“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Psalm 103:1
Let’s be honest: Life is really hard sometimes. You may currently find it difficult to praise the Lord for His goodness. Maybe this year has been a season of suffering involving your health or your marriage. Maybe your children have walked away from the Lord, or maybe it has been a hard year for you financially. And in the midst of these things, you may be searching for answers from God. But for some reason, He has remained silent. Blessing the Lord as David does in Psalm 103 may seem really tough. However, in this psalm, David demonstrates how the people of God stir their souls to bless the Lord by remembering His character.
In today’s passage, David begins by focusing on God’s “holy name.” “Holy” is a good church word that is found throughout the Scriptures. It is an essential attribute of God. To quote Jerry Bridges in his book, The Pursuit of Holiness, “Holiness describes both the majesty of God and the purity and moral perfection of His nature.” God is completely set apart and “other.” He is unlike anything else in all of creation. He stands outside of what He has made, for He is the Creator. He is in a category of existence all by himself. In fact, He is so set apart and “other” that if He did not reveal Himself to us, we would have no hope of ever finding Him on our own. God is free from sin and error. Everything He does is right. Everything He does is good. Everything He does is just and fair. God is holy.
The Bible tells us that God’s name, His character, and His works are intertwined – meaning everything He does will be in direct correlation to who He is. Because of this, when our lives seem to be unfair or spiraling out of control, we can call on our souls to remember that because of His Son, Jesus, the God of fairness and justice is on our side.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse reminds us that God is working for the good of His people. Remembering the holy character of God in times of distress is for the purpose of worship. This day, let us ask the Holy Spirit to bring to our minds the holiness and goodness of our God. And may our souls always “Bless the Lord.”
Written by Austin Baker, Teaching Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church