Psalm 103:1-2 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--(NIV)
Discouragement. I think we have all been discouraged at one time or another. What causes us to become discouraged? As I think back over the times I have been discouraged, I find there are a number of things that have caused discouragement for me: pain, fatigue, money issues, unfulfilled expectations, chronic illness, too many things to do and not enough time to do them and the list can go on and on. As I sit here and look at my list, I see a common thread that runs through it. All of these things and the ones I didn't name, represent the death of a dream. This wasn't how I planned my life to be. This isn't how I wanted things to turn out. Discouragement and depression creeps in as I dwell on a dream that will never be reality in this life.
As I turn to God's Word, I see something that I can do that will give me encouragement and help lift me out of the pit of discouragement. The verse above says, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits". God has given us many blessings that we take for granted. Rather than dwelling on a dead dream, we need to dwell on what we do have. Take out a pencil and paper and make a list of what God has blessed you with. I will start the list for you: salvation, sins forgiven, good friends, family, roof over my head, food to eat...you finish the list.
The Psalmist makes a list of blessings for us in verses 3-5 of Psalm 103:
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Some of these blessings are for when we reach heaven, but none the less, they are blessings that are ours to look forward to and that gives me hope! Our dreams in this life may die. Bury them and look to the sure hope that is ours in Christ! Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.