“The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words. I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.”Psalm 119:57-58
My family has a board game we love to play called Settlers of Catan. When we play, I tend to get a little competitive (my wife might say more than a little). Sometimes I’ve actually promised myself before we’ve started that I would be patient and happy even if this game didn’t go my way.
But as soon as the first roll goes against me, I get angry and impatient. How quickly my promises fail.
In Psalm 119:57, the author of the psalm promises to obey God’s word. In the next verse he asks God to be gracious to him based on God’s promise. Notice he doesn’t ask God to be gracious according to his own promise to obey. No, instead he asks for God’s graciousness based on God’s promise, not his own.
Our pledges and promises to obey will always fall short. But the God of promise is gracious to us through his perfect promises. God sent his Son Jesus to be our perfect obedience when we only ever fall short. He also sent the Spirit to help us obey. If God’s grace in my life depended on my ability to keep my promises, I would be in deep trouble. Praise God that he is gracious according to his promise and not according to mine.