A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even 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 overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalms 23:1-6 ESV)
All Christians are well acquainted with this beloved psalm. Often, in the darkest of times, this psalm has been the balm that comforted our souls. But, this psalm is also the guideline for dealing with the difficulties and concerns we have now.
The LORD is my shepherd
“LORD“ is the name Jehovah or Yahweh. This is the personal name of God. The Scriptures disclose many facets of God. One of the most encouraging in a time of crisis is that of His faithfulness to His promises. He always fulfills His promises, but not necessarily the way we think. All His promises are of grace, that is, undeserved. The only proper response is that of faith. Unconditional faith.
I was 19 when I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am now 71. Fifty-two years, and in all that time, through dark times, even hopeless times, He has never failed to keep His promises. How old must I be before I will immediately and unconditionally trust Him in the midst of every crisis? (I will let you know as soon as I have the answer.)
“Shepherd” is an image of the way God’s faithfulness is fulfilled in our lives. He has committed Himself to the full time care of us, providing all that we need to accomplish His will here on Earth. He has established a day-to-day relationship with us.
As a shepherd lives with and cares for his sheep, so does the Lord live with us and care for us. He provides for our needs. He protects us. He leads us. A shepherd is trusted by his sheep. In his presence they have a sense of safety and contentment. In the same way, there is peace and contentment for us when we have faith in our Savior, no matter what the circumstances.
“Is” points out that David’s relationship to the LORD was moment by moment. No matter what was changing around David, he knew that the LORD remained the same: his faithful, loving God and Shepherd. No matter what the LORD allows us to experience, we can count on Him because He is the same Lord who delivered us in the past. The longer we live, experiencing His faithfulness, the greater our faith and confidence grows.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)
It has been said, “A church congregation does not mind change, just as long as everything remains the same!” We Christians are always experiencing change. The change is often difficult to cope with. Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus and His relationship with us never changes? We can always depend on His faithfulness, power, and grace. We can always be confident that, no matter how dire the situation, right now, at this moment, we are okay. The Lord is not worried. He has everything under control. He is working all things out to good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)
If you are worried, scared, upset, stop and ask yourself a couple of questions:
“Why am I, a Christian, troubled?”
That is the same question Christ asked His disciples: And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38 ESV)
“How am I doing right now, at this moment?”
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession…(2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV) The Christian can always say, “At this moment, I am okay.” At this moment, right now, no matter what you are going through, you are secure in Christ’s love. Trust Him my friend. Rest in His love and faithfulness. You are okay.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.