The Best Witness of All

From start to finish, Psalm 103 reminds me that I can count on God’s lovingkindness. He forgives, redeems, crowns, fills, gives, and does all He does out of a deep love for me. That makes me want to praise Him with all that I am. It had the same effect upon David, a man truly after God’s own heart.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
   of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord. (NLT)

How can I read Psalm 103 and not understand the extent of God’s love for me? If I don’t read it with all that I am, I can do just that. All that I am is His, and that means the good and the bad. Love accepts both, and no one loves as God does. He is love and knowing that enables me to see Him and me in the light of His Son’s precious love. David knew the Messiah’s love would come one day. He couldn’t wait, so he sought God’s heart in a brazen way. His psalms are beautiful witnesses to intimacy he sought and found.

God has armies of angels at His command. He made the heavens and rules over everything, but lovingkindness is His greatest strength. His Son’s precious love redefined power and changed the world. David was a man after God’s own heart, and his pursuit paid off. He found love where most found fear. His awe of God inspired this, and many other, beautiful songs of praise that make me want to love God the way he did. That’s the best witness of all!

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:


Lovingkindness is one of my favorite words, but it is very difficult to define. The Greek word is hesed, chesed, or heced. The dictionary defines it as “persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which God seeks after man with love and mercy.” I love the image those words form in my heart, but feeling it expressed is much better. I feel God’s love always, and He even places others in my path to express it when I need an extra dose.

God’s lovingkindness lasts forever, and Psalm 118 was in my path this week to remind me of just that.  Verses 1-4 repeat that beautiful thought and give me sweet reassurance:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
 Oh let Israel say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
Oh let the house of Aaron say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
 Oh let those who fear the Lord say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.” NASB

Lovingkindness is more than love and isn’t possible for me to extend or receive it without the help of the Holy Spirit. Last week, I needed some lovingkindness after being blindsided by bitterness. God was faithful, as always, and provided lovingkindness to offset the hurt it brought.

The message continues in Psalm 118 with one of the most famous verses in the Bible. Psalm 118:24 says:

“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” NASB

Pastor John reminded me on Wednesday evening that God will make each day if I allow Him to, but he also cautioned that others can make my day if I allow them to. I gave too much of my day and far too much of my energy to someone other than God this week and ended up frustrated and hurt as a result. God placed lovingkindness in my path and helped me see the importance of being a loving presence in this world.

The world wants and needs an explanation, and they expect nice, neat answers that conform to their way of thinking. God’s ways are higher than those of the world, and He made it clear this week that I have to trust Him and not worry when others do not understand. He does, and that is all that matters. There is a stark difference between loving self and place and loving God, and that was crystal clear to me this week. I want to bask in God’s lovingkindness and love as He loves. Witness is walking in His kingdom and helping others do the same. I also got a great lesson in what it looks like when we take on God’s role, and it wasn’t pretty. I’m thankful God is God because He is the only one qualified for the job. I plan to keep listening to and praising Him because it’s the best cure for the bitterness of this world.