Discover the heartfelt praise and gratitude in Psalm 103, which reveals God's compassion, graciousness, and abounding love towards us, offering redemption and forgiveness.
Psalm 103 — Abounding in Love — Aneel Aranha
Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children —
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
What an amazing psalm. There is so much we can reflect upon here, but let us narrow it to something David sings, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." Let us reflect on each quality in turn.
One, he is compassionate. Our God is not a distant observer. He involves himself in our lives. There is a touching incident in the gospels when Jesus hears that his friend John the Baptist has been beheaded. Distressed, he withdrew by boat to a solitary place. The crowds came to know about it and followed him. Setting aside his own need to grieve, Jesus ministered to the people because "he had compassion on them" (Matthew 14:14).
Two, he is gracious. Our salvation is evidence of this truth. None of us would make it to heaven if we trusted in our works to get us there. The parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) is a powerful illustration of God's lavish grace. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and reached out to Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector (Luke 19:1-10), demonstrating his willingness to embrace those who turn to him in repentance.
Three, he is slow to anger. He patiently bears our faults and imperfections, giving us time to grow and change. His love does not waver when we stumble; instead, he gently guides us back onto the path of righteousness. Look at the patience Jesus had with the apostles who failed him time and time again!
Four, he is abounding in love. God's love knows no limits, and it never runs out. And if we ever needed evidence of this, we only need to look at the cross. Jesus laid down his life to redeem humanity from sin and reconcile us to God. His love extends beyond boundaries, embracing all who come to him in faith.
How can we not be appreciative of such an amazing God? May he bless you.