Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:2).
Thankful. Just one little word printed in small letters across the front of the woman’s t-shirt. But for some reason, it caught my attention. I think it was the period at the end of what wasn’t even a sentence. Thankful. I guess you could read it this way: “Thankful, period.” I would like that to be me. I’m thankful. Period.
But I have to confess. Sometimes I am less than thankful. Perhaps it’s because I’m not paying attention to all the blessings in my path. Or maybe I take God’s benefits for granted.
I was jolted out of this spiritual lethargy by something a friend from Africa once said when speaking to our church gathering. He was a genocide survivor from Burundi and had seen more death and destruction than I could begin to comprehend. “Do you have all your arms and legs—your limbs?” he asked us. “Then you are blessed!” “Do you have your eyes, your sense of hearing, your ability to speak?” “Then praise God and give Him thanks. Rejoice and count your amazing blessings!” he exclaimed. From his perspective, it was an incredible blessing simply to be alive. Healthy. Not maimed by war. Reasons to rejoice! Continue reading
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“What keeps you so young?” I asked my sister-in-law the other day. No kidding. She’s in her seventies and looks beautiful and so full of life. I wondered about her secret. “Oh, the usual,” she laughed. “I’ve tried to eat healthy and exercise. Plus, I’m half Lebanese, you know, so I’ve got some help with my genetics.” Then she paused, “But honestly, my real secret is from Psalm 103:5. Keeping a thankful heart and staying in His presence keeps me young!”
Curious about her “secrets” from Psalm 103? Take some time to ponder:
O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
(Psalm 103:1-5 MSG).
This is Day Fifteen of our 21 Day Watch. I’ve been reflecting on the power of thankfulness and how it can actually help us be more watchful. Gratitude keeps us alert to God’s work all around us. Psalm 103:5 reminds us what my sister-in-law has discovered: That a thankful heart also keeps us youthful and vibrant.
Can gratitude really keep you young and healthy? Turns out there’s some science to back up what God says in His Word. Researchers studied subjects who practiced gratitude and found that they experienced a rise in their level of disease fighting antibodies. In addition to blessing God, gratitude is actually good for you.
I spent some time pondering Psalm 103 during my time alone with God this morning. Click here to read this beautiful Psalm in its entirety. My prayer is that as you prayerfully reflect on God’s Word and His truth, He’ll give you practical tips on how to renew your youth and breathe life into your tired soul.
3 Comments | tags: energy, God's Word, healing for your soul, Psalm 103, youth | posted in Arm Yourself with Spiritual Strength, Pray with Authority, Wake Up and Pray! Be Alert
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God…Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God…(Deuteronomy 8:10,11)
Forget! How many times I say to myself, “Don’t forget to….” To forget is to fail to remember. It can also mean “to treat with inattention or disregard.” Sometimes forgetfulness can have deadly consequences. I once heard the story of a busy doctor who forgot to drop off his tiny infant at day care on his way to work. Tragically, the baby was left in his car seat and had perished in the heat by the time the stricken father remembered him. Continue reading
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