A generation of cheerful Christians, comforted by the presence of their Lord and steeled by the unshakeable hope of resurrection and eternal life, would be a marvellous thing indeed.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Human beings are, by nature, finite creatures. Further, we are finite creatures living in a fallen and cursed world. This means, to put it bluntly—even if a little morbidly—that there are always at least ten thousand potential disasters that could befall us at any given moment. Safety, for creatures such as us in a world such as ours, really is somewhat of an illusion, which is why the Scriptures frequently refer to the cumulative weight of human strength in terms of mist and grass (Js. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:24–25). The dandelions have more durability than we do.
One of the inevitable feelings that arises when we pause to consider the true precariousness of our state is a creeping sense of fear or anxiety, what the psalmist here calls “the cares of my heart.” The LSB renders this verse well, capturing the compounding burden of anxious thoughts as they “multiply within me.”
Still, fears must be conquered rather than obeyed. Thus the psalmist pauses here only for a moment before quickly moving on to the response of faith in the latter half of the verse: “your consolations cheer my soul.”