Remember and Focus on All of God's Benefits
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Psalm 103:2
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Ephesians 1:3
When you think about your past, what events do you remember? Are you a slave to your past by playing the same memories over and over in your mind? Do you feel bound by some bad things you have done or what someone has done to you? Do you tend to think that because you have been like 'that' in the past, you can never be otherwise so you don't even try to move forward? This kind of thinking is false and destructive. The people in the Old Testament had what they called memory stones; they served the purpose of recalling all the victorious things God did in their lives and for all the benefits bestowed upon them. When we focus on our victories and benefits, it builds our strength and confidence; it feeds our faith and gives us a reason to praise God.
Remembering our victories and benefits is an important practice because the word remembrance means what we remember and focus on brings the same power back into our now and in increased form; it is a natural way of life because God is a God of increase. Dwelling on the past failures and disappointments creates a block to God's power, freedom and peace. If we remember and focus on the victories and benefits, it will cause the energy of God to live and multiply.
A benefit is a privilege that is granted to us because we are connected to someone or something that is advantageous or good; a gift; an act of kindness. There are many benefits each of us have at the present or have experienced in the past; it is good not to forget them or take them for granted. Through the acceptance of Christ as Savior, we are connected to the benefits provided in the New Covenant. To realize the blessings provided in the New Covenant. To realize the blessings of those benefits, it is important to see and accept ourselves as Jesus does (whole, complete, nothing missing, favored, delightful, talented, successful) and not by how we feel about ourselves. It is easy to hinder the Holy Spirit by how we feel instead of living by what God says in His Word.
David was reminding himself of the benefits of knowing God and accepting what He has done in Psalm 103. Because we live in the valley of the shadow of death, we must focus on the things of God continuously. Circumstances can be powerful enough to draw us back into past thinking and speaking which causes a negative reaction of fear, hurt or anger. The temptation to react to life and people in a negative, hurtful, offensive or angry way waits for the opportunity to take over.
Even at times when unfavorable circumstances arise, we know that He is working everything to our benefit (Romans 8:28, Psalm 138:8). We need to take care to remember that daily God is loading us with benefits (Psalm 68:19). The benefits are given to us through Christ and they truly are the potential for life, health and peace. Stop for a moment to think about the many benefits God has bestowed on you. You may be surprised just how many blessings you have already received and enjoyed!
Nine God Given Benefits
1. We are chosen by God (Ephesians 1:4). We have been chosen and blessed prior to the creation of the world. The Lord tells us that we are His; we are loved, special and valuable.
2. God has adopted us (vs. 5). It is the pleasure of God to call us into His family.
3. God gave us His grace (vs. 6). Grace in God's unconditional love, favor, mercy, kindness and forgiveness toward us through Jesus Christ. It can never be earned nor is it deserved, but it is God's gift activated by us.
4. God gave us redemption (vs. 7). By applying Jesus Christ's blood to our life, we discover we are completely forgiven and our past is disempowered (Acts 3:19). Redemption is our gifted potential to walk and live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
5. God abounds toward us in all wisdom and understanding (vs. 8). God's treasures of wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding are made known through the revelation of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:3).
6. God reveals the mystery of His will (vs. 9). This is according to His pleasure which is our prosperity (Psalm 35:27).
7. We are made God's treasure (vs. 11). We have obtained, not attained, an inheritance according to God's purpose who works out all things in agreement to His will through Jesus Christ. Obtain is to receive our gifted provision; attain is by self-effort.
8. God sealed us with the Holy Spirit (vs. 13-14). A seal signifies a finished transaction (John 17:4). We belong to God and are to be used by Him.
9. Our future grows greater (vs. 14). We are to recognize, affirm and act upon the fact that God loves us and wants us to discover Him in us so we discover total provision and continuous supply.