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Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Recently we got to sing a song titled “All His Benefits” in the Grace Worship Choir, with music by Paul Baloche. As today is Thanksgiving, what a great day it is to thank God for all that He has done.

Thank You God for…

  1. saving a weak and foolish sinner
  2. bringing me to know You
  3. giving Your son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins
  4. rising from the dead and giving hope for the future
  5. giving me a new heart that loves You
  6. giving me Your Word in the Bible
  7. being a gracious God, who has given infinitely beyond what I deserve
  8. saving me from the lusts of my heart over and over again
  9. for Your continual forgiveness of my sins
  10. allowing me to experience sickness so that I can praise You for health
  11. reminding me again of what is most important – You!
  12. my family, who You love so much.
  13. the healing You have brought to my family all these years, and will continue to do
  14. the gift of music to praise You and be reminded of great truths from the Bible
  15. bringing my dad back to be able to live with us locally
  16. giving me time to read the Chinese Bible with my mom daily
  17. bringing me to Your Word in times of doubt and heaviness of heart
  18. loving feeble and frail sinners
  19. being the good Master, Redeemer and Friend
  20. giving my family a home
  21. giving me a place to live near my church
  22. being able to live close to family and frineds
  23. the freedom to choose to love You
  24. being able to ask You for a heart that would be wholly Yours
  25. pray at all times, coming before You with any prayer and petition
  26. the gift of sleep
  27. the piano, what a beautiful instrument
  28. hymns and songs of praise that point me back to You
  29. technology, which allows all these mediums of praise to come to me so easily
  30. being the righteous King
  31. making Yourself known to sinful man through Your Word
  32. being so patient with Your simpleminded sheep
  33. giving me a flexible job that allows me to do other things
  34. giving me a boss who is fair
  35. the joy of being able to trust in You and rest in You
  36. the name of Jesus, the sweetest of all names
  37. the grace, O for grace, to know Him more
  38. the ability to give thanks to You for all that You have done in the past
  39. for giving me life, sustaining my life, and bringing me to know You
  40. helping me to see my sins and turn away from them
  41. protecting me as I was growing up from greater forms of sin that I could have feel into
  42. giving me a brother that I can grow up together with
  43. the heart to pray continually for my family, whom You love so much
  44. the reminder to turn my eyes to Jesus, so that the things of this world would grow dim
  45. the ability to gaze into the beauty of Your Son in the Bible, the light of His glory and grace
  46. teaching me to love and speak Mandarin, that it may be used for Your glory
  47. bringing much healing from the hurts caused by my past life of sin
  48. helping me to see my pride and continually humbling me
  49. bringing me to love Your Word, though I used to draw on the Bible and not treasure it
  50. the anticipation of arriving home in heaven, where there will no more fear and death.
  51. reminding me that I Need Thee Every Hour, every second of this life
  52. bringing me to grow up with music in the house with my mom on the piano and playing the alto saxophone (though I didn’t know why at the time)
  53. drawing me to You
  54. the trials and troubles of life, which bring me back to You
  55. giving this sinner the desire to reconcile past relationships that I’ve broken off
  56. the joy of singing and being able to write songs to You
  57. teaching me how to play the guitar
  58. Your Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretched like me.
  59. finding the lost, giving sight to the blind
  60. being able to give You thanks
  61. saving me from false religion
  62. the promises of Your Word, which are true
  63. delicious food
  64. the church and the joyful fellowship of the saints
  65. loving those who are perishing
  66. having mercy on some, when You could have punished us all
  67. the privilege of praying with others in the Sunday evening prayer group
  68. the friendships and the way You have lead me to Men of the Word through them
  69. the hospitality of D and B
  70. getting to know and love my Japanese family
  71. brothers and mentors who love You and point me to You
  72. being able to spend this Thanksgiving with Your people and those You love
  73. a car that may be used for Your glory
  74. exercise to keep the body You gave me healthy
  75. the Holy Spirit, which leads me and convicts me
  76. being able to say, both now and in the future (by Your grace), that It is Well with my Soul
  77. giving trials for my good, working all things for my good
  78. being able to meet the church from other countries, seeing Your work there
  79. the day when my faith shall become sight
  80. the day when You will return and make right all that is currently wrong
  81. the time when I will get to live life with my wife and children
  82. the unknown future, but knowing that it is in Your hands
  83. bringing older brothers into my life as my example
  84. giving me a name that points to You as salvation, even when I did not know or care for You
  85. teaching me to build My Hope on nothing less, but Jesus and His righteousness
  86. being my support in the overwhelming flood of trials in life
  87. hands that can type out these praises
  88. a heart that echos these praises
  89. eyes that can see what You have made and give praise to You
  90. teaching me to cherish time, knowing that the days are evil
  91. teaching me to read more and more, learning from those who went before me
  92. teaching me how to play the guitar so that I can praise You
  93. clothes, food and shelther
  94. the opportunity to pray for and think about others
  95. the reminder today to praise You
  96. a heart that praises the Father, Spirit and Son. the Holy Trinity, our God three in one
  97. being able to cry out “Abba, Father”
  98. the freedom to do something like this list of praise
  99. the joy of bowing the knee before You
  100. For Your love, as far as the east is from the west have You forgiven my sins
  101. a laptop to work and glorify You, even protecting it from robbers
  102. glasses to help me see
  103. for being my Friend. What a privilege to carry everything to You in prayer.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“6The Lord works righteousness

and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,

his acts to the people of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (ESV)

C: David is exhorting himself, then angels, heavenly hosts, and all creation to praise God.

O: 6 The Lord brings justice for the oppressed?

7 God made Himself, character and works, known to Israel through Moses.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love

9-10 God has every right to be angry toward man, but by grace He does not treat us as we deserve but instead gave His only begotten Son to pay my debt.

M: What is God’s character, what has He done for man? How is He merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love? How does He bring justice for the oppressed? I don’t need to look further than the Bible, or specifically here, Exodus.

When Moses was just an infant in the midst of the killing of Hebrew infants, God rescued him through extraordinary means (adopted by the princess of Egypt herself!) (Exodus 2:10), and used Moses to set His people free from slavery in Egypt. Through miracles again He demonstrates that He alone is the true God, even His enemies were in awe.

A: 1Know God through His Word and deeds. 

a. His character through His relations to man, interactions and works.

b. “He made known His ways.” I did not find God, but He made Himself known through the people of Israel, chosen by a promise, not by their works.

2. Dwell on the fact that God made Himself known to me, not that I found Him. He placed the desire in my heart.

3. Remember my sins against the Lord and how He has been merciful and gracious, not treating me as I deserve but “crowning me with love and compassion.”

Father, Your Word is life. Since the beginning of man You have been merciful, gracious, loving, and just in all Your ways. I confess that I have forgotten You just as the Israelites did and returned back to Egypt. Father, by the Holy Spirit help me to know and understand You more intimately, giving You the glory and praise due You, the only King. Lord, give me understanding so I may bring Your love to those You place into my life. Thank You Father, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and zforget not all his benefits,

who aforgives all your iniquity,

who bheals all your diseases,

who credeems your life from the pit,

who dcrowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who esatisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like fthe eagle’s.” (ESV)

C: A Psalm of praise. It is right after a Psalm of an afflicted man, yet both praise the Lord.

O: 1 The Psalmist tells his soul to praise God with everything he has.

2 Remember what God has done

3 a. Forgiven my sins b. Heal my diseases

4. a. saved me from the lowest point b. crowns me with love and compassion

5 Satisfies my desire with good things so my strength will be restored.

M: Praise God by remembering all that He has done

Like the song 10,000 Reasons, there are so many reasons to praise God for. Lately I’ve become stale in the giving of praise to God, this passage reminds me to remember all that the Lord has done.

A: Remember what God has done and praise Him.

1. How he saved me from my sins, even while I was His enemy (Romans 5:6,8). He did so by giving His only begotten Son, who lived a sinless life, yet died the sinner’s death for me. How since my conception, God has been taking care of me, even when I didn’t care about Him.

2. How God has healed me from much of sin’s effects, or in the process of healing:

– Less fighting with parents

– More thankfulness for the talents and gifts that God gives

– less loneliness and seeking affirmation from man

– Learning to look forward to the future, less on what I don’t have.

– Forgiveness toward others as God has forgiven me

– Less worry about school, future, job, family than before

– Patience toward situations where I used to would be impatient (Driving, with people)

– Learning to find comfort in Christ, instead of food, people, games, entertainment.

3. Crowns me as His son, inheriting all the earth. He also gives me infinitely His love and compassion through His Word, through His people, through His creation, through His Spirit… Freely is His grace given to me, freely may I receive!

4. Satisfies my desires and restores my strength – Lately I’ve had the joy of writing songs again and playing the guitar. Also time with friends, a new hobby (running), and also many opportunities to be Christ for others.

Father, You have been so good to me. As I grew up without any thought or care for You, You have been protecting me, leading me all along. Everything I have is a gift from You, and I have never done, nor ever will, be able to deserve any of the blessings You pour on me. Father, I have been lacking in thanksgiving towards You and instead have become focused on the things I do not have. Please forgive me of my grumbling over my future career, relationships, worries that You do not know best for me. I pray for more rememberance for what You have done, so that there would be less of me and more of You.

 

“23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;
    he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not away
    in the midst of my days—
you whose years endure
    throughout all generations!” (ESV)

O: 18-20 The writer records his suffering so that future generations may know the Lord saves and give Him praise.

“Hear the groans and release those condemned to death”

21-22 So the Lord will be praised at the end of this age, when all His people will be gathered and worship the Lord.

23-24 God gave the Psalmist suffering so that he would call on the name of the Lord for help

25-27 and give Him all glory and honor and praise, praising His power in creating the heavens and the earth, His timelessness, and never changing, always the same, the same God of love and justice will remain forever.

28 God will rescue and bless not only His people, but the generations after them. That means my children, their children, their children’s children, etc. will partake and enjoy the Lord forever!

M: To be able to ascribe all His suffering and afflictions as from the Lord, some may call him crazy, or his God as not all powerful, all loving. Yet the Psalmist gives the reason for the suffering in the very next verse, so that he would call out to the Lord,

24 Praise and worship Him

25 Ascribe all worthiness in God alone, nothing else in heaven and earth can compare

27 Bringing the focus back to God Himself

28 and looking forward to future promises.

A: Recognize that every circumstance, the joyful times and times of sorrow are from the Lord. In times of affliction:

1. Call out to Him for deliverance

2. Praise and worship Him for who He is, remembering His perfect character. Turn attention to God instead of my ability.

3. Look forward to future blessings!

Father, I praise You for Your Words of life, for being sovereign. Forgive me for not turning to You in my afflictions, please grant me wisdom by Your Spirit to turn and praise You in the storm and give You all the honor and glory and power.

“because of Your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.” – Psalm 102:10.

Context: According to the NIV “A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.” A man going through intense suffering.

Observation: 1-2 A plea to God to save

3-5 Description of his suffering

6-7 He became alone, shunned by others

8 Persecuted, mocked because of his sufferings

9-10 The Psalmist acknowledges that his circumstance is from the Lord

11 A repeat of verse 3, summary of his agony and situation

12-14 But he praises God for His eternal rule and fame through all time. God will have compassion on His church. 

15 The nations will fear the Lord, because…

16-17 The Lord will rebuild His church, appear before the world, answer and heed to the cries of the distressed.

Meaning: “because of Your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.” – Psalm 102:10.

The afflicted man acknowledges that his suffering is from the Lord, instead of blaming it on coincidence or others. How does he do that? Because he understands that the Lord is sovereign over all, even the “crooked lot” that we receive. This is such a great faith; the moment I encounter pain and trials my tendency has been to turn to entertainment, food, people, anything to find comfort, instead of coming before the Lord and acknowledging that the suffering is from Him. I am distrusting God’s ability to provide for me. Instead, I believe that I am more wise, more able, more loving than my Heavenly Father. What a great folly!

Application: Seek God in my trials and suffering, because ultimately the trials are allowed by God in my life for my good. (Rom 8:28). Also, He is infinitely more wise, more able, more loving, and more compassionate toward my suffering than I ever am or will be for myself. Trust that not only is the trial from my God, but that deliverance will also come from Him.

Father, I praise You because You are sovereign over all things. In my sin I have thought myself to be more capable of taking care of myself than You. I confess that in my times of sin and rebellion I am not trusting in You. Thank You that You are a compassionate God, and that You have pity on me in my afflictions. Help me to trust in You at all times, so that You would be glorified in Your servant’s life.

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