Forget Not All His Benefits
Pastor Darren Kishimoto

Good memories are a beautiful thing! Being able to remember special times and places in your life is something to be cherished. That’s one of the reasons I think Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. It’s totally geared toward sitting around with family and friends, stuffing our faces, and remembering the past. Over the past several years, it seems like my memory has grown more fuzzy. I have a hard time these days remembering specific names, dates, and places like I used to. It’s also hard to recall some of the important feelings and experiences I’ve had over the years.  Perhaps you can relate to that?  Sometimes I even forget the names of my kids (okay I’m just kidding about that one). Interestingly, I’ve learned that all I need to do is start yelling at them and their names suddenly come back to me. It’s amazing how that works! 🙂

In Psalm 103:2, David, the author of this psalm, says “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Some other translations say “do not forget all his kind deeds” or “may I never forget the good things he does for me.” How is your memory for the good things God has bestowed on you over the years? Are they hard to remember? Sometimes I think our hearts and minds forget just how good God has been and continues to be to us. We’re preoccupied with the struggles and difficulties of life so much so that we forget his benefits. We place our focus on the world and have a hard time recalling what God has done for us. So David says “forget not” all his benefits. Then he lays some of them out:

  • He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:3) – By the blood of Christ, we are forgiven of our sins, past, present, and future! When it says he “heals all your diseases,” it’s not referring to all your physical ailments, but disease and sickness of the soul. God offers healing for the things that ail our souls caused by sin and Satan.
  • He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion (Psalm 103:4) – We have been reconciled to God. Redeemed from a life of death and separation. Do you see how the Lord has graciously taken us from the lowest places (the pit) to the highest places (being lavishly crowned) with his love and compassion?
  • He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:5) – As God supplies us with what we need, we should be in a constant state of spiritual growth and renewal. David is saying one of the benefits of life in Christ is a youthful spirituality. No matter how old we are or how much our bodies are wearing down, God will give us zeal and spiritual strength if we abide in him.

In our Harvesters Thanksgiving gathering this week, we sang the hymn “Come Thou Fount.” I think parts of this song reinforce David’s instruction to us to remember God’s benefits, give thanks, and abide in him. To close, here are a few lines from the song:

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.  

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God. He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with his precious blood.     

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to three; 

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, here’s my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

God bless,
Pastor Darren