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Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His Name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Isn’t Psalm 23 amazing?!  This chapter is full of wonderful promises from God for those who maintain a strong relationship with Him.

-Verse 1: When we focus on God and His goals rather than on our own desires and plans, we can experience true contentment.  We will live our lives knowing that we have everything we need and are not lacking anything.  If we can agree with David and declare that “The LORD is my shepherd,” we will be able to rest in the fact that God will provide everything that we need for our physical, emotional and (most importantly) spiritual well-being.  This same concept was also taught to us by Jesus Himself in Matthew 6:31-33:  “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

-Verses 2-3:  Can anyone use some rest?  We sure can!  The constantly busy and fast-paced life that most of us are living can easily lead to mental and physical exhaustion and stress, which, in turn, can have serious consequences.  Although there is nothing wrong with hard work and being productive, God does not want us working so much that we feel burned out and overwhelmed.  “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12).  Rest is necessary for everyone, and God provides the way for true rest of your body, mind, and spirit.  When we deliberately dedicate time to be with God in order to feel His presence, pray, listen for His voice, praise Him, worship Him, and study His Word, we can become renewed and refreshed.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).  

-Verse 3 – God wants all of His children to succeed in life.  This is precisely why He took the time to inspire so many different people over many centuries to write The Bible!  He knew that we needed a book for guidance, comfort, and for understanding our relationships with God and other people.  “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).  Whenever you find yourself unsure of what to do in a particular situation, make sure to pray and then trust the Words in your Bible to keep you on the right path.  In addition, God sent the Holy Spirit to be a personal helper as you navigate through life:  “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth…” (John 16:13).

-Verse 4 – It is so true that life is not always easy.  We all go through difficult times such as the loss of a loved one, health problems, financial insecurity, relationship issues, or other troubling times.  We need to remember that we can always depend on and find comfort in our Heavenly Father.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  Knowing that God is always there to help us and that we can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, enables us to face our problems without fear.  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

-Verse 5 – God promises us His constant protection, especially in the presence of our enemies.  Enemies may be in the form of physical enemies, spiritual enemies (Satan), temptations, addictions, negative thought patterns, etc.  No matter who or what is coming after you, one truth remains steadfast for all who believe in Jesus: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).  Trusting in this promise allows us to remain confident in God’s care and safekeeping no matter what circumstances we may face. 

-Verse 6 – What an amazing feeling to know that our God loves us unconditionally, and wants to shower us with kindness and blessings, both on Earth and in Heaven!  It is true that we live in a fallen world, so not every day will turn out the way we planned.  But God does bless those who are faithful to Him, and when good things happen we must remember where they come from:  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).  Thank You, Lord, for this incredible promise!

Let God lead and guide you today, and allow all of His promises to take root and grow in your life.  Follow Him and allow Him to provide all that you need, in order to restore you, comfort you, protect you and love you.  His promises will come to pass in your life, so don’t hesitate to tell others about the great things He has done for you!

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