As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. (Psalm 117:15, ESV)
The outlook of the servant of God is utterly different than the outlook of worldly man. It is the nature of mankind to seek fulfillment in this life- by pleasure, by power, by prestige, by prosperity. Not so with the Christian.
The Christ-follower differs from carnal man in that his outlook is eternal. Where worldly man looks to this life for purpose and fulfillment, we look to God- for we will stand before Him in eternity.
When describing the evil men who pursued him, David noted of them that their “portion is in this life.” (v.14) When life is lived for self and sin rather than the Savior, your portion is here in the temporal. You may not always see God’s wrath realized here on earth. You may very well live a life filled with the things after which you vainly run. But your portion is in this life alone.
These things that seem so worthwhile will not last. The will rot, they will rust, they will turn to rubble. The preoccupations that now consume you will disappear as if they never had been. Only what is done for Christ shall remain.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8, NLT)
This world will pass away, but the word of God stands forever. We have been bought with a price. We are something new in Christ, and we no longer live for what this world has to offer. On the contrary:
Our citizenship, however, is in heaven, and it is from there that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. (Philippians 3:20, ISV)
As we look again at Psalm 117:15, we notice the difference the presence of God makes in the life of the believer. First David says “as for me”- he knew his result would be different from his wicked oppressors. Our fate is something different from the rest of the world because we have been set apart to God.
Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17, ESV)
We who follow Christ have stepped out from the world and separated ourselves to God. So now, by His promise, He receives us. Our portion is with Him.
Next David says “I shall behold your face in righteousness.” Friend, there is no question. If “Christ dwells in our hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17), our eyes will one day rest on His lovely face. We shall see Him, and not as sinners facing wrath. We shall see him “in righteousness” because we have clothed ourselves with Christ (Romans 13:14).
Next he says “when I awake.” Death is not an end for us but a beginning. We are not sleeping to rise no more. Instead, we are waking up. We are moving on from the shadows, from the reflection, from the dream to the reality. Death is not a tragedy for us, but a triumph.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55, KJV)
David finished with this thought: “I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” In the here and now, you may feel frustrated and overwhelmed. You may be crying out to God right now, “What are you doing? Why have you forsaken me? Where are you?” You may be troubled by the injustice of this fallen world and your heart may be pricked by the pain and suffering endured by the righteous and the innocent. But one glimpse of His face and everything will change. You will no longer suffer. You will be satisfied. You will find rest. No matter how difficult your journey has been, it will all be worth it when your eyes rest on His beautiful face. And there, at perfect peace and in complete fulfillment, with satisfied soul, you shall find joy and rest for all eternity.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:4-5, ESV)