I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart.
In the midst of the trials of life, the psalmist has reminded us that we must choose the faithful way and cling to the Lord. Now he emphasizes the importance of running in the way of the commandments. Up to this point in Psalm 119, the psalmist has talked about walking in the way of the Lord. Now we are picking up the pace. Why the change in speed?
George Zemek provides some helpful insight on this verse:
With confidence in a gracious response on the part of his Lord, our disciple regains his spiritual second wind and concentrates on the ‘race set before him.’1
We are all inclined to turn our eyes inward when we are in the midst of trouble. We can forget that God is very intentional, and any circumstance that He takes us through will certainly provide opportunities for ministry. If all we think about is our self, we will likely miss out on accomplishing the spiritual purposes that come during difficult times. We ought not to waste our pain. Stay alert and diligent in seeking opportunities to minister to others, even in the midst of the tears and heartache!
This heart for ministry is reflected in the remainder of the verse. The psalmist is confident that the Lord will enlarge his heart. We must strive to see our circumstances as controlled by a sovereign God who uses events in our lives to bring us into contact with people we would not have otherwise met. These God-orchestrated meetings will make it possible for us to bear much spiritual fruit, even in the darkest days of our lives. As we see God accomplish His eternal purposes, we are invigorated and joyful because God uses us for His sovereign purposes.
This is not the formula to avoid difficult circumstances. This is how we can be revived in the midst of our circumstances. This is how we can be strengthened when we have no strength and this is how our heart can be enlarged so that we can better understand God’s truth and serve Him with renewed determination. This is also how we avoid the false way that the psalmist has warned us about – the way that keeps our eyes focused inward without regard for the spiritual needs of those around us.
1 Zemek, George, The Word of God in the Child of God, p. 128.