“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
I will keep my thoughts short, if only to encourage you to reflect on the brilliance of such a simple yet profound statement. God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Notice how dutifully the psalmist recognizes the Lord’s provision for his life in the first few verses. Upon examination, it would seem he views God as in full control; God is guiding him by the hand and informing his mind in wisdom. it is God who will bring him into glory where he will be waiting to receive him, the result of His own work. The psalmist has rightly placed his affections on God, having found none more able than Him. God maintains a skillful control (Psalm 147:8, Amos 5:8) over the entirety of Creation, which he first breathed from his mouth (Psalm 33:6). His ways are certain (Psalm 18:30), his methods are trustworthy (Deuteronomy 31:6) and his purposes will be accomplished precisely as he intends (Isaiah 55:11). Contrast this with the human experience, and we will find ourselves rife with error. The only consistency we have is inconsistency. We are prone to wander, adept in failure, unable to affect the circumstances around us, and left to our own devices, deeply disappointed by it all. We are weak, ineffectual and needy. How comforting an idea, that though we are prone to failure, God is able to establish us with perfect consistency (Jude 1:24)? In our inability, God will continue to prove himself able, time and again. Should we distance ourself from so great a love, I’m afraid we “shall perish“. But, if in humility, we submit to him who promises to be the strength for the weak and the portion for the needy, he himself will be our refuge. What an exchange! Trust in the one who sets the stars in the sky and knows them by name (Isaiah 40:26) for he alone is able.