In our last post, we saw the importance of gratitude and how it’s the key that unlocks the joy of the Lord in our life. But if gratitude is the key that unlocks the joy of the Lord, how do we live with hearts overflowing with gratitude? For that we turn to Psalm 103.
Gratitude Is Built On Humility
In verses 13-16 of Psalm 103 we are compared to children and told that we are dust. In verses 15 and 16 we are compared to a flower that blows away with the wind and is forgotten. Ouch. The truth is, gratitude is not compatible with pride. It’s been said that the foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing. But when we are proud, we have a lot of expectations. We talked about that in our last post. Those expectations are the foundation of ingratitude.
But as we can see here in Psalm 103, we have no platform, no reason, no right to expect anything. Romans 1 tells us the only thing we do deserve is eternal condemnation. John Piper said, “Our joy in God’s mercy is intensified by the realization of how undeserving we are.”1
Now, humility is not self-loathing. It’s simply acknowledging the reality of our finite position before God. And here is the beauty of humility: it draws the strength and power and compassion of Christ to us. Check out Mark 2:17.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
There is so much safety and life to be found in recognizing our nothingness. Because it’s in recognizing our nothingness that we experience the faithful love of God. After saying we are temporary and forgettable, David paints a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. Look at verse 17.
Psalm 103:17 But from eternity to eternity the LORD’s faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren.
Gratitude Flows From Experiencing God’s Compassion
At the beginning of Psalm 103, David leads himself to give thanks to God. He then celebrates and praises God for his compassion in verses 3-4 and 8-13. When was the last time that you marveled at your salvation?
- When was the last time it hit your heart that God is for you? Romans 8:31
- When was the last time if hit your heart that God took away the sting of death? 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
- When was the last time it hit your heart that God is guarding you by his power? 1 Peter 1:5
- When was the last time it hit your heart that God forgives you of your sins? Colossians 1:14
- You were dead in your sins but God made you alive and forgave you all your trespasses against him! – Colossians 2:13
Yes, we are nothing but temporary, easily forgettable, dirt. Worse than that, we deserve nothing but condemnation. We deserve to be punished for all eternity because of our sin and yet God in his love saved us. God purchased us at the cost of His Son. Let me encourage you to grab a Bible and slowly read through Ephesians 2:4-10.
Jesus Is Praying For You
Have you ever stopped to think that Christ is currently in heaven praying for you? Check out Hebrews 7.
Hebrews 7:24-25 But because he (JESUS) remains forever, he holds his priesthood permanently. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.
Jesus is in the presence of God praying for your faithfulness and your eternal security. He LIVES to make intercession for you and to present his completed work on the Cross before the Father on your behalf. And because the completed work of Christ was satisfactory payment for our sins, God will never reject us. Jesus prays and God resoundingly says YES! So on those days, you feel like you can’t make it or go on, your big brother Jesus is praying on your behalf, cheering you on, knowing you will make it because HIS work is enough. After all, he has separated your sins from you as far as the east is from the west.2
- Piper, John. Providence. Crossway, 2020. pp 149.
- vs. 12