A dear sister recently told me she is not a fan of Psalm 23. I got the impression she felt bad about admitting it since it’s part of the Bible, but her reasoning made perfect sense. After a little inquiry, I learned it was the chapter she was forced to read and recite when she got in trouble as a child. So it’s not hard to see how one of the most well-known passages in Scripture became tarnished in her mind. Let’s dig into Psalm 23 together and see what it says and how it may challenge our perception…
Regardless of current circumstances, God is a proven refuge, a sure fortress. As the year comes to a close, it feels natural to look back at how the Lord has worked through, sustained, and grown me. I am able to see how God is teaching me to view my failures and my sin properly, not through morbid self-introspection—which is just another form of pride, but with humility. He who began a good work will complete it. And I know I am safe and secure in His capable arms. No failure or sorrow or tragedy can pluck me from His hand. I am His own…and He is mine. God’s faithfulness is inexhaustible!
Within His capable arms, I can say: ‘This is too much! I feel overwhelmed! Remind me of your faithfulness. Open my eyes to see where You are working this for Your glory and our good. Fight for us! Protect us. Help me to stand firm on Your promises.’
Remarkably (to me anyway), fear of people and their judgments crossed my finish line with flying colors. Oddly enough, I sense it the most with strangers. I consider myself to be polite, but I will be honest. I know my overt friendliness toward people, whom I will likely never see again, is for the sake of my own comfort. My fear is betraying me. It has a spotlight on what I crave. It’s screaming what is important to me: My reputation and the respect and adoration of people.
When it comes to any search for truth, the most important thing is to know the Lord. The Spirit of God disciples the hearts of those who seek Him. I’m not saying we should never discuss specific topics or read books other than the Bible. But the highest counsel comes from God and His Word. The best way to trust the Lord is to understand His character and trust His teaching.
The search for significance is nearly as old as time. In this quest, the lines can become blurred and the goal of becoming Christ-like may morph into making ourselves like the Most High. The shift is subtle and may begin with good intentions. What do you do when you realize you’ve been going at it all wrong?
In 2 Timothy, Paul talks about what will occur in the last days, or end times. Has every generation before now read this passage and thought, Is this now? I sure do. In a life of tension, how do we keep practicing godliness? But understand this, that in the last days there will come times… Continue reading Now: How Are We to Practice Godliness in a Life of Tension?
Giving Scripture the last word lays a solid foundation in our lives that cannot be moved. We must be alert to follow God’s Word and encourage each other in it daily so we do not become deceived (Hebrews 3:13). One of the many conversations in our home right now is learning how to spot false… Continue reading Foundation: Distinguishing God’s Word As the Final Authority
Have you ever opened up about something to a fellow Jesus follower, and without skipping a beat they ask, “Are you reading your Bible? Have you been praying?” The thing is, they’re not wrong to ask that. But there is so much more to it. What tools do we have? We were on our way… Continue reading Tools: Reading, Meditating On, and Praying God’s Word
Knowledge can be powerful, but to what end? Understanding may bring advancement, yet at times those tidbits of information leave us wishing we could un-know it. Recently I read a case study about a woman who struggled with paralyzing fear. Both she and her fiancee were followers of Christ, but her betrothed had been sexually… Continue reading Knowledge: Trusting the Omniscience of God to Preserve Your Life