Not “hopefully” but “surely”
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Ps 23:6 NKJV
The psalmist doesn’t lead off with words like “maybe,” or “perhaps,” or “possibly,” or “hopefully.” No, he says, “Surely,” which is a term of certainty. “Surely” means absolutely; without a doubt! There are a lot of things in life you can’t be sure of. You go for a physical checkup and discover you have a malignant growth. You work in the same company for years believing your job is secure, but they downsize and all you’re left with is a pink slip. You pray for your children, live an exemplary life before them, and teach them what’s right, then you find yourself down at the police station trying to get them out of lockup because they were arrested for drunk driving or doing drugs. As a redeemed child of God, here are two things you can be sure of: God’s “goodness and mercy.” What’s your concept of God? That’s an all-important question, so think about it before you answer. Your concept of God will determine your confidence in Him. David was far from perfect. Indeed, some of his antics would have made the front pages of the tabloids. But he never doubted God’s goodness and mercy toward him: “This I know, that God is for me” (Ps 56:9 NAS). Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5 NKJV). His goodness guarantees every need you have can be met, and His mercy guarantees that every sin you commit can be forgiven. Just as sheepdogs drive strays back into the fold, so God’s goodness and mercy will drive you back into His loving arms every time.