Monday, October 26, 2015

“The Lord Is My Shepherd....I Shall Not Want”

Immediately after World War II, the Allied Armies gathered up many hungry, homeless children and placed them in large camps. 

There the children were abundantly fed and cared for. However, at night they did not sleep well. They seemed restless and afraid. Finally, a psychologist hit on a solution. After the children were put to bed, they each received a slice of bread to hold. If they wanted more to eat, more was provided, but this particular slice was not to be eaten—it was just to hold.

The slice of bread produced marvelous results. The child would go to sleep, subconsciously feeling he would have something to eat tomorrow. That assurance gave the child a calm and peaceful rest.

In the Twenty-Third Psalm, David points out something of the same feeling in the sheep when he says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Instinctively, the sheep knows the shepherd has made plans for its grazing tomorrow. It knows the shepherd made ample provision for it today, so will he tomorrow. So the sheep lies down in its fold with, figuratively speaking, the piece of bread in its hand.

This Psalm does not begin with a petition asking God for something; rather it is a calm statement of fact—“The Lord is my shepherd.” We do not have to beg God for things.

St. Paul says, “My God shall supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19). David puts it, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” With that faith, we can work today without worrying about tomorrow.

..........Praise God from whom All Blessings Flow......

Walking Through the Difficult Times

Psalm 119:49-50

Journeys through the valley are both inevitable and painful. However, they’re also meant to be profitable. For example, trials can be times of discovery about God. When feelings of helplessness overtake us, He provides His strength to sustain us. When despair tries to close in, He invites us to experience His peace and promised rest (Matt. 11:28). In the midst of the clamoring pain, He offers Himself as our comforter and protector.

Other discoveries we make in severe crises have to do with ourselves. Terrible times test our faith and reveal our true character. When a crisis first hits, most of us will respond with alarm. Then, if our relationships with the Lord are weak, fear will increase. As the pressure continues, some of us will panic, some will seek ungodly counsel, and others will blame people or God for the problem. Instead of standing firm and looking to the Lord, we also try to find a way out on our own. These are signs of spiritual immaturity.

By contrast, those whose faith is strong will move from alarm to trust over time. We see this in the faith of David as he writes, “Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me” (Ps. 119:49-50). David centered his faith in God’s Word and was rewarded for it.

We, too, must seek out the Lord through prayer and the Word, remembering His help to us in the past (Ps. 77:11-14). In this way, our endurance and confidence in Him will build and we will also believe His promises and trust Him to keep them, despite any evidence to the contrary.

~ pg. 1325 of
The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible:
Biblical Principles for Each Day of the Year