Psalm 103, attributed to David, is a wonderful psalm of thanksgiving. It would help us greatly if we read it frequently and remembered its lessons constantly.
We immediately notice that expression “Bless the Lord,” repeated five times within the twenty-two verses. We are not really surprised to see these words come from David, a man who was full of praise for His God. But, we need to see more from the psalm.
We see a choice. David tells himself to be thankful. The human mind can be encouraged to be thankful of thankless. We cultivate love, wholesome thoughts, and gratitude by choice. The same mind can choose hatred, evil thoughts, and ingratitude. Paul would list worthwhile things and encourage, “. . . meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
We see the considerations, “. . . His benefits” (2). It hardly seems necessary to remind people of God’s blessings. Or, is it? Did the Israelites forget their deliverance from Egypt? Did the prophets ever criticize Jews for failure to recall God’s deeds among them? Just read through the verses of this psalm and try to count all the examples of God’s goodness. It is amazing how many blessings are listed!
From what David writes, we can also draw some conclusions. It is much better to focus on the right things in life. There is no encouragement to dwell on the wrong things. What a wasted effort it is to let people who rub us the wrong way, or slight us, or who have more than us, become the focus of our thinking.
Also, those who keep their minds centered on God’s benefits will enjoy a happy life, knowing that the One who created all things, and has plans for His people to have endless joy, will continue to bless.
Truly, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!”