The Bible tells us a great deal about God’s character. He is an all-powerful, awesome Creator, who can begin and end events with a single word. He is a God with whom nothing is impossible. He is also a God of mercy and grace, worthy of praise. Notice what David writes in the Psalms.
Psalm 103:1-6 says:
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
Think about the picture these words paint of God. Dwell on his forgiveness and mercy. This Psalm goes on to remind us the Lord can take away our guilt, so challenge yourself to allow the God described above to be the Lord of life today.
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Darkness engulfed New York in 1977, and guilt and fear overwhelmed a young boy. It took some time, but the boy’s parents finally discovered why he was so upset. Just as the lights went out, the boy had kicked a utility pole, so he was convinced he caused the great black out. Guilt paralyzed him until he realized the truth.
Guilt is something we all experience. A Psychology Today post reports, “We experience 5 hours a week of guilty feelings. One study found that if you add up all the moments you spend feeling mildly or moderately guilty, it adds up to a pretty significant chunk of time.”
It is not that we experience Guilt which causes a problem. It is our handling of the guilty feelings which makes a difference. Guilt is a trigger that can lead us to action, and it can be used by the Lord to help us discover true peace.
Guilt can be the tool which drives us to the Lord. Our guilt can push us to fully accept the Lord’s grace. Those mistakes, those failures of the past can create much guilt, but we can be set free in God’s grace.
Psalm 103:7-14 says:
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
This Psalm is a reminder of God’s grace. We do not get what we deserve; we get far more! In his grace, we can find freedom in Christ. The Lord removes our guilt and replaces it with his peace. He removes the guilt from past mistakes and replaces it with a hope for a better future. When you think of your past, do you concentrate on the guilt of past mistakes or the peace of Christ’s forgiveness?
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Psalm 103 encourages gratefulness.
In the hustle of life, it is easy to forget the ways in which we are blessed. Good things might even become commonplace, so it is easy to forget to be grateful.
Not always, but sometimes in the busyness, you and I forget to be thankful for the good things in our lives.
Amid a storm, we also may forget. Everything around us is crumbling and falling, so it is hard to focus on what is good.
Psalm 103 encourages us to always be grateful.
David opens and closes the Psalm with this encouragement.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me,” writes David in verses 1-2.
He says in verse 22, “Praise the Lord everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the Lord.”
Psalm 103 gives us some reasons to always be grateful.
We can all make a list of good things in our lives, and David offers a few suggestions for the list.
- The Lord’s forgiveness.
- The Lord’s help.
- The Lord’s dependable track record.
- The Lord’s character. Verses 8-11 say, “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins. He does not deal harshly with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.”
What is on your list? Try making a list and giving thanks for it daily.
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