Let’s continue to look at Psalm 84 and its message of blessing to those who have made Jesus their “Chief Treasure.” Today let’s take look at verse 5:
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” -Psalm 84:5
To understand this verse, we need to see what this strength is attached to—those “who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.”
A pilgrimage is a picture of a long, hard walk through life that involves all the different circumstances of a broken world. In our century, it’s learning to live with “Murphy’s Law.”
This world is filled with broken people, and broken people make up a broken world. Scripture tells us not that “life is good,” but that “God is good.” Our hope is “glory is coming.”
The text even sets this stage very clearly when it next states, “as they pass through the valley of Baca” (Psalm 84:6). The word “Baca” means bitterness. There are a lot of “bitter paths” to follow in this world even when you are committed to “follow Jesus” no matter what. Because our Father knows this, He wants us to put our hope in Him and receive whatever “strength” we need from Him.
Our God longs to give us strength to face the pain and difficulties of this life through His presence and His truth.
The “pilgrimage” is a minefield full of traps that are designed to make us give up or to wound us so badly that our courage to live for Christ publicly will become lost. Our blessing is the strength He gives to His beloved even while we are sleeping.
But for the believer, the Valley of Baca (bitterness) can be made into a place of “springs” and “autumn rain” that take us from “strength to strength” (Psalm 84:6-7).
What a marvelous picture of a blessed person whose trust is in the strength that comes from God! By this our God and Savior is glorified.
Paul is one example of how to live this kind of life. It is a life that receives by faith what God is giving to us by His strength.
When Paul says, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” he makes that comment in the context of “good things and bad things” (Philippians 4:12-13). Paul says that no matter what we must go through in life, we know we can count on Christ’s strength being there to get us through in a way that honors the Father.
Our part in faith is to receive it. How? By believing that it is already there and being given to us.