“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
David writes this psalm as an encouragement to his soul to bless the Lord and to not forget what God has done. Remembering God’s faithfulness to us fills us with gratitude for today and trust in Him for tomorrow.
- As you look at the ways that David has experienced God’s provision, which one reminds you of what God has done and/or is doing in your life right now?
- Where else have you seen God’s benefits in your life?
- What can you do today to set your heart toward gratitude for all God has done?
Gracious God, thank you for all that you’ve done. You are faithful to forgive, to redeem, to crown us, to satisfy us. Help us to remember the ways you have provided for us and in gratitude turn outward to bless those around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.”
In this passage we are reminded that God’s ways are mercy and grace, patience and love, willingness to forgive us when we come up short. He looks out for those who are oppressed. And we are invited to be both the recipients of his ways as well as those who walk in his ways, extending God’s character to others.
- Where do you need to experience God’s ways in your life today?
- Who do you see around you who is oppressed and how can you act as an agent of God’s justice?
- How are you reflecting God’s character in your life and interactions today?
Gracious God, thank you for your patient love for us, that compels you to continue to reach out to us in love when we fall short. As we live in this wide place of mercy, help us to extend to others the same love, grace, mercy, and patience that we are experiencing in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.”
God’s grace and compassion toward us invites us to be vulnerable before him with our sin, our weaknesses, our uncertainties and our doubts. The more we can be honest with God about our deepest thoughts and feelings, the more we can experience his love that exceeds any experience of love we have on earth. Our Creator knows us most and loves us the best.
- What is it in this passage that you needed to hear today?
- How easy is it for you to peel back the layer of your appearance to others and lay before God your truest thoughts and emotions?
- Is there someone in your life you can share openly with so that you can experience God’s compassion in community?
Gracious God, how many times we are reminded that you know us completely and love us fully. Thank you for your forgiveness that flings our transgression way beyond our reach. Help us to live in the light of your compassion and to live open-heartedly before you, receiving your love and then sharing it with the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.”
We have had opportunities to face our mortality. It can bring us to a place of anxiety, but it can also invite us to place of consolation as we remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Living in his love compels us to stay close to him and follow his commandment to love as he loves.
- When have you last faced your own mortality? What emotions does that stir up in you?
- How easy is it for you to put full confidence in the steadfast love of God?
- How does your experience of God’s steadfast love overflow into your relationships with others?
Gracious God, in this time where we could become overly anxious of the fragility of human life, help us to remember and to lean into your steadfast love as an anchor of our souls. Help us to not grow weary living boldly for you in this world, encouraging others with the love that you shower on us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The psalmist closes with the same exclamation that he begins with. We are invited in the midst of all the external chaos that we see as well as the internal anxiety, fear, and chaos that we feel, to bless the Lord. Life has a way of not turning out the way we expect, and all our goodness doesn’t guarantee a good and secure life. But in our deepest place, we can cultivate gratitude for God and trust in Him, regardless of our surroundings.
- Where do you see God at work around you?
- What do you have to be grateful for?
- What makes it challenging to be thankful?
Gracious God, thank you for your authority over all kingdoms, and for the kingdom that you are inviting us to participate in. Thank you that you have been faithful and good, and you will continue to shower your love, grace, and mercy on us. Give us grateful hearts every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.