He's Never Failed Me Yet
There's an older chorus that we used to sing in church that simply says,
Bless the Lord, O my soul
Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me, bless His holy name
These lyrics are taken straight from Psalm 103:1 (KJV).
I used to sing this song thinking that it was supposed to come from a feeling of joyful gratefulness. Sometimes it is! But as I have experienced more of life (aka gotten older), I think of it more as a song reminding myself what to do in any circumstance. When I'm happy - bless the Lord! When I'm sad - bless the Lord! When I'm confused and don't know where to turn - bless the Lord!
Reading on in Psalm 103, I think David had this in mind as well. The very next verse in the psalm says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits..." It's all about reminding ourselves what God has done in the past - his faithfulness. He then goes on with a great list of these benefits: God's forgiveness of sins, his healing, his redeeming our life from the pit, crowning us with love and compassion, etc. The list goes on for quite a while.
Another song that we have sung recently and is on the radio called, "Do It Again," says,
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they'd fall
But you have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle's won
For you have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in your hands
This is my confidence
You've never failed me yet
The song goes on to express that the "night won't last" and that Jesus is and always will be enough. It's a cry to God from a "dark night of the soul," but also a call to remember God's movement in our lives in the past.
Psalm 13, another one of David's, says, "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?"
I'm encouraged that a biblical figure like David wasn't afraid to express to God his feelings of sadness and being alone. God gave us all the emotions we experience and he knows when we go through them. However, David ends the psalm by saying, "BUT I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me."
I've recently had a conversation with someone about this song's lyrics. They had a problem with the word "yet," thinking that it portrayed that there is a possibility of God failing us in the future. But I think the writer was trying to convey what the psalmist was saying; that in all my own experiences up to this point, and in everything I've read in the Bible, God has proven faithful. So with this impeccable track record, we can trust that God will continue to be faithful.