My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
All of us will experience trials and difficulties in this life. And while those storms are inevitable there is hope for followers of Jesus. The meaning of Psalm 73:26 is a powerful reminder of what God does for his people.
Whether you are going through a difficult season or coming out of one, this verse has something for you. Let’s take a few minutes to look at this verse and see how God wants to use it to encourage you.
The Context Of Psalm 73:26
Before we can look at the Psalm 73:26 meaning we need to understand the context of this verse.
In this Psalm we see Asaph, the author, struggle to understand the unfairness he sees around him. It seems those who are committed to following God are struggling while the wicked are prospering and carefree (Psalm 73:1-4). Asaph not only sees this in others’ lives, but his own. Throughout this Psalm we see him use expressive imagery to complain to God about the evil he sees.
While in the beginning of this Psalm we see Asaph reflect on the wicked having no consequences for their sin, there is a shift in his thinking. As the Psalm progresses Asaph is reminded that sin does lead to consequences in this life and the next.
As we get to the verse we are looking at in this post we see a resolution come about. In the beginning Asaph is disturbed by the prosperous wicked and the struggles of the righteous. But in the end he sees this from an eternal perspective. Just because it might appear that the wicked are prospering, it’s not always as it seems. In this world and the next evil will bring negative consequences and destruction. And God will judge those who commit such acts.
This leads Asaph to confess his sins and trust God more deeply. And that’s what leads us to the verse we are looking at. Let’s take a look at the Psalm 73:26 meaning and see what we can learn.
The Meaning Of Psalm 73:26
Now that we’ve looked at the context, let’s look at what this verse actually means. To help you better understand the meaning of Psalm 73:26 I’ve broken this verse down into two sections.
My Flesh And My Heart May Fail
“My flesh and my heart may fail.” We all know this to be true. Each of us has failed more times than we can count. This is the premise of this Psalm, that humans are fallible. In the beginning of this Psalm this brought Asaph despair and made him bitter toward God. But know this statement isn’t one of despair, but of hope.
What Asaph is saying in Psalm 73:26 is that though our flesh and heart may fail us, we have a living hope in God. Further, just because we may fail doesn’t mean that God will. He will sustain us against any storms we face.
For followers of Jesus our hope isn’t found in our ability or strength. Rather it’s secure in Jesus and what he’s done for us. We will see Asaph further flush this out with his next statement.
But God Is The Strength Of My Heart And My Portion Forever
“God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Even though Asaph was facing difficulties he saw the power and strength of God. He viewed God as his portion, which means to see God as your source of joy and provision.
What Asaph is saying is that God is the foundation for our lives, both here on this earth and through eternity. Though our bodies will fail, God is the strength of our hearts. Not only that, but God will redeem our struggles on this earth; they are momentary struggles that are achieving for us an eternal glory.
The message of Psalm 73:26 is to fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. It might appear that the wicked are thriving and followers of Jesus are wasting away, but what is seen is temporary. Therefore we fix our eyes on Jesus who is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever.
How To Apply Psalm 73:26 To Your Life
To end I want to take the meaning of Psalm 73:26 and help you apply it to your life. Here’s three lessons we can learn from this verse.
1. Don’t Be Surprised When Your Flesh And Heart Fail
A lot of Christians are surprised when their life gets difficult. They were told that if they followed Jesus then he would steer them clear of storms. Their life will be good, their bodies will be healed, and they will be prosperous. The problem is that’s simply not what the Bible promises in this life. In fact it promises the opposite, we will have troubles in this world.
The reality is my flesh and my heart may fail and so will yours. When that happens that doesn’t mean that God isn’t in control or that his promises aren’t true. Even Jesus faced incredible difficulties on this earth. Our hope isn’t in the here and now, but in God who will lead us through our temporary struggles.
2. Go To God For Your Strength
Psalm 73:26 teaches that we shouldn’t rely on our own strength because it will fail us. Instead we should look to God and rely on his strength. When our health deteriorates, when our hearts ache, when it seems like nothing is going our way, we can turn to God for strength.
In those moments pause and pray this Psalm, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Remind yourself where your strength comes from.
3. Look To What Is Unseen
We tend to focus on what’s seen, after all it’s right in front of us. But for followers of Jesus we should look past what’s right in front of us toward what is unseen. Though we might be wasting away on the outside, inside we are being renewed by Jesus.
Our struggles in this world will be difficult, but they are also temporary. God will lead us through. Therefore we should not lose sight or get distracted; look to what is unseen.
A great way to look toward what is unseen is by spending time with God. A great resource to help you do that is Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52. These simple 15 minute daily readings will help you connect with God and understand the Bible better. They are INCREDIBLE. Plus there’s kids/teen versions as well!
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