Do you every struggle with praising God? Do you find yourself often complaining? We are all quick to complain but slow to praise. Charles Spurgeon said, “We write our blessings in the sand, and we engrave our complaints in the marble.” Our memory so often chooses to forget the blessings and remember the burdens. We are so quick to forget all the reasons we have to praise God and we dwell upon our complaints. Psalm 103 is a great psalm to visit when we are lacking in praise. In this psalm we find that the antidote to complaining is praising.
Let’s take a look at Psalm 103 and remember all the reasons we have to praise God. In Psalm 103, the Psalmist recognizes the duty that he has to praise God. Our God is praiseworthy! And it is our duty to recognize this fact and to have a daily, moment-by-moment attitude of praise. If this was truly our focus, we would complain much less.
The first thing that the Psalmist praises God for is the many personal blessings given by God. He recognized that it is God who “forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (vv. 3-5). We are to praise God for “all his benefits” (v. 2) that He so graciously bestows upon us. God forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies, and renews. We could add many things to this list. He has given us a home, life, food, victory over sin, friendships, grace, etc… Is He not worthy of our praise?
The second thing that the Psalmist praises God for is the many national blessings He has given. The story of the nation of Israel is one that exemplifies the abundant grace and mercy of God. When the Israelites sinned against God, He was “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (v. 8). He did not deal with them according to their sins but showed great mercy towards them. The Lord pitied His children and remembered that their frame was only dust. Instead of responding in praise, the Israelites murmured against God. How similar are we to the Israelites? We are shown abundant grace and mercy, yet we murmur just as much as the Israelites.
The third way that the Psalmist praises God is by calling upon all creation to join in the song of praise. He calls upon all of heaven and all of earth to bless the Lord with him.
We must stir ourselves up to praise God. We must allow our praise to be our first response to the circumstances of life, rather than falling into the ditch of complaining. This is a good day to sit down and count your many blessings and then to fall on your face and offer praise to God.