1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits: (Psalm 103:1-2)
How Can I Keep From Singing by Chris Tomlin
I love this picture of David praising the Lord—and all that is within me, bless His holy name. David is not holding back. He is bursting with the joy of the Lord! On those days when I am blessed beyond measure and our cup overflows, it is easy for me to be like David and burst out with praise to the Lord. However, as time passes and trials rush in praising God with “all that is within me” does not come as easy. What changed? Not God. (Malachi 3:6) He is still as faithful—an ever present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) He remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
The truth is whether my day is one of the best days of my life, or one of the worst, when I consider all that Jesus has done for me, all that He is doing, and all He will do I have great reason to rejoice regardless of my circumstances. I can burst with praise to God each and every day if my focus is on His faithfulness and goodness in my life, rather than on the problems of my day.
For those days though, when life is just so difficult that praise doesn’t come natural, David gives us a great pick-me-up and reason to rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 103:2 David instructs, “and forget not all His benefits.” Nothing pumps me up to praise more than remembering the awesome ways God has worked in and through my life…the countless times He has delivered me, and the priceless promises He will be faithful to keep that I can always count on.
It’s important that I don’t forget all His benefits—all the ways God has blessed me through His provisions and deliverance. Why? Because if I am always making it my goal to remember the good things has done and is doing in my life, then His goodness and faithfulness stays fresh in my mind and when trials come, I can have perfect peace because my mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3) If I don’t make it a point to remember the good works of God in my life, I can easily lose sight of the great things the Lord has done for me. When that happens, anxiety is a given. Instead of rejoicing in God’s past faithfulness and having peace, that the Lord will work this trial to good as He’s done for all the rest, my mind is weighted down with anxious thoughts wondering, “What am I going to do now?”
This was the problem with the Israelites after they witnessed the mighty ways God worked in their life in Egypt. God had protected them during the plagues of Egypt, and then parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to safely flee from the Egyptians. On the other side of the Red Sea, free from their bondage to the Egyptians, the Israelites were so pumped up with praise for God’s amazing work in their lives. (Exodus 15) Yet when in the wilderness, they often got discouraged, complained, and even considered going back to Egypt to be slaves to the Egyptians. Psalm 78:11 explains, “They forgot what He had done, the wonders He had shown them.” Psalm 106 goes into more detail:
6 We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make his mighty power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
he led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
11 The waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them survived.
12 Then they believed his promises
and sang his praise.
13 But they soon forgot what He had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
21 They forgot the God who saved them,May we learn from their mistakes, and not let it be said of us that we forgot not all His benefits—the great things God has done for us.
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. (Psalm 106:6-13; 21-22)
Since we are in the first week of the Psalm 103 memory challenge, perhaps now is a great time to begin a faithfulness journal. Every day God blesses us in some way whether it is an answered prayer, a provision, or deliverance. If the Lord leads you to do this, I encourage you to simply write the date and the good thing(s) the Lord did in your life that day. When discouraging times come, you’ll have a storehouse of your own personal examples of God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life. By writing them down, you can read them over and over to encourage you in your current and future trials. This is a great way to obey God’s Word to “forget not all His benefits.” As you daily record God’s goodness to you, I imagine trials will not pack the same punch they did because you will now be facing them with an arsenal of testimonies to God’s greatness in your life.
Not only will a journal like this bless you in your trials, but what a legacy for your children, and an encouragement to them in their own trials.
Tips for making memorizing Psalm 103:1-2 easier
1. Note repeated words and phrases: Bless the Lord, O my soul….and…all
1Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits: (Psalm 103:1-2 NKJV)
2. Try to recite these verses just by looking at the first letters of these verses and fill in the blanks. Give it a try:
1 B_ _ _ _ t _ _ L_ _ _, O m_ s_ _ _;
A_ _ a_ _ t_ _ _ i_ w_ _ _ _ _ m_, b_ _ _ _ His h_ _ _ n_ _ _!
2 B_ _ _ _ t _ _ L_ _ _, O m_ s_ _ _,
A_ _ f_ _ _ _ _ n_ _ _ a_ _ H_ _ b_ _ _ _ _ _ _:
3. Print out Psalm 103 and post your verses wherever you frequent for quick and easy review during your day. I have memorized Psalm 103:1-2 this week simply by posting my verses in three places I frequent daily.
1. My refrigerator—I can easily review my verses as I cook since my refrigerator is near my prep area and stove.
2. My bathroom mirror—I review my verses while I brush my teeth, do my hair and make-up, and get dressed.
3. My shower—I printed Psalm 103 in large type (since my reading glasses would probably fog up in the shower)—and put my verses in two sheet protectors. I tape up the open end and then tape the sheets to my driest shower wall. I do the bulk of my memory work during my shower and come out of my shower not only physically refreshed, but spiritually refreshed as well. I love that!
So what places do you frequent? Where do you spend the bulk of your day? Consider posting your verses there, and you will be amazed how often you’re able to review, how fast you memorize your verses, and how well you retain what you have memorized.
If you have any tips for memorizing these verses, or just tips for memorizing Scripture in general feel free to share in the comments. I’d love to hear how you are hiding these verses in your heart and the good things the Lord is doing through your memorizing Psalm 103.
Questions for you: What benefits (or blessings from God) are you remembering and praising God for this week? Do you keep a journal of God’s faithfulness? If so, how has reading past entries encouraged and strengthened you in your current trials?
Psalm 103 Memory Challenge Quick LinksFor tips and helps in memorizing your verses this week, check out the previous posts for the Psalm 103 Memory Challenge:
Introduction to Memorizing Psalm 103
Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2 Remembering God’s Faithfulness.
Week 2 (Part 1): Psalm 103:3 There's No god Like Our God!
Week 2 (Part 2) Psalm 103:4 Oh, How He Loves Us!
Week 3 (Part 1) Psalm 103:5 Strength For The Weary
Week 3 (Part 2) Psalm 103:6 God Will Give You Justice!
Week 4 (Part 1) Psalm 103:7 God Makes Himself Known!
Week 4 (Part 2) Psalm 103:8 Mercy in Abundance!
Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10 Better Than I Deserve!
Week 6: Psalm 103:11-12 How High and Wide is God's Mercy For Us!
Week 7: Psalm 103:13-14 God's Loving Compassion For Us!
Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16 Soon and Very Soon, We are Going to See the King!
Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18 God's Mercy is from Everlasting to Everlasting!
Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20 God Rules Over All!
Week 11: Psalm 103:21-22 Bless the Lord!
Week 12: My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden In My Heart!
If you haven’t yet, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”
Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.