Psalm For You
I read this Bible verse, Psalm 103, the other day and found it very encouraging as it has to do with daily life as a student at a private Christian high school. I hope it also encourages you.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits
Even as we go through hard time, in fact particularly during those hardships, we should look to the Lord in thanks for what we have already been given. If you feel you haven’t lived long enough or walked long enough with the Lord to account some blessings and ways he has drawn near before, there’s always the testimony of older people at church who can look back over the years and count many times God has been faithful!
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion
‘Forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases’ especially rings a bell doesn’t it? In this time of illness, seasonal colds and flus and well as the coronavirus, we can rest in the knowledge that nothing is new to God.
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
We may sometimes be wishing things could go back to the way they were, before COVID-19, or we may be secretly worried nothing will ever be the same again. No matter, God knows the desires of our hearts and he does not give His Children stones when they ask for bread or snakes when they ask for fish. God knows the exact makeup of all his Creation and he shall satisfy with good things.
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
God is slow to anger, as patient as we are impatient. As we are mostly limited to our homes more than ever before, it is important to remember how we can give up some of our rights so that we can live peaceabley with our families. A harsh answer stirs up wrath, but a kind word turns away anger.
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
While the current atmosphere of political disturbance and renewed restrictions leaves many opportunities to rise up in indignation, we must never forget God’s own mercy to us. He takes our sins as far as the East is from the West, what an encouraging note. Hopefully, God’s graciousness to is will enable us to be gracious in speech, action, and thought.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
Just like a flower of the field, we are here today and gone tomorrow; our lifespans are like a mist that vanished at dawn. Yet through, in, and before it all began, God in his compassion was neverending. It often helps to have an eternal perspective so that current irritations may be put in their proper context.
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
I love this promise! With COVID-19, many of the former things we all worked towards to give us meaning are no longer available or they don’t hold as much happiness as they used to. As a student, it is sobering to think that even the satisfaction of getting an A+ is no longer worth as much as it used to be, since our curriculum is curtailed and schoolwork is limited by less prime hours to impress information. Yet Psalm 103 reminds me that the Lord does not delight in sacrifice, but in a broken and contrite heart that is right with him.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Sometimes it feel like the very little that kids were in control over has been pulled right from under us. It is easy to design oneself to always feeling off-balance in the new way of doing things, but God has remained in control over all even as our own petty, micromanaged affairs are wrenched away from us. He was and is in control, on the throne, even before COVID-19 and now as the pandemic is ongoing. By recognizing his sovereignty, we can rest in the assurance that nothing will even touch our lives without first shifting through his hands.