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The Sojourner Blog

Don't Be Forgetful, Be Thankful

Posted by Steven Light on

When someone is truly thankful upon receiving a gift, that thankfulness means that the giver of the gift is appreciated.  One of the great hindrances in our relationship with God is that we so often take for granted what God has given us.  That is why the Psalmist David writes, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)  We are prone to sinfully forget his gifts and thus to live in thanklessness.  And in that state of thanklessness, our relationship with God suffers.

Psalm 103 is a profound meditation intended to renew the soul in its delight in God.  It is given as a series of reminders as to the “benefits” of God; or in other words, the gifts (grace) he has freely given. 

The leading reminder is the free gift of the forgiveness of sins: “…who forgives all your iniquity.” (vs 2)  This is the gateway through which all the gifts of God come.  “…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (vs 12)  What a wonderful thought: the once for all pardon of all of your sin, past, present, and future.  When Jesus cried, “It is finished” on the cross, he accomplished that removal for all who trust in him. 

The Psalm goes next to God’s grace to sufferers: “…who heals all your diseases.”  Although we wait with longing for that day when every tear is wiped away (Revelation 21:4), the gift has already come in part.  “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (verses 13-14) To those who fear him, we have the joy of knowing God as our tender Father who if not now, then later will most certainly heal us because he loves us.

The Psalm then soars to the eternal gifts of God and more, which I encourage you to read and examine for yourself.  Forget not all his benefits!  Meditate on these graces.  Give thanks to him.  May your heart rise to him in worship and thanksgiving.