Friday, August 26, 2022

Comfort in Eternity (Psalm 102)

"Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure" (Ps. 102:25–26a).

No matter what your distress, Psalm 102 provides a healing balm to soothe your troubled soul. The writer of this psalm found himself in grave circumstances. His days were “consumed like smoke,” and his heart withered like grass. This man appeared overcome with sorrow, yet he did not despair. He found solace in the eternity and immutability of his God. The psalmist did not grasp for God’s goodness or mercy, but clung to those incomprehensible attributes of eternity and unchangeableness. His own pen testifies to his thoughts: “But You, O LORD, shall endure forever” (v. 12) and “But You are the same, and your years will have no end” (v. 27).

“For what benefit will accrue to us from the fact that God sits immutable on His heavenly throne, when, at the same time, our frail and perishing condition does not permit us to continue unmoved for a single moment?” Calvin asked. The reason rests in God’s immutable promises to His people. The psalmist found nourishment for his failing spirit by drinking of the heavenly promise that God would always be with him. “I will dwell in the midst of you” (Ex. 25:8). What advantage would we derive from the eternity and immutability of God unless we had in our hearts the knowledge of Him, which, produced by His gracious covenant, begets in us the confidence arising from a relationship between Him and us? God has given His people the fullest assurance that He will dwell in their midst. Instead of despairing when we see our lives languishing away, we must be of good courage.

“Whence it follows that true believers, as they are regenerated by the incorruptible seed, shall continue to live after death, because God continues unchangeably the same,” Calvin wrote. “When it is said that the seed of God’s servants shall be established before His face, the meaning is, that it is not after the manner of the world, or according to the way in which the heavens and the earth are established, that the salvation of true believers is made steadfast, but because of the holy union which exists between them and God.” Do not hesitate, though you may be threatened by death, to cast your anchor of faith in heaven, where your life abides with God.

The hope of eternal life can only be given to those who have faith in Jesus Christ, that He died for their sins and reconciled them to God. Can this psalm console you? Can you look past death with joy as you consider abiding with God for eternity? If not, it’s not too late to put your faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.