April 20 – What Do I Concentrate On?

All these new restrictions are super tough! How in the world do I keep my mind and emotions in some kind of balanced, even state? Here is one thing you can do today that might help. Read this psalm once to get an idea of what it says. Then go back and list all the things you can be thankful for, and as a result praise God.

Psalm 103

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18     of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

How many things did you get in your list?

I know there are some things that are repeated, and actually I’m glad they are. For example, God’s immense love for us is repeated in several ways: He “crowns me with love and tender mercies (4)”; “filled with unfailing love (8)’; “For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. (11)”;  “But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. (17)”… All those repetitions affirm God’s love for me.

Another thing that is repeated is how forgiving God is. “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are”. (13 – 14) I am so thankful I was raised in a home where my parents did understand me, and knew where I was likely to flop. But there were also tons of things I tried to hide from them. But my Heavenly Father knows me intimately; there is nothing he doesn’t know about me. And yet: “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” (8 – 10) “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (12)

God knows when I’m angry and frustrated. He knows when I’m lonely and missing friends and family so much. He knows when I’m depressed and fighting to believe God exists and cares about me. He knows all those emotions – and perhaps crazy behaviour – that this pandemic shoves into my life. “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” (13) He knows! And he still loves me!

If you made a list, post it somewhere you can see it. When you are feeling down and frustrated, read that list again. Stop – thank and praise him for all he’s done.

“Let all that I am praise the Lord.” (22)

Our song for today is Behold (Then Sings My Soul) by Hillsong Worship.

3 Replies to “April 20 – What Do I Concentrate On?”

  1. Good morning Audrey,
    Thank you for bringing the scriptures to life for me… I so appreciate and enjoy the depth of them as you help us to really hear the wonderful message of God’s Devine Love for us!
    I look forward to this time of fellowship every morning! Beautiful music video also! God Bless you!

  2. Thank you, Audrey, for all the reminders of God’s great love and mercy in this psalm. In these difficult days I need to keep my focus on Him and know that no matter what happens God is right beside me carrying me through each day.

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