Scripture: Psalm 138:7-8
We all have had cause to consider things that were never finished. Projects that were started but never completed. We have all seen pictures of grand construction projects abandoned; desolate ghost towns; unfinished homes, etc. Things changed, something happened—unexpected perhaps—and the project could not continue. Hard economic times in recent days seem to have produced a lot of these unfinished projects and unrealized dreams.
However, the Psalmist David here has no such fear concerning his own spiritual future. He has confidence, even in difficult times, that the Lord is at work and will in fact complete the work of grace in his life.
I THE PERFECTING WORK OF DIVINE GRACE.
- Perfect that which concerneth me, v8. God will complete what He has begun in the lives of His people. Cp Ps 57:2, Phil 1:6. The scope of His purpose is inferred here to include everything about him! There is nothing about the person of the Christian that is outside the purpose of God. He is not merely at work in certain aspects or areas of life but working on the whole person—everything related to me. Cp 1Thess 5:23
- Personal revival. God is the source of spiritual life for His people. Cp Ps 42:8, Col 3:3. This communication of life is a vital part of completing the work of grace in His people. It is an ongoing need. The environment he was currently in sapped life and vigour—he was being squeezed—yet he could draw life from the Lord. There was a vital connection between his soul and the Lord that trouble could not break. This connection is in view in John 15:4—abide in me and I in you…
- Divine action against his enemies. The Psalmist faced the wrath of his enemies but was assured that God would hold them back. Cp Ps 76:10, 2Thess 2:6-8. How easily God can stymie the advance of wickedness!
- Save me. Divine rescue and deliverance is in view. The right hand of God is at work to accomplish this. This expression always intimates the power of God exercised for Jesus’ sake. This salvation brings liberty and breathing space. It would have involved temporal rescue from harm on occasions; it meant relief from spiritual oppression; ultimately it means the glorification. Cp Ps 17:7, Is 41:10.
II HE HAD THIS ASSURANCE EVEN IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE.
Knowing and believing such truth does not exempt us from trouble! David is in the thick of it here!
- This is the conviction of faith. Faith looks beyond immediate personal circumstances to trust God to accomplish His purpose. Faith embraces the reality of what God has revealed rather than draw erroneous conclusions from what is seen by the eyes. Cp Heb 12:2
- Faith did not waver in times of trouble. He is in ‘the heart’ of trouble. His trust in the purpose of God did not weaken or evaporate and this is what sustained him.
- His assurance is based on the merciful work of Jehovah. Jehovah is the name of eternity, the unchanging God. His own circumstances have changed but God never wavers from His purposes. It is mercy alone on God’s part that drives His purpose to a conclusion. The mercy that produces perfection in the saint endures to eternity.
III SUCH REFLECTION ON GOD’S PURPOSES PRODUCES GRACIOUS FRUITS.
- Walk. Though in the midst of trouble he is not stopped by it. He continues to walk! He continues to advance and make progress. He can do so as he leans on the strength of the Divine arm.
- Praise. He rejoices in the mercy of God. There is the swelling up of a spirit of praise in his heart. He can sing while in trouble!
- Prayer. It is his desire to be perfected. The working out of God’s purpose is never apart from our desire and prayer for it. He calls upon God not to abandon the project! He recognizes what he is—the work of God’s hands. Cp Eph 2:10. He casts himself back into those hands in prayer and looks to the Lord to work in him. Cp Ps 68:28.