I read Psalm 138 this week and this last verse especially touched my heart.
Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
We all have our struggles in life. Some things that are struggles to one person may not be at all to someone else, but it doesn’t mean that those struggles are any less real to the person who finds it a trial. Many of us have challenges that worry, bother, or frighten us. But, here is the point – the Lord knows all about it and He will perfect those things in our lives as children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
I think it is interesting that the King James translators used the word “concerneth” here. The word no doubt means the things that pertain to us, things in our lives or that we are connected with. But, in modern times we use the word “concern” to speak of things that cause us worry or that we’re bothered about. So, to me this verse speaks a double meaning – both the things that surround me as well as the things that I’m concerned about.
Sometimes there are things in life that really worry us – things we’d like to do and are not able to do, things that we don’t want to do but we have to do. Sometimes there is a person we have to deal with or live with who is not saved or refuses to do right according to God’s word. All these things we can trust God to perfect!
To perfect as a verb means “Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.” What a wonderful thought! Of course, the scary part for us sometimes is that the situation might not be perfected the way we want to see it done. Maybe the Lord will remove someone from our lives whom we love, maybe He will take away possessions or people or situations in a way that is frightening to think about.
This brings us to the last two-thirds of the verse, …thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Our comfort in trusting Him to perfect those things which concern us is that His mercy endures forever! That’s a lot of mercy, friend. We can trust Him to be merciful in whatever solution He gives to our situation. This should bring us peace.
Then too, the prayer is added that He won’t forsake the works of His own hands. We know from other scripture that He will not, so we can have complete confidence that He will not forsake us no matter what perfecting He gives us for our concerns.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
What sweet fellowship. What wonderful comfort. He is with us and He will work each concern out in His perfect way.
Sometimes we are concerned about the decisions or actions of other people and how those things affect us or will affect our future. J. Hudson Taylor said something to this effect, “It may not have been God’s will for him to do what he did, but by the time it reached me, it was God’s will for me.” This reminds me of Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It is good to remember that the Lord will perfect all things for us according to His mercy and good pleasure, even those things that are brought to us through the sins of others. And, He won’t forsake us in the process. Also, He won’t forsake those who might be affected by His solution if they are under His care.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Better than My Best – a poem by Annie Johnson Flint