I have the easiest time remembering all the good things I have done. How I was kind in the face of anger. How I gave to the needy. How I rarely miss the Sunday gathering. How I have had a quiet time four days in a row and have actually looked forward to it. How I spent that one summer decades ago living in an orphanage serving those kids. How I sent a text to that one friend who I knew was struggling. On and on the list of my goodness goes, and on and on I love rehearsing that list before myself so that I don’t forget all my benefits.
I also have the easiest time remembering all of my failures. How I was impatient when one of my kids just wanted to talk. How I ignored the needs of my community because a new pair of boots seemed like a better idea. How I went to the Sunday gathering out of obligation and felt absolutely nothing for God when I heard that my sins were forgiven. How I went for weeks and months without even thinking of spending any time with my Jesus and didn’t even care that my heart was cold. How I spend days bingeing anything on Netflix to numb my heart and mind to pain. How I neglected to send any texts or return any emails from friends who were hurting and asking for prayer. On and on the list of my badness goes, and on and on I find myself rehearsing it.
And then this gem of a verse makes it way through the darkness of my thought life and presents itself to me in all of its glory. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all of his benefits.” Remember Him. David had to tell himself, we have to tell ourselves, don’t forget who He is and what He has done.
He forgives all your sins. Every single one. Forgiven. He doesn’t just forgive sins generally speaking. He forgives all of OUR personal sins. Every single sin where we use our goodness as a way to avoid needing Him. Every single sin that causes us to look to other loves besides Him. Every sin of inflated opinion of self. Every sin of ignoring someone in need. Every time we look with self-righteous judgement on the sins of others. Every time we are sure that we understand grace more than the next guy and somehow that makes us a better Christian. Every single sin from our past that causes shame to burn in our chest when we think about it. Every time we use whatever and whoever is necessary to advance self. Every single sin we are hiding and loving right this second. Every single horrific sin we will commit in the future. All of it. It is all forgiven. Scandalous grace how sweet the sound that saves wretches like us.
He heals all our diseases. Every single disease of unbelief finds it’s healing in the wounds of our Savior. “He heals your faithlessness” (Jeremiah 3:22) “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely” (Hosea 14:4) He heals our apostasy, our very abandonment and renunciation of our faith. He takes that unto himself and he heals it. He heals our faithlessness, every time you and I chose to believe lies instead of believing His love for us, he takes that unto himself and heals us.
Victor Hugo says this, “The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; love for ourselves – say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” Forget not His benefits, beloved. Rehearse His eternal love for you. Rehearse His healings. He has redeemed your life from the pit. He crowns us with steadfast love and mercy. He satisfies us with good things. He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in unmovable love. He does not deal with us according to our sins, he doesn’t repay us according to all of the moral debt we have accrued. Go outside today and look up. “For as high as the heaves are above the hearth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” Go outside today and look from the east to the west, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Find supreme happiness in being loved in spite of all of your brokenness. That happiness is there for your right this second. He is there for you right this second.
Jessica is an author of several books and a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism and to live in the truth that in the gospel there is joyful freedom awaiting them. Jess has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is "naked confidence in the mercy of God." She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1995. Together they have three teenage children.