In Psalm 103:2, David beckons his soul to refrain from forgetting God’s benefits. But what are the factors that might lead us to forget his benefits? Ironically, it’s in times of great prosperity and adversity. In prosperity, we have the tendency to become self-sufficient, thinking we’ve got a pretty good handle on life. We acknowledge we’ve received some great benefits from the Lord, but these aren’t things that we really need every day or even every moment of every day. There’s a subtle, but dangerous pride in this that settles in until the Lord has to show us how dependent we really are.
On the other hand, even in times of adversity, there is no guarantee of spiritual growth if we are not humbly testifying to the Lord’s goodness through it all. Adversity can shake us to our core, and powerfully challenge our expectations of this life and even lead to us calling God’s faithfulness into question. Then bitterness can set in and instead of meditating upon God’s good benefits to us, we mull over how wrong it is that we are in these circumstances.
So in both cases, whether prosperity or adversity, we must remind ourselves not to forget the Lord’s amazing benefits towards us. We are what we are by the grace of God and God is always causing all things to work together for our good and for his glory (Rom. 8:28).