Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Praise of the Redeemed - Psalm 103

I preached on Psalm 103 at Capitol Hill Baptist Church a few weeks ago.  It is one of the sweetest psalms of the entire Psalter and it was a joy to meditate on this text.  My introduction:
How has God been good to you? What reason do you have to praise God this morning?

For some of us, what immediately come to mind are God’s many blessings in our lives. Even as I stand here, looking at this congregation through which I have been so richly blessed these past few years, I’m amazed at God’s kindness to me. Even while being so far from home, God has blessed me with a new family, with numerous fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers, all who have blessed me and encouraged me in countless ways. And as I think on how God has so richly blessed me, I can’t help but give thanks and praise to Him, and I know many of you could testify the same.

But I’m guessing there are others, for whom such thoughts do not come so easily. God’s providence has been difficult for you lately. You might be facing loneliness, sickness, loss of loved ones, unemployment… And in the midst of this, God’s goodness seems distant. It’s challenging to come here and sing of Him, “who wondrous things hath done”. Though in your mind you know you’re supposed to believe that God is good, it’s not always evident how God has been good to you. And so your heart is silent in singing His praises, or worse, you are struggling with anger and bitterness when you think of God.

And for others, if it’s not trials and hardships that are keeping you from praising God, then perhaps it’s simply apathy, or distraction. You’ve sung some words this morning, but your mind is on other things… work, people, lunch. And the only reason you’re here is because someone else invited you, or because you’ve always gone to church on Sundays. You’re not sure why anyone would want to praise God.

And so I ask you again, friends, what reason do you have to praise God this morning?

This morning we come to Psalm 103, one of the loveliest psalms in the entire Bible. And as we look at this passage, the question we should ask ourselves is: Why should I praise God? Has He given me any reason to do so?
Listen to the rest here.