Count Your Blessings BY Malusi Skunyana
Read Psalm 103:1-5
PSALM 103:1. <<[A Psalm] of David.>> Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name.
PSALM 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
PSALM 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
PSALM 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
PSALM 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good [things; so that] thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
It is important for us to count the blessings that the Lord gives us continually, so that we may not forget His good care and His tender mercies towards us. When we can remember what the Lord has done for us in the past, we will be able to trust Him to do more for us in the future. Our experience with God in the past will help us when we go through difficult times in the future, because when His goodness and mercies towards us in the past comes to mind, we place our trust in Him to care for us in the present and to carry us through our most trying times.
Psalm 103 is one of my favourite Psalms because it takes me back on a journey to my youth as a shepherd boy, just like David, the time at which I found the Lord. When I look back at the road I have travelled with the Lord, I can only praise Him for His tender mercies. This exercise inspired David to compose this Psalm, because when he sat down and thought of where the Lord had brought him from, he could only praise the Lord. From a shepherd boy to a king, David’s journey was really an experience of being followed by God’s mercy and goodness (Psalm 23:6). Even the downward experiences where the Lord even had to discipline David were valuable, simply because the discipline brought him closer to God. I know from my own experience and agree with David that God’s rod and staff bring comfort (Psalm 23:4). The fact that God disciplines you means He considers you as His child, and as a loving Father, He only disciplines when necessary and does that for your own good.
The psalmist wishes not to forget God’s “benefits” and then he goes on to name a few of those benefits:
“Who forgives all your iniquities;
“Who heals all your diseases;
“Who redeems your life from destruction;
“Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
“Who satisfies your mouth with good things” (Psalm 103:3-5).
David here names every good thing that God has ever done for Him, he has five categories of benefits where he can place everything that God has ever done for him. From receiving forgiveness for his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah, to being called a man after God’s own heart; from being saved from a bear and a lion, to being given victory over Goliath; from deliverance from the hand of Saul, to defeating all other nations; from a shepherd boy to a king: God had been good to David! To David, the Lord was His Protector, his Provider, his Healer, and his Deliverer. He had learnt by experience that it is much safer to put one’s trust in God, and to depend wholly on Him. Because of his experience with God in the past, David could say in his old age, “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25.
Dear friend, let us always recount our experiences with God and His good dealings with us in the past, so that our faith in Him may be fixed, and we may never lose our trust in Him when we go through trying times. When you can remember what God has done for you, and where He has brought you from, you will be led to depend more fully on Him, and will cast all your care on Him. I pray that God may continue to shower you with His blessings. God bless you! Amen!