BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2 New King James Version).
Psalm 103 is attributed to David. He spoke to himself to bless the LORD and not to forget all (not some of) His benefits or blessings. Probably he said this because human beings tend to easily forget the benefits of the LORD. In their ingratitude, they sometimes take credit for the benefits of the LORD. There are people who have what you have – intelligence, connections, etc. – and did what you did, but got a different result. Give thanks to the LORD.
The benefits of the LORD are not rights; they’re the kindnesses, gifts and favour of the LORD. In Psalm 103, David remembered and listed the benefits of the LORD, which certainly were not exhaustive. He was grateful.
Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!” (NKJV). You should be grateful to God for His daily load of benefits. Don’t let your ingratitude stop their continued supply.
If you realize that remembering all the benefits of the LORD does not benefit the LORD but you, you’ll emulate David. Don’t become familiar with the blessings and the kindnesses of the LORD. Make it a lifestyle not to forget His benefits. Here are ten benefits of continually remembering the benefits of the LORD:
The 10 Benefits
1.It constantly reminds you of the faithfulness and goodness of the LORD to you in the past and moves you to continually thank Him. A forgetful person will be ungrateful. The psalmist asked, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12 New King James Version). And in the subsequent verses, he said what he would do – praise Him, show Him gratitude. That is the right thing to do.
We can’t thank the LORD enough, but we can demonstrate our gratitude. Ingratitude is a sin. When you remember the blessings of the LORD, you’ll be indebted to Him and want to praise Him more.
2. It keeps you humble. Benefits are not what you achieved or deserved, but kindness bestowed on you. If you see a man who is proud because of his wealth, position or status, it is most probably because he doesn’t see any of these things as a benefit, the blessing of the LORD; he sees it as his personal accomplishment. However, he could have done all he did but get a different result. Jesus reminded Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11a New King James Version). No man can receive anything except it is given him from above (John 3:27).
Don’t be proud. Learn from Hezekiah. He was sick and almost died. He prayed to the LORD, who spoke to him and gave him a sign that he would recover from his sickness. He recovered but due to pride, he did not respond appropriately to the kindness God showed him. He later repented of his pride, so the wrath of the LORD did not fall upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem during his reign (2 Chronicles 32:25-26).
Isaiah 39:1-2 tells us how Hezekiah sinned. Instead of telling the ambassadors sent by the king of Babylon, following his recovery, how the LORD had healed him, he showed off his wealth. God sent Prophet Isaiah to confront him with his sin and announce the consequences of his action.
Proud King Uzziah was not all that fortunate. He had become great because God marvelously helped him. But his heart was lifted unto destruction. Pride moved him to intrude into the office of a priest despite all efforts to discourage him. Perhaps, he thought success as a king qualified him to trespass into the priesthood. He died a leper (2 Chronicles 26:14-23). If God is going to promote you, you must always wear the garment of humility.
David is seen by many people as a very successful king, but he was a humble man. He recognized in many of his psalms that without God he wouldn’t have achieved anything.
He didn’t see himself as possessing any excellent military skill. Rather, he said that it was the LORD that taught his hands to make war (2 Samuel 22:35; Psalm 18:34; 144:1). He seemed to be saying there was nothing fantastic about his military feats and exploits. He said the LORD was his teacher in warfare. You can’t fail if God is your teacher!
In 2 Samuel 23:1, he was described as “the man who was raised up on high” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “David, the man to whom God gave such wonderful success.” He was not described as a man who accomplished greatness by his military prowess. The LORD helped him in all the wars he fought and won.
3. It helps you to make the LORD, not man, yourself or the situation, your focus. You’ll look gloomy if you’re looking at your negative situation. If you focus on the wrong things, you’ll find yourself in the wrong destination. Whatever you behold, you become (2 Corinthians 3:18). What are you focusing on? Remembering the benefits of the LORD helps you to maintain a right focus on the LORD. Psalm 34:5 says, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” (New King James Version).
4. It does not allow you to be harassed or intimidated by your present condition. There are situations in your life that can really destabilize or depress you by mere looking at them, especially comparing yourself with other people. You must learn how to take your eyes off them. This is not easy though. And one way to do that is to constantly remember the benefits of the LORD and speak of them. Psalm 73:2-3 says, “But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness” (New Living Translation). However, when the psalmist went into the sanctuary of the LORD, he understood the end of the wicked (verse 17).
5. It enables you not to put your trust in man or human methods, strategies or tactics. David told Saul that he could not use his armour and other things he gave him, because he had not used them before. He restated his trust in God, who had helped him in the past to kill the lion and the bear. If victory is about the armour and the rest, why didn’t Saul, the owner, use them and go to face Goliath? (1 Samuel 17:38-39).
We must not mistake the support of men for the support of God. If men support you, but God does not, you’ll still fail. It makes no difference who is supporting someone if God is against him. That is why you need to put your trust in the LORD and not forget His benefits. Remembering them and speaking about them will help you to put your trust in Him. According to Psalm 125:1, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (New King James Version). Psalm 118:8-9 says, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes” (NKJV).
You should not put your trust in horses and chariots; it will always result in a fall and defeat. But continuously put your trust in the Lord (Psalm 20:7). Thank God for any help that men may promise and render to you, but do not let it replace your trust in God. The best of men are still fallible; only God is perfect.
6. It helps you to make faith-confessions, which boost your faith in the LORD. Your faith-confessions are based on the Word of God and the testimony of its fulfillment in your life, which is demonstrated in the kindnesses, goodness and favour of the LORD you’ve enjoyed in the past. When you confess these, not only are you showing gratitude to the LORD and remembering what God had done before, your faith receives a boost. That was what David did in 1 Samuel 17:34-37, talking to Saul about God’s victory given him over the lion and the bear and that the same God would deliver him out of the hand of the Philistines.
But in verses 45-47, it seems to me that when addressing Goliath, his faith had increased. He was no longer talking of God delivering him from the hand of Goliath. He said, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (New King James Version).
To me, David’s faith-confession in verses 45-46, appears higher than that of verses 34-37. The Bible says, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13 New King James Version). Faith always speaks.
7. It fills your heart with joy despite the gloom around you. Joy wells up inside you notwithstanding your circumstances. And because of this joy in your heart, you receive divine strength to face life. Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the LORD is your strength. A joyless Christian is a powerless Christian! And that is why the devil always wants to steal your joy. Joy is not dependent on your circumstances. In Matthew 5:3, the Amplified Bible explains the word blessed as “(happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous -– with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions).”
8. It puts you in a good stead for God’s intervention and help. Your faith-stand and faith-confession make it possible for God to act on your behalf. He could make God dispatch them to minister for you or serve you. Hebrews 1:14 says the angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation. That includes you. God shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). The ministry of angel is still real today. When you speak negative words you empower Satan in your situation to do more havoc.
Remember God’s benefits in every situation even when it is contrary to the benefits you’ve enjoyed before or that is promised you in the Word of God.
David said the battle was the LORD’s (1 Samuel 17:47). Moses told the Israelites that the LORD would fight for them and they shall hold their peace (Exodus 14:14). God wants to fight for you, too. Fear not and see the salvation of the LORD that He’ll show you; the Egyptians you see, you shall see them no more forever. God wants to show Himself strong on your behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9). Stand on your faith-confession and see His salvation.
9. It confuses the enemy and weakens the opposition. They’re surprised you’re still standing; they’re shocked that you’re not downcast in spite of everything they’ve thrown at you. They’re worried that you’ve chosen not to fear but stand still and see the salvation of the LORD. “Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself” (Philippians 1:28 New Living Translation). God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
10. It positions you to have harvests of testimonies. God is faithful. Nothing is too hard for Him to do (Jeremiah 32:17, 27). With God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).
God always rewards faith in Him. He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). When you hold unto Him in faith, remembering His goodness and kindnesses in the past and confessing His salvation now, He won’t fail you.
In 1 Samuel 17, God didn’t fail David, who stood on the covenant of the LORD with Israel and remembered his previous experience of deliverance by Him. He trusted Him for victory over Goliath. He saw no difference between the lion and the bear, and Goliath. They were all enemies! And the LORD helped him to kill Goliath.
God will fight for you, as you don’t forget His benefits. You’ll have your harvests of testimonies in Jesus’ name. You’ll kill your Goliath in the name of Jesus and you’ll sing for joy. Forget not His benefits; don’t take them for granted. They’re His blessings, not rights.
Conclusion: David said, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1 New King James Version). Let this be your decision and lifestyle. Don’t forget the benefits of the LORD. Count your blessings and thank the LORD continually.
If you’re not born again, kindly take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, soul-winning church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May the LORD make you a Cedar Christian. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. May the LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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