Praise the Lord, Oh my Soul!

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s… The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love.”

Psalm 103:1-5, 8

Psalm 103 is the passionate culmination of all the author knows of God’s work and character. He can hardly contain himself with thoughts of the goodness of God! I invite you into this passionate praise where your whole soul is engaged in adoring the Lord. It is one of the most life giving things we can do! 

On a note card or in your journal, walk with me through these first few verses by writing down what is in bold, then filling in where you have seen God move. Let your heart be filled with wonder. 

Who forgives all your sins…. Praise the Lord because he forgives all our rebellion against him. His perfect love casts out the fear of not being forgiven. If you need forgiveness today praise the Lord because he has freely forgiven you! With all of who I am thank you for never wiping your hands of me, Lord! Thank you for forgiving me for harboring jealousy and bitterness in my heart! 

And heals all your diseases…. Praise the Lord because he heals all our physical, emotional, spiritual diseases when we call on his name. We have seen so much healing out of the pure goodness of the Lord’s heart. Sometimes it might not be in our timing, but the Lord surely will bring ultimate healing when he comes again. Lord, thank you for healing my paralyzing stomach pain two years ago; thank you for healing me from my anger in high school. Lord, thank you for the healing I have seen in my friends and family! 

Who redeems your life from the pit… Praise the Lord because we are no longer in the pit of despair! I have to remind myself of this often. Psalm 18:16,18 so beautifully describe his redemption power: “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; . . .he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Thank you, Lord, for never leaving me in my times of depression and anxiety. No matter how low, you brought your piercing light of redemption and pulled me out of darkness. Thank you for delighting in me even when I am my worst self!!  

And crowns you with love and compassion… Praise the Lord because we are children of God, crowned with dignity, love, and compassion. In Christ, we are the most audacious rags-to-riches story because he took us from the lowest position and brought us into his High Courts. Lord, thank you that you banner over me is constantly of love, even when shame, guilt, and fear tell me otherwise! 

Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed… Praise the Lord because he is our Father who knows our every need and satisfies them with what he knows is best, like a father knows the desires of a young child. Lord, thank you for knowing my every need and my longings. Thank you for your unending kindness when I desire the things of this earth, like wealth and popularity. Lord, you alone can satisfy! 

The psalmist not only praises God for what he has done, but for who he forever will be:

 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love.” 

Who is like the Lord, our God! None can compare with his character and might! None can compare with his unending love and compassion towards us! This is the way he looks at you and me every single day. Wow! Enjoy the Lord with me today as we walk in thanksgiving for all he has done and all he will do. 

Lord, at the top of our lungs we praise you with all we are! With arms held high in surrender we stand in awe of the One who gave it all for us, and give everything back to you! We receive your love and affection over us today, and walk confidently as beloved children of God.

~Emma Abernathy

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