“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”Psalm 103:2, 5
I remember growing up singing the hymn “Count Your Blessings.” The chorus says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one;/ count your many blessings, see what God hath done” (Johnson Oatman, 1897). What I did not know when I was a child singing that chorus is that it describes a spiritual discipline that has been practiced by Jews and Christians throughout history: noting and recording the blessings the Lord has bestowed.
In Psalm 103, David enjoins his own soul to praise God and “forget not all His benefits.” He brings to mind the things God has done in his life. He wants to name them, count them, and remember them. And what a list it is!
Remembering God’s goodness dissolves our anxiety and despair. Seeing God’s faithfulness in the past brings hope for the difficulties that lie ahead. Counting our blessings causes us to look for what God might want to do today. If you keep a journal of the blessings you’re grateful for each day, before you know it, you will have written a psalm of praise for all the Lord has done.
Modern neuroscience is confirming what the psalm writers knew. By practicing “gratitude,” you actually re-wire your brain so that it more naturally releases endorphins.
Bible In A Year
- Isaiah 20-22
- Psalm 81
- Acts 1