Ever wonder what life would be like without the Lord? If sins kept piling up on our shoulders? If life’s problems were pushing our faces into the dirt? If death was the ultimate monster spooking us all our days? If hell was the certain destination of our final journey?
Thank God we know better. We have a gracious God who continues to shower his blessings on us every day. It’s only fitting that we stop with the psalmist to thank him.
He forgives all my sins
The psalmist starts his listing of God’s benefits with the words “who forgives all your sins” (v. 3). Can there be any greater blessing than to know God has hit the delete button on his heavenly computer and completely erased all your sins?
That forgiveness is 100 percent a gift from him. It required God to do the impossible: take on our flesh, take on our sin, take them to Calvary’s cross, and take them away forever. At the end of each day, we all can pray with confidence, “Jesus, Savior, wash away all that I’ve done wrong today” (Christian Worship 784:2). And when a past sin rattles like some skeleton in the closet of our conscience, we can hear the Lord say, “The blood of Jesus Christ, my Son, cleanses you from all sin—that one too.”
On the final day when we close our eyes for the last time, our confident prayer can be, “I fall asleep in Jesus’ wounds; there pardon for my sins abounds” (Christian Worship 1993 608:1). Yes, “praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (v. 2).
He heals all my diseases
It’s no coincidence that David turns to disease (v. 3) after his mention of sin. When sin entered the world, it left its cancerous touch not only on the whole creation but also especially on people, the crown of God’s creation. Ever since the fall, people have had to contend with sickness and sorrow, trouble and tribulation, and the crippling effects and decreasing strength of advancing age. When sickness lingers or never leaves, we need to remember that God heals not only by removing a problem but also by strengthening the shoulders to carry the load. Finally, he will remove our problems forever when we reach his home in heaven.
Jesus also “redeems [our] life from the pit” (v. 4). With the word pit, David refers to the grave. As we travel on our busy highways, work on the job, and are exposed to one infectious disease or another, who has preserved us from harm and danger? Who has sent his angels to watch over us? If only we could see how many times from sunrise to sunset and during the hours of the night his angels were busy redeeming our life from the pit, we’d know whom to praise.
He crowns me with love and compassion
When I was growing up in the late 1930s and early 1940s, times were tough. We seldom got cake. When we did, it was usually without frosting. But when it was our birthday, my mother would lay the frosting on good and thick. That’s what David says the Lord does for us each day. His fatherly love and compassion never grow thin or disappear. He lays his benefits on us—good and thick—each day. Remember this truth in every circumstance of life and praise him each day.
“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name” (v. 1).
Other psalms for when you draw nearer to the end: Psalms 65, 66, 146, and 148.
This is the final article in a six-part series about the psalms’ guidance for our daily lives. Read the psalms with FIC in a six-month Bible reading series.
Author: Richard Lauersdorf
Volume 110, Number 06
Issue: June 2023
- Psalm 103: When you count your blessings
- Psalm 91: When God lifts you up on his lap
- Psalm 4: When you draw nearer to the end
- Psalm 42: When you ask, “Where is God when I’m hurting?”
- Psalm 32: When you need forgiveness
- Psalm 130: When rocks fall
- Bible study: Freedom in service
- What does this mean for me? Article 6
- Bible study: Spiritual gifts
- What does this mean for me? Article 5
- What does this mean for me? Article 4
- Bible study: Rejoice in your status!
- Bible study: Baptismal blessings
- What does this mean for me? Article 3
- What does this mean for me? Article 2
- Bible study: Gifts of tongues and miraculous healing
- What does this mean for me? Article 1
- Bible study: Jesus is everyone’s Savior
- Bible study: Love one another
- Bible study: Above all things!
- Bible study: The comfort of God’s providence
- The book of James: Waiting for Christ’s return
- Bible study: Precious grace
- The book of James: Active in using prayer
- Bible study: Rewards of grace
- The book of James: Active in showing love
- The book of James: Correctly evaluating riches
- Bible study: What’s going to happen on the Last Day?
- The book of James: Avoiding loveless judging
- Bible study: Interpretation practice
- The book of James: Taming the tongue
- Bible study: The Bible’s attributes
- Bible study: The importance of the family altar
- Bible study: God’s attitude is grace
- Bible study: The Bible’s account of Easter morning
- Bible study: Different types of sin
- Bible study: God’s inspiration
- Bible study: Giving God glory
- Bible study: Judge for yourself
- The book of James: Using the Word of Truth
- Bible study: The need for the Bible and worship
- Bible study: Citizens of two kingdoms
- The book of James: Active in good works
- The book of James: When battling temptation
- Bible study: God cares
- Bible study: God made the world
- The book of James: When facing trials
- Bible study: A loving God saved people from hell
- The book of James: A blueprint for living out our life of faith
- A Bible story just for me: Guilt
- Bible study: God provides victory over death!
- A Bible story just for me: Anxiety
- Bible study: God forgives and refuses to remember our sins
- A Bible story just for me: Grief
- Bible study: God helps those who cannot help themselves
- A Bible story just for me: Depression
- Bible study: God has not grown soft on sin
- Bible study: Only one path leads to God’s presence
- A Bible story just for me: Trauma
- A Bible story just for me
- Bible study: God wants me in heaven
- Bible study: The incarnation of our Lord