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. (Ps. 103:2–5) 

The degree to which we rejoice in God’s forgiveness of us will be the degree to which we are able to forgive others. It is difficult to forgive when we lose sight of God’s amazing grace. Today let’s remember who God is and what he has done for us! 

Psalm 103 celebrates God’s love. King David, the writer of the psalm, begins with shouts of praise: “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” (vv. 1–2). Can you feel the heart-swell of David’s words as he exhorts himself (“O my soul”) to praise God? He is caught up in gratitude for all that God has done. 

Throughout the entire psalm, David reminds his soul of God’s steadfast love. In verses 3–5, he recalls the many benefits of knowing the Lord: God forgives your sin, he heals your diseases, he redeems your life from hell, he shows you steadfast love and mercy, and he satisfies you with good so that you can have strength like an eagle. What an amazing God! Amen? 

It’s not surprising that David celebrates the Lord for forgiving all his sin. He is the Bible’s most famous murderer and adulterer, after all. He abused his kingly authority and suffered God’s painful judgment. So when David speaks of God’s forgiveness, he is speaking very personally. God’s amazing grace is a sweet balm to David’s soul. 

As we look at David’s life story, found in 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2:11, we find that he was quintessentially human. He soared to high highs of faithfulness and plummeted to low lows of selfishness, just like you and me. David experienced God amidst his victories, and he also experienced God amidst his sins. The Lord walked alongside him—supplying courage, wisdom, seasons of discipline, and ultimately forgiveness and restoration. As David grew in his relationship with the Lord, he could not help but look back at God’s love and praise him for it: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me!” 

Can you relate to David? Have you experienced God’s presence in the highs and lows of your life? How has God shown up for you? Has he ever supplied you with what you needed at just the right time? Forgiveness? Healing? Redemption? Steadfast love? Like David, do you need to remind yourself of God’s kindness today? 

If we are to grow in our ability to forgive other people, we must first remember who God is and what he has done for us. As we meditate on God’s love and mercy, may we find our souls tender for the task of forgiveness. 

—Hayley Satrom, Forgiveness: Reflecting God’s Mercy

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