As I pondered Psalm 103 this week, I found myself remembering David’s life and one story in particular.
Here’s a key piece of the story. I hope you’ll go and read the surrounding scripture and get the whole picture, but this will bring out the idea, in any case.
Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David's two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. - 1 Samuel 30:4-6 NASB (emphasis mine)
David was having a bad day. He’d lost his family, his stuff and the folks who put their lives in his hands were now ready to stone him.
What did he do about it? He stirred up strength.
How do you get strength when you are in a place of great distress?
You take command of your soul.
You take control of your emotions.
I wonder if David wrote Psalm 103 in this very place.
David commands his own soul to “Bless the Lord.”
He didn’t feel it.
He didn’t come to church that morning with the bluebird of happiness on his car antenna.
He made a choice.
He chose to bless the Lord. He chose to remember all the benefits the Lord had poured out upon him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103:1-5 NASB
Are you feeling stronger yet?
If not - try reading it out loud. Look it up and read the rest of it.
Jesus confirms for us that a mouth filled with praise will bring strength. See how He interprets David’s words from Psalm 8:
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. - Psalm 8:2 NASB
and said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF'?" - Matthew 21:16 NASB
He was defending the actions of the crowds on the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the religious folks wanted all the people to stop their cheering for Him.
Get this now - Words of praise and remembering God’s deeds and promises, will establish strength in your life.
Bless the Lord with me today!
Shine where you’re screwed in.