I love the song ‘10,000 reasons (Bless the Lord)’ – by Matt Redman.
Here is a link to the Official Music Video: Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
It reminds me that the state of my soul should not be determined by my outward circumstances. Even amidst sickness, adversity, suffering, death, or even just a stress-filled day, I should be able to bless the Lord. And, if I can’t, then I need only remind myself that: “You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger, Your name is great and Your heart is kind.”
If ever my soul is downcast, I need only remind myself of the Gospel, and suddenly, I find that I do have 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord once again.
It makes me think of Psalms 42 and 43. In those Psalms, the Psalmist speaks to himself three time, saying: “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (42:5a, 11a; 43:5a – because of this repeated refrain, these two Psalms should be read together) The Psalmist wonders why his soul is downcast when: the Lord is his “God” and his “salvation” (42:5b, 11b; 43:5b), his “rock” (42:9), his “refuge” (43:2) and his “exceeding joy” (43:4) “by day the Lord has commanded his steadfast love, and by night his song is with me” (42:8). in the Psalmist’s mind, there is no reason why his soul should be downcast, even though his adversaries are taunting him saying, “Where is your God? (42:3b) and he is being oppressed (42:10; 43:2) to the point that he can say, “My tears have been my food day and night (42:3a). Even though his circumstances are causing his soul to be downcast, the Psalmist understands that God’s character, that the Gospel, should be enough to overcome that emotional state. The Psalmist reminds himself of the Gospel, in order that his soul might no longer be downcast.
There’s a similar situation in Psalm 103. Here it seems that the Psalmist is trying to cause himself (almost convince himself) to bless the LORD (v. 1). But, what is the obstacle to him blessing the LORD? It is forgetting all the LORD’s ‘benefits’ (v. 2). And so, the Psalmist reminds himself of the LORD’s benefits (v. 3-19). The LORD forgives all our iniquities (v. 3a), heals all our diseases (v. 3b), redeems us from the pit (v. 4a), crowns us with steadfast love and mercy (v. 4b), satisfies us with good (v.4), intercedes for all who are oppressed (v. 6), reveals himself (v. 7), enters into covenants (v. 8), doesn’t keep his anger forever (v. 9), doesn’t deal with us according to our sins (v. 10), etc. The Psalmist reminds himself of (according to my very rough count) 31 ‘benefits’ of the LORD. Now, it may not be 10,000 reasons, but this Psalmist had (at least) 31 reasons to bless the Lord.
But, the point is: the state of our souls should not be determined by our outward circumstances. When the world has dealt you a bad hand, just remind yourself of the ‘benefits’ of the Lord. Preach the Gospel to yourself, just like these Psalmists did. Talk to yourself. Try to convince your down cast soul, even amidst whatever is going on, to bless the Lord. Because with the coming of Christ and his death and resurrection, I reckon that there are more than 31 reasons to bless the Lord. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are closer to 10,000 reasons for our souls to bless the Lord.