This morning as we looked back over 2023, we thought about Psalm 103:1-5 and especially the command ‘forget not all His benefits.’ We might wonder how we can forget what God has done and all the ways He has blessed us, but Psalm 78 (a history of Israel in the wilderness) shows us that despite the daily miracles of manna, water from a rock and being led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, the Israelites did forget what God had done for them and sinned and rebelled against Him. Miracles are no guarantee of obedience or faith. We have to take time out to focus on God (which is what our weekly Communion service tries to do) and to remember all He has done for us.
The ‘checklist’ David assembles to help him remember reasons to praise God include forgiveness, healing, redemption, crowning us with love and compassion, satisfaction, restoration, and renewal. All these things are immense blessings, reminding us that we have a God who forgives, heals, redeems, loves us, is compassionate towards us and satisfies us. He even renews our youth like the eagle’s (see also Is 40:28-31) so that we are given the strength to continue.
The miracles God did in the Bible continue to this day; we shared testimonies of how God has helped us, led us, provided for us and healed us throughout this past year. Looking back and remembering all God has done is the first step in moving forward. God is there in our ordinary, mundane lives, breaking in with extraordinary power at times so that we are indeed a blessed people whose God is the Lord.