His promises then His peace, which is beyond human understanding, will sustain you.


Blessings,

Pastor Steve

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