A Hymn Of Thankful Praise
Psalm 103 is so rich that it is our Psalm of the Week for the fourth time.
From Chosen: Remind Yourself Of The Gospel Everyday by Author and Evangelist Matt Brown.
One of the primary ways we train our souls to love God is by preaching the Gospel to our souls. The more your soul sees the cross of Jesus, the more gratefulness and adoration will well up within you. Humans are conditioned to respond that way to sacrifice. And it would be difficult to imagine a greater sacrifice than what Jesus did.
If you travel the world, one phrase that almost universally resonates—across every kind of culture—is the familiar line from Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”
Break this phrase down. David is training his soul by preaching to it. David told his soul how to feel and how to respond to the Gospel: Soul, bless God, whether you want to or not. He was not just singing a pretty line; he was talking to himself, challenging his soul to step up. Scripture describes this habit, saying, “David strengthened himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6, esv).
It’s truly a lost art of Christianity, a beautiful discipline. Instead of taking cues from your current mood, the fickle culture, the people around you, or, even more tragically, from social media, look your soul in the eyes and tell it to look to the cross, to the resurrection. Command your soul to drink in the kindness of Christ, whose bruised and splintered shoulders carried the weight of your sin.
Sometimes you must literally force your soul to look. John the Baptist called out to the cosmos, “Behold!” or “You must look!” He said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). This is a daily command. We must look! Look to the cross where Jesus suffered incredibly for a sin He never committed so that you could rejoice greatly in righteousness you never deserved.
The Gospel becomes daily food for our souls, strengthening our hearts. It’s much harder to complain, feel sorry for ourselves, or be filled with anxiety when our souls see the blood running down the thorn-pierced face of Christ. Gratefulness naturally builds up in our hearts when we do this throughout the day.