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.
– Psalm 103:1-5
One of my favorite recent worship songs has been “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. The lyrics of the song are fresh, yet instantly timeless. The music and structure has a folky, almost hymn-like quality to it. Most importantly, the song is based upon scripture. The influence of the song’s chorus comes from Psalm 103:1-5. The song’s chorus and Psalm 103 exhort us to “bless the Lord.” To “bless the Lord” simply means to praise Him. We are to make God the subject of our sentences and declare his holiness. Furthermore, we are to praise God with “all that is within.” We are to praise God with our whole being: heart, mind, soul and strength.
This is simply enough stated, but where do we find our motivation to praise God like this? If you’re anything like me, it can be hard to praise God after an exhausting week at work. It can be hard to “bless the Lord” after a weekend full of family conflict. It can be hard to give our all in worship when we find ourselves broken and hurting, maybe even blaming God for our current situation. So where to we find our motivations to praise?
The answer comes in verse 2, where the Psalmist reminds us to “forget not all his benefits.” Our motivation to praise God comes by remembering the benefits of being in relationship with Him. The psalmist in verses 3-5, lists 5 benefits of being in relationship with God. The Lord is the one who forgives sin, heals sicknesses, brings life, gives grace and satisfies our deepest longings. The Lord is responsible for all of these wonderful blessings. If we take the time to remember what the Lord has done, if we lift our weary heads out of our current situation, and turn to God for strength. We might just find that our “youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” By remembering the benefits of the Lord we find our motivation to praise.
So today, which of the Lord’s benefits do you need to remember? What benefit of being in relationship with God has meant the most to you this week? What will motivate you to “bless the Lord?”