Rabbi Schneider - Do You Need an Attitude Realignment?
How could it be that two people raised in the same home and close to the same age, grow up with completely different perspectives and attitudes about life? The point I want to make today is, is that what is even more important than circumstances, is our attitude. And in a very real way, our attitude is independent of our circumstances. We're gonna take a look today into Psalm number 103 and in Psalm 103, we're gonna discover the way that we need to walk and that is with a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude. It's very true that there are some people and their circumstances look fantastic from the outside. They're lacking nothing from the outside. They have a big home. They've got a great job. They got a beautiful spouse. And yet somehow, their attitude is depressed and bitter and ungrateful. How do you explain this?
I want to say today that our attitude really is determined by our choice. There's no question about it. We're living in a world where there's lots of oppression and we face circumstances often times in life that are very difficult. But what is bigger than the circumstances and bigger than the trial and bigger than the winds of oppression, is the power of our attitude and the ability that we have to choose how we're gonna feel. I know that you're like me, you've met people in your life, they don't have much. They don't have a great job. They might not be exteriorly beautiful, but somehow they just seem to be generally happy people. They seem to be thankful for what they have. And on the other hand, again, we know other people, they seem to have a lot more circumstantially, but they're depressed and they're ungrateful.
I want to challenge you and I today, as God's children, to take responsibility for the attitude that we have. It really is in a large way determined by our choice. I know one man, you've heard me tell this story before, I've known him for many, many, many years. He grew up in a very difficult circumstance. He doesn't have much money. He has some health challenges, yet every time I ask him how is he, he always has the same answer; "Better than I deserve". And whenever I hear him say that, I'm so blessed, because it really puts things in perspective. And his answer, "I'm doing better than I deserve," even though he doesn't have much circumstantially, reflects a heart of gratitude. And it really is an expression of the way how you and I should feel, because the truth is if the Lord rewarded us according to our deeds, all of us today would be in a very difficult place. But on the other hand, we're living in a life where there are so many things that we can appreciate, so many things we can be thankful for, so many things that can bring us joy.
If we'll focus on the things that we do have, rather than focusing on what we don't have. And to get this adjustment of attitude that we need today, an attitude realignment, we're gonna turn to psalm 103 and we're gonna look at a psalm of David. It is one of the most powerful and beautiful psalms in all the 150 psalms in the book of Psalms in the scripture. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but Baruch Hashem, bless the name of the Lord. The Word of the Lord, beloved ones, abides forever. Let's begin. Psalm 103, verse number 1. David begins by saying, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name". Wow! I mean I just get life just from reading that. Don't you want to walk like that all the time, living in a state where you're continually just thanking the Lord? "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name".
This is the way, beloved, we have to live. We have to live in joy and in empowerment. The scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is my strength. We want to wake up each day and pray for impartation of joy. It makes a difference. And the joy that we receive, the joy that David had in his heart when he said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name". The strength in his soul that gave him the ability to praise the Lord in such a high way, was an impartation of the supernatural joy of God, that had been imparted to his soul through the Ruach Hakodesh, through the Holy Spirit. We should pray for an impartation of the joy of God, which is our strength. Jesus spoke about the nature of the Lord that He imparts to us, that is independent of circumstances. Yeshua said, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives". And it's the same thing with the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord that you and I can walk in is in a very real measure, separate from our circumstances.
You see I can come to work with a song in my heart, being a blessing, walking in empowerment, and that is an empowerment that comes to me from the Spirit, the joy of God; or I can walk into my work, into my ministry offices, everything's the same as it was when I walked in with joy. But I can walk in on the other hand in a state of defeatedness and in a state of focusing on the wrong things. It really is a choice and we have the ability to choose to receive from the Lord the power that we need to live in thankfulness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name". I love that David said, "And all that is within me, bless His holy name". If you think about it, everything that's in you and I has been created by God and for God. The scripture tells us that from Him are all things. Through Him are all things and to Him are all things, which means that His entire creation should be praising Him; because we only exist as an act of His grace and because He chose to create us. And you and I have been chosen to praise Him for ever and ever.
Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians that you and I that have been brought in to a relationship with Hashem, with Father God, have been brought into this relationship because we've been sovereignly chosen out of the world by God; not because of what we've done, but simply because His sovereign choice of us to reveal His kindness and His grace to us. And the reason that He chose us is to know Him, love Him, listen, and praise Him for His marvelous grace in our life forever and ever and ever. We've been chosen to praise Him. And so I want to ask you right now, will you challenge yourself, by the power of the Ruach Hakodesh, to take responsibility for your attitude. And furthermore, will you allow yourself to take responsibility for the fact that the only righteous option is to walk like David walked, in an attitude of praise and thankfulness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name".
You know we often times hear the word righteousness; the righteousness of God and how we can walk in righteousness. And sometimes we don't know exactly what that means. But most simply, to walk in righteousness is simply to walk in a way where we're rightly aligned with God. Let me say it another way, to walk in righteousness is to walk in a way, beloved child of God, where you are rightly aligned with reality. Think about it, do you deserve to be alive? Do you deserve to be alive? What did you do to bring yourself into existence? Who gave you the ability to experience pleasure? Who gave you the ability to be able to look outside and see the green trees, to see the blue skies, to see the flowers, to see the birds, to experience relationship? All of it is a gift. Every gift in your life has come from God above. And so to walk in an attitude of thankfulness, to walk like David did, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name," that is only to walk rightly. It's how we should walk. It's being in alignment with reality. "Bless the Lord, O my soul," sing it with me, "and all that is within me," we bless Father, "Your holy name".
David continues. "Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget none of His benefits". It's so easy, because we have an enemy in this world. We're up against the powers of darkness. And the powers of darkness are powers of cursing, powers of bitterness, powers of frustration, powers of lack. The powers of darkness are against us and so the nature of Satan is he's not praising God. He's not counting his blessings. He is exactly the opposite. He's cursing. He's frustrated. He's hateful. And so you and I have to fight the fight of faith to walk in an attitude of blessing and gratitude. And David tells us how to do it in verse 2. We do it, beloved one, by forgetting none of His benefits. "Bless the Lord, O my soul," David said in verse number 2. "And forget none of His benefits".
But let me ask a question, aren't we prone, you and I as human beings of flesh and blood, that are up against the powers of resistance, up against that which is anti life, up against the darkness, aren't we prone if we're not careful, to forget His benefits and to enter in to a spirit of ungratefulness and complaining and focusing on the lack rather than forgetting none of His benefits? If we're not careful we will forget all the good things in our life and we'll start to get bitter and frustrated, focusing on what we don't have. Beloved, a rich man; write this down. A rich man, a rich woman, is not an individual that has everything they want. But a rich person, beloved, is thankful for what they have. It makes a world of difference. The truth is, having everything you want will never satisfy you. That's why people that have a lot of money, they still want more money. It's illogical. Why? Because human lust is never satisfied.
Being rich is not having everything we want, because our wants are never satisfied. We're flesh. The flesh can never be satisfied. But a rich person has learned to focus on being thankful for what they do have. "Forget none of His benefits". Let's just take a second, what in your life right now do you have that you can be thankful for? Do you have any friends? Do you have anybody that loves you? Did you wake up this morning? Are you still breathing? Do you know God? Is heaven your home, is it your ultimate destiny? Do you have the ability to be a blessing to somebody somehow? Can you pick up the phone and call somebody and pray for them? That's a blessing. To be able to love is a blessing. Let me ask you this, have you ever considered who you actually are? The scripture tells us that we're fearfully and wonderfully made.
Have you ever stopped just to thank God that you exist, that your body is self regulating, that your heart is beating by itself, that you again, woke up this morning? Beloved, we should thank God for our existence and if you know Father God through His Son Yeshua Jesus the Messiah and you're going to heaven, you should be rejoicing that although there's trials and tribulations on this earth, you've got a destiny that is so huge, it's so fantastic, it's so much greater than you can ever imagine. You've got a purpose in this life to love God, to pursue Him, to know Him, to serve Him. Beloved, let's not forget all the benefits. Can you still smell or see the flowers? Can you still taste food when you eat it? Beloved, let's be thankful, by focusing on the benefits we have. Do you have a husband or a wife?
I know that some of you are watching, your husband or wife has passed on. Thank the Lord for your spouse. If you have children, or grandchildren, if you have a roof over your head, if you've got enough money to buy food, "Forget none of His benefits". Let's root out of us the childish heart of ingratitude. Let's root out of us the heart of being spoiled. And let's build ourselves up into maturity by the Spirit of God and walk as those in power, that live a life of being thankful and grateful for what we have. And when we do that, you know what beloved? We'll be happy, because happiness is not determined just by your circumstances. Happiness is determined, beloved one, by our attitude and our attitude can be developed by focusing on all the good things that God has done for us, forgetting none of His benefits.
Let's move on now to verse number 3. "Who pardons all our iniquities, who heals all our diseases". So David said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Let's forget none of His benefits". And then David lists some of these benefits beginning in verse number 3. "Who pardons all your iniquities". I want you and I just to think about that for a second. What would happen to you and I if our iniquities, if our sin, if our transgression, wasn't forgiven? Just think for a second even about your own psyche. You and I can forgive ourselves, because we know Father God forgives us, because we know He has compassion on us, we're gonna read about this, because we know that He knows we're just but dust, because He accepts us and loves us just the way we are, because He understands why we've made some of the mistakes and committed some of the sins that we've committed. And so we can forgive ourselves knowing that He loves us and forgives us and accepts us, that we're His beloved.
Think about the fact that you and I today can walk in self forgiveness, that we don't have to beat ourselves up and condemn ourselves for every place that we've fallen short in life. We can just simply say, "I'm sorry" and pick ourselves up and try to do better next time and try to correct the problems and keep examining ourselves; to keep growing, to keep on entering in to the fullness of the Lord, who the Lord has called us to be. Think about what your life would be like if that love of God wasn't being administered to you, where by you knew that He loved you, you knew He forgave you, so you could forgive yourself. What if that love was taken away and the only thing that was left was condemnation on your self, both from God and from your own psyche against yourself for every sin that you ever committed, for every bad thought that you ever thunk, for every wrong word that you ever spoke? What if the love of God was removed? What if we didn't have that confidence that He forgave all our iniquities like David said and instead what we had was just condemnation and accusations?
Every wrong thought, every wrong deed, every wrong word, it was just coming back and accusing us, telling us how worthless we are, how terrible we are, how sinful we are, how disqualified we are, how unworthy we are, what if that's the way we live; with condensation and accusation, because of the judgment that we put upon others that is now coming back upon us. But you know what? We don't live like that, those of us that know the Lord. Why? Because we know that Father loves us, He understands, He has compassion. There's no condemnation in Christ Jesus. We can learn from our mistakes and we can grow, because He forgives all our iniquities. Isn't that a reason to be thankful beloved ones? David was thankful for it. I know I'm thankful for it. If I had to go back and remember every sin I ever committed and the only thing I had for that was self condemnation, oh beloved it would be a torment beyond anything that I could even imagine right now. Let's be thankful for God's love, for His benefits, and for His forgiveness. Let's cultivate an attitude of gratitude. The more you do, the happier, beloved one, you'll become.