He Begins and Completes
It is clear that the confidence that the psalmist expresses is a divine confidence. He did not say, "I have enough grace to perfect that which concerns me--my faith is so steady that it will not falter--my love is so warm that it will never grow cold--my resolution is so firm that nothing can move it." No, his dependence was on the Lord alone. If we display a confidence that is not grounded on the Rock of ages, our confidence is worse than a dream; it will fall upon us and cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion.
The psalmist was wise; he rested on nothing less than the Lord's work. It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is He who has carried it on; and if He does not finish it, it never will be completed. If there is one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness that we must insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence--what the Lord begins, He completes. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do.
Unbelief insinuates: "You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your heart--you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that beset you--you will be certainly allured by them and led astray." True, we would certainly perish if left to our own strength. If by ourselves we navigate the most frail vessels of our lives over so rough a sea, we might well give up the voyage in despair; but thanks be to God, He will complete that which concerns us and bring us to the desired haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in Him alone, and never too eager to have such a trust.
verse 1 Numbers 32
verse 2 Psalms 77
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.