The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
There is a lot of truth packed into that one verse. At first glance it might not be evident, but let’s explore it a bit.
The first line says “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me”. In that first line, I see three important truths.
- We are reminded that God is “the Lord”. Lord is not just a name for God, rather it is a term that means he has authority, power, and control. A Lord is one who rules and reigns over others, who has the ability to make decisions, who is a master and a chief. Right from the beginning of this verse the writer puts God in his place, and at the same time puts us in our place. He is Lord, we are not…we are under his authority, power, and control.
- The end of the first line lets us know that he has a purpose for us. That means God has a plan and is working to accomplish that plan in our lives. The things that happen in our life are not random or make no sense, they are part of a greater purpose and plan. We can choose to be ok with what is happening and seek God in the midst of it, or we can choose to not like it and even try to fight with God in the midst of it (how we choose to react to what is happening in our life will have an impact on the future direction of our life). However, regardless of how we act and react, God has a plan he is working to accomplish.
- It tells us he will fulfill his purpose. This goes right along with the point I just made, that God has a plan and is working to accomplish that plan. It’s not that he is trying to accomplish his plan, he WILL FULFILL it. His plan and purpose will happen, because he is Lord and in control. It will happen whether we react to it in a godly way or ungodly way.
That is a lot to take in from one statement. But it is the truth. God is Lord of all, he has a purpose for your life, and he will fulfill his purpose.
The second line in this verses is, I believe, meant to be encouraging after the potentially heavy truth of the first line. The second line says “your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever”.
In the first line we are reminded of who is in control of our life, and that he has a purpose for our life that he will fulfill. That can be comforting to remember, but also be difficult to accept…especially when faced with the pain or hardship that might come with his purpose. So after that truth is stated, there is a statement that reminds us all of the fact that God, our Lord, loves us.
This love is not just average love though, it’s steadfast love. Steadfast means it won’t waiver or fluctuate at all; it’s not fickle, not dependent on the circumstances of life, and not even affected by how we choose to act and react to his purpose for our life. It remains strong and steadfast. It also never ends; it will endure forever and ever.
Whether or not we have times where we fight against God or complain about his purpose in our life, his love remains steadfast and endures forever.
When things are going well and we are enjoying life, his love remains steadfast and endures forever.
In the midst of extreme pain and difficulty where we can’t seem to make sense of things, his love remains steadfast and endures forever.
If we don’t like how God’s purpose is currently playing out in our life, we can continually rest in the truth that his steadfast love endures forever. Praise the Lord!
The third and final statement in this verse comes across as being the final consensus of the writer. The writer of this psalm has made the powerful statement that the Lord will fulfill his purpose in his life, then reminds himself of the awesome truth that God’s love endures forever. With this final statement, he makes a declaration concerning his life based on the truths he has just stated (as well as the truth found in all of Psalm 138, but we aren’t dissecting the whole chapter at this time). The third statement says “Do not forsake the work of your hands”.
Consider the potential gravity of that statement. Knowing God is Lord and has a purpose for his life that he will fulfill, and realizing the truth that he does not get to choose what the Lord’s purpose for him is (he can only choose how he acts and reacts to it), he tells the Lord to not forsake the work of your hands. In other words, he tells the Lord to do what he needs to do in order to accomplish his purpose.
The writer ends by saying, in effect, “do what you need to with my life; accomplish what you wish to accomplish; use my life however you desire to.”
Truth – God is our Lord, which means he has complete authority and control.
Truth – God has a purpose for our life and will fulfill his purpose.
Truth – God loves us with a steadfast love that endures forever
Question – Are we willing to make the statement the writer did? Are we willing to tell God “do what you want to with my life; fulfill your purpose for my life, no matter what that might mean”?
My prayer for myself is that I am willing to have the same mindset as the one portrayed in this verse, in order that I may be willing to make the same declaration as the writer did.