There is a line in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: ‘Everything will be all right in the end… If it’s not all right, then it is not the end.’ Way beyond its context in the film, these words convey a profound theological truth.
This truth can be seen when studying Psalm 119:105-112. The Psalmist encourages us to run the race to the end. Let us be determined, like the psalmist, to stay faithful to the Lord to the very end of our lives. Say, ‘My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end’ (v.112).
In some ways, our lives can be like to an obstacle race. There are snares along the path (v.110a). There is a temptation to stray (v.110b), and there is suffering (v.107).
How are you to avoid stumbling or making a mess of life? Wandering around in the dark is frightening and dangerous. The psalmist’s answer is that, in the darkness of the world around, the word of God provides:
1 Guidance: The word of God sheds light in the darkness: ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ (v.105). It enables you to see the obstacles in your path, and hopefully to avoid stumbling over them. Study God’s word regularly and he will guide you one step at a time: ‘By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path’ (v.105, MSG).
2. Sustenance: You need spiritual sustenance to keep going and God’s word is ‘sweeter than honey to my mouth’ (v.103).
3. Wisdom: You need wisdom when you face stressful situations and decisions, and God’s word provides ‘understanding from your precepts’ (v.104).
4. Encouragement: It is not easy. He writes, ‘I constantly take my life in my hands’ (v.109). You need encouragement to keep going and God’s word is ‘my heritage forever’ and ‘the joy of my heart’ (v.111).
God is faithful and will help you. The psalmist writes, ‘Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth’ (v.108). He is determined with God’s help to keep going ‘to the very end’ (v.112b).
THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER: if it is not alright, then it is not the end because in the end God won for you.
PRAYER: Lord there is so much to praise you for. Accept the willing praise for all you have done and will do. Your words are the joy of my heart. Give me the grace to keep them to the end.