My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
In his book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, co-authored with Philip Yancey, Dr. Paul Brand observed, “A hummingbird heart weighs a fraction of an ounce and beats eight hundred times a minute; a blue whale’s heart weighs half a ton, beats only ten times per minute, and can be heard two miles away. In contrast to either, the human heart seems dully functional, yet it does its job, beating 100,000 times a day [65–70 times a minute] with no time off for rest, to get most of us through seventy years or more.”
The amazing heart so thoroughly powers us through life that it has become a metaphor for our overall inner well-being. Yet, both our literal and metaphorical hearts are prone to failure. What can we do?
The psalmist Asaph, a worship leader of Israel, acknowledged in Psalm 73 that true strength comes from somewhere—Someone—else. He wrote, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (v. 26). Asaph was right. The living God is our ultimate and eternal strength. As the Maker of heaven and earth, He knows no such limitations to His perfect power.
In our times of difficulty and challenge, may we discover what Asaph learned through his own struggles: God is the true strength of our hearts. We can rest in that strength every day.
How is your metaphorical heart like your spiritual heart? When you feel like you’re “losing heart,” how can you find strength in your loving, caring Father?
Heavenly Father, I thank You that when I’m weak, You’re strong. That when I’m overwhelmed, You’re enough. That when I’m confused, You have perfect clarity.
Asaph, whose name means “Jehovah has gathered,” is the author of twelve psalms (Psalms 50, 73–83). He was a Levite and one of David’s three chief musicians (1 Chronicles 6:31, 39–43; 15:16–17; 16:4–5; 25:1–2). He was also a prophet or seer (1 Samuel 9:9; 1 Chronicles 25:2; 2 Chronicles 29:30).
In Psalm 73—a Wisdom psalm that instructs readers on how to deal with life’s challenges and pain—Asaph is bitterly overwhelmed by the injustice of the prosperity of the wicked (vv. 1–14). But when he understands God’s presence in his life, his own glorious destiny, and the destined punishment of the wicked (vv. 23–28), his perspective on this present world changes. Certain that “earth has nothing” he desires (v. 25), Asaph embraces the sovereign God as his strength (literally “rock” in Hebrew), refuge, and permanent and eternal possession (vv. 25–28).