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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Forget Not His Benefits

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, forget not His benefits..." (Psalm 103:2)

"The drought continues and has been unrelenting here in the south", the news caster announced as he stood in front of the dry wind swept wheat field. Turning to the farmer beside him he began to interview the gentleman. The farmer spoke about the effect this drought was having upon all the farmers and forecasted the effect would have upon our nation for this year there would be no harvest. "This is the first time in my lifetime that we will not have a harvest", declared the farmer, who was in his late fifties. The program quickly cut away focusing on how many farmers would loose their farms, the increased prices that our nation would soon see, and how this would effect the economic state of our country. They even mentioned how it could possibly effect the elections in the fall.

No one can deny the hardship and dire consequences of events like this. Its effects are far reaching. But the farmers statement about how long it had been since there was not a harvest caught my attention. Everyone was focusing in on this year's non-harvest, missing a very crucial fact - we have had many years of bountiful harvests. We have been a very blessed people. Are we simply going to take this for granted?

We are well trained in focusing on the negative, the tragic, the limitations, the woes, the trouble, etc. It is a habit that we all, if not careful, fall into. That's why this passage gives us a direct imperative - "forget not His benefits!" It is not a suggestion. It is not a denial of the trouble, pain, suffering, and tragedy we face and experience in this world. It is not mere optimism. It is a deliberate choice to remember how blessed we are. It is reveling in the wonder of God's love, grace, and provisions. It is willful choice to focus on the benefits that God graces our lives with. Whenever God's people get disgruntled and complaining, they loose their perspective and soon, their way. It is often the first step to selling out, walking away, giving up, or succumbing to the world's declaration that God does not care or even exist.

Do not misunderstand. We will cry out to God. Our laments have their place, when they are directed to God. For when they are directed to God they are an act of faith. By directed them toward God we are affirming our faith that He will and is able to do something about that which we are lamenting. Nevertheless, we need to always remember His benefits. Even in our lament we need to affirm our trust in the one who owes us nothing, but has given His all. Is this not the very nature of grace? We may be more inclined to "forget not His benefits" if we would first remember that God owes us absolutely nothing, and anything we have is an wondrous grace gift.

Beloved, read the rest of this Psalm sometime today and choose to forget not His benefits.

Keep Close To Jesus
Pastor Gerry

Pastor Gerry has started a new, exciting ministry. He is now available for Disciple Development Retreats, Intensive Bible Study Series, Leadership Development Seminars/Retreats and more. For more information, check out We welcome prayers for Pastor Gerry and his new ministry, may it be a blessing to many.

A Pause To Ponder God's Word is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome.


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