Tomorrow will usher in a new year for each of us. With the New Year, we will exert new effort and commitment to those things which we feel will make us “healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Many of us will closeout 2014 singing “Auld Lang Syne” in remembrance of great times we have experienced this past year. As we do so, let us give special celebratory attention to the One who is the “Chief Architect” of our life—“the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). David, the author of the 103rd Psalm, reminds us to “forget not” all the benefits of the Lord.
The 103rd Psalm is a general praise psalm written to magnify the name of God and boast of His greatness. In this psalm, readers are told to “forget not” the extraordinary benefits God have extended to His covenant people. These same benefits are ours today, in the twenty-first century.
• Forgiveness of iniquities. Who other than God can forgive sin? Through Christ’s sacrifice and atoning blood, not only are our sins forgiven but our “sin nature” has been rendered “inoperative” (Rom. 6:14; Heb. 2:14-15). If we “fall short”, we need only confess and God faithfully forgives us (1 John 1:9). He then removes remembrance of them to the furthest points of existence—even to the heavens (Ps. 103:11-12). There is no other god or religion that offers such forgiveness.
• Healing of diseases. Disease is the result of sin’s entrance into the world. It was not part of God’s original plan for His beloved creation. Yet God, within His providential will, provides physical healing—both on this side and the “other side” (2 Cor. 5:1; Rev. 21:4). Spiritual healing is now available to release us from anger, shame, guilt, and unforgiveness. After His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit and spoke these words in the synagogue in Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:14-19). Jesus is our Healer today.
• Redemption of life from destruction. In Hebrew, destruction or sahat, is translated pit or dungeon; corruption or decay. Before God’s intervention (through Jesus Christ) we were “in a hole, destined to die.” The sin of one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17). God will continually save us from the world, Satan, and our “old nature.” He is our Preserver (Ps. 145:14-20).
• Crowning with lovingkindness and tender mercies. God’s lovingkindness and tender mercies are evidenced from Genesis to Revelation, as He provides and protects His covenant people. Through our confession of faith in Christ, lovingkindness was extended to us, as Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promise (Gal. 3:29). The literal translation of tender mercies is “tender and compassion.” It expresses love of a superior for an inferior; this love is seen in the deep feelings that move the superior to help. While we were without strength to save ourselves Christ died for us (Rom. 5:6).
• Satisfaction with “good things”. The NIV rendering of this verse is “He satisfies your desires with good things.” When we are obedient to God, we are in the center of His will. He will give us what is best for our life—even when we don’t see it. The result is renewal of hope and trust and the ability to continue our walk of faith. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:11-12 (NIV)
As you celebrate this New Year Eve, remember to “forget not”, throughout the year!