My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psalm 73:26)
Our flesh failing would be the physical exhaustion, sickness, soreness, pain.
Our heart fails when we cannot think of the answer (our mind), when we feel sad or discouraged (our emotions), and when it seems we just don’t know what to choose (our will).
So many times this week I have felt my flesh and my heart failing! When my sleep was interrupted by endless coughing, when I could not figure out the problem, when I heard heartbreaking news, and when I was uncertain what to do, I failed.
“Failed” in this verse means to faint, to be consumed, to be at the end.
Have you ever been at that place? Feeling no strength to continue on? Oh, how sweet to know the rest of this verse! God is the strength of my heart. When my strength fails, it makes room for His to take over!
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:4)
The strength of the Lord is everlasting.
His strength never runs out. He never grows weary, and nothing is too hard for Him to accomplish. For all of eternity, His strength will always be the same.
As humans, we can only go for very short time spans before we grow physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted. Some people have more endurance, but ultimately, everyone runs out of strength at some point. Not so with our God! He will never reach the end of His strength.
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:28-29)
The strength of the Lord is promised.
Not only does He have limitless strength, but He freely shares His strength. He doesn’t give His strength to those who are mighty. He does not give His strength to those who think they can handle it or seem to be doing better than most. He gives His strength to those who are faint, the ones who are failing. He gives His strength to those who have none of their own.
What lovingkindess and condescension, that He would bestow His great strength on those of us who are so needy, and yet so undeserving of that strength!
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)
The strength of the Lord is my strength.
On my own, I will fail. Yet having Him, I have all strength. He is the Almighty God, to Whom all power belongs. And this strength and power is mine, if I will let Him be my strength. It is not my ability; it is not my resources. It is the Lord my strength!
Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. (Psalm 105:4)
The strength of the Lord is to be sought and is freely given.
Knowing how great and mighty our God is, how enduring is His strength, and the availability of His strength for me personally in my weakness, it is my responsibility to seek His strength.
As this verse elaborates, the strength will be found in seeking HIM. We do not seek His strength so that we can accomplish more in our day. We do not seek His strength so that we can demonstrate our impressive abilities.
We seek His strength that we might find Him. We seek His strength that He might be glorified in us. We seek His strength that we can do what He has for us to do (as opposed to our plans and purposes).
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. (II Corinthians 12:9)
The strength of the Lord is made perfect in weakness.
Though many people exalt in personal strength or in the ability to accomplish through their own power, as followers of Christ, we are told that the greater glorying is found in weakness. We draw back from appearing weak; we do not want to be considered a failure.
Yet, when we have arrived at the place of weakness, of inability, of failure, then what a glorious exchange: the power of Christ, His strength is given to us!
Why do we continue struggling on our own, when He offers His grace and strength to us? This verse says that His strength is made perfect in weakness. The idea of perfect in this sense is that it is completed, or it accomplishes its intended purpose. Meaning, God’s purpose is fulfilled when His strength is given to us in our weakness! How great a God we serve that He would be so good to us!
This week, my flesh and my heart will likely fail, probably multiple times. You may find the same to be true for you. Daily work, family stress, bad news, sickness, or heartache might cause you to grow faint and weary in the way.
In that moment of weakness, think of Him Who is the Lord our Strength, the One Who has everlasting strength that never fails and is available to us in our weakness!