I think for the vast majority of us the word “bless” is primarily relegated to something we do before we eat a meal. That was certainly true in my family growing up. It was unthinkable for us to sit down and begin to eat without saying “grace” or “blessing the food” we were about to eat.
Much time has passed since those formative years, and yet I still pause to say grace and on the occasion when I forget to I tend to feel a twinge of guilt.
Today, I received an email response to a previously posted Victory Call and the writer prompted me to read Psalm 103—hence, the title of this VC.
Psalm 103 begins with the words bless the LORD! The writer of this particular Psalm is telling his soul to bless the Lord with all that is within him. He’s reminding himself to remember the benefits of God and proceeds to tell us what some of them are:
The LORD forgives all our iniquities.
He heals our diseases.
He redeems our life from destruction.
He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
He satisfies our mouth with good things so that we are renewed.
He is slow to anger and abounding in mercy.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins or punished us according to our iniquities.
As far as the east is from the west He has removed our transgressions from us.
To those who fear Him, remember Him and keep His covenant His mercy is everlasting.
So, what exactly does it mean to bless the Lord? According to the 1828 edition of ‘American Dictionary of the English’ language, the word “bless” has multiple meanings, as follows:
1. To pronounce a wish of happiness to one; to express a wish or desire of happiness
2. To make happy; to make successful; to prosper in temporal concerns, as we are blessed with peace and plenty.
3. To make happy in a future life.
4. To praise; to glorify, for benefits received; to magnify; to extol, for excellencies
If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that the majority of us are in some way or other caught up the spirit of the Christmas season. For better or worse, we’re in it; doing our best to get all the baking, decorating and shopping done. We’ve made our lists and have checked them at least twice. We’ve more than likely decided who we’re going to visit and made our travel plans. In addition to that, we may even have a list of functions we’re obliged to attend that will fill multiple hours in the final two weeks before Christmas Day—all of it for good. Happy, joyful times will be had by all!
So, here’s the thing I’d like to invite you to do. Pause…pause…pause and bless the LORD. Tell your soul to “bless the LORD”. He who has saved, redeemed, rescued, set free, delivered, sanctified and set apart a people to call His own is worthy of all our worship and all our praise!
Bless the LORD, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy name! Selah!
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.