David, the author of this Psalm, had more than his share of problems and difficulties. But he led a life of praise and thanks to God. Let us learn from him how to do the same.
EXERCISE BEFORE DISCUSSION:
Do you feel grumpy most of the time, or do you feel your spirits uplifted most of the time.
- If grumpy most of the time, why so?
- How can we have uplifted spirits most of the time? (All of us have our share of everyday problems. But if we learn to consciously praise God and thank Him, we can have uplifted spirits most of the time.)
II. BIBLE READING
Psalm 103:1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children- 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul. (NIV)
A. Praise God For What He Has Done For Us Personally (vv. 1-5)
- In v. 1, who was David asking to praise the Lord? Why did he do that?
- In v. 2, what did David tell himself to do? Why is it important?
- In vv. 3-4, how did David describe the blessings God had given him? In what ways do these blessings cover all areas in our lives?
- V. 5 is a summary of how good He is to us. A while ago we started to share about God’s blessings to us. What other “good things” (v. 5) has he filled our lives with?
B. Praise God For What He Has Done For His People (vv. 6-18)
- Enumerate how the Lord has blessed His people.
- What illustrations did the Psalmist use to describe the scope of God’s love and compassion? (vv. 11-13) How should we respond to this?
- For us to appreciate how great God is, let us see how frail and insignificant human beings are. In vv. 14-16, what comparisons did the Psalmist use to show our frailty and insignificance? In spite of this, God still loves us from everlasting to everlasting. (v. 17) Take a moment to reflect how amazing it is for such a great God to love us who are so undeserving.
C. Praise God for who He Is (His Greatness) (vv. 19-22)
We praise God not just because of what He has done, but because of who he is.
- Let us now gaze upon the almighty God. In vv. 10-22, what do we praise God for?
- It is natural for people to praise God for what He has done (such as healing our sickness) rather than for who he is. Why is it important for us to praise God for who he is?
- Who is to praise God? (vv. 20-22) REFLECTION: Am I one of these? Is so, am I living a life of praise and thanks?
- How do we learn to live a life of praise and thanks? (Every day, think of three different things for which we can say, “Lord, I praise you and thank you for…”. When we do this regularly, we will live a life of praise and thanks.)
The Lord is certainly worthy of our praise. We need to be constantly aware of two things: who we are and who He is. Then our hearts will burst forth with praise and thanks for our great and loving God.