Tag Archives: promises

Psalm 23 – It’s Not About You

jesus_shepherdHow many times have you read Psalm 23?  For me, it is probably several dozen, if not more than one hundred.  Until recently I read it with a selfish focus.   When I read Psalm 23, I saw the promise of peace, restoration, and protection.  While it speaks to these subjects, none of them are THE subject.

The Temptation

If you or I had written Psalm 23, it might go something like this: 
1 I have a shepherd; I don’t lack anything.
2 I get to rest in luscious, green pastures: anytime I want, I get to drink out of clear, still waters.
3 When I’m tired, my soul is restored. . .

This is somewhat how I used to read it.  But that is not what the Holy Spirit inspired David to write, and, more importantly, that is not the message of Psalm 23.  The Bible is littered with promises, many of them being “personal promises.”  But, frankly, not a single one of them is about you or me.  Each one is about the one who makes the promise.  If you think it through, this only makes sense, for a promise is no greater than the one making it.

The Truth

Psalm 23 is not about how David received some special blessing from God.  Psalm 23, like the whole of Scripture, is simply about the greatness of Jesus Christ.  In this instance, God wants us to know Christ as a Shepherd.  He reveals the care and protection He provides.  I do not believe David is proclaiming how lucky he is because he is a “famous sheep.”  I believe he is informing us about the goodness and prosperity he found in the Lord when he made the decision to humbly become a sheep.

I’m no king.  I’m no great warrior.  Though I strive to be, God has never called me “a man after His own heart.”  But I have yielded to the Shepherd, and I have found peace, restoration, and provision.  If you are willing to come to the Shepherd, submit to His authority, and become one of His sheep, then you will – like David – be able to attest to the greatness of the Shepherd.

Article by Bryan Likins

@bmlesq

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Finding Real Hope

“It’s hopeless.  You’re alone.  You’re trapped.  You are a failure.  No one cares. It will never change.  You’re doomed.  You can’t do anything about it, so why even try?  It’s over.”

Lies We Believe

These words ring out long and loud in many hearts. We hear the message so often, we begin to believe it: it’s hopeless!  Experts
predict that depression will be the second-most common health problem in the world by 2020.  Some will look for hope in relationships, in accomplishments, in more wealth, in better health.  Some will seek for it in pills or in a bottle, while others will try to find it through fantasy and escapism.  But all of these just leave us more empty, more broken, more hopeless… further from the truth, buried deeper in the pit of despair.  Just remember, John 8:44 reveals the source of these lies: Satan himself!

Mythbusters

According to leading psychology professors, in order to overcome hopelessness, you must “examine the emotional evidence” (Age of Anxiety, by Scioli & Biller).  We’ve got to refocus our attention onto the truths that will transform our emotional state from one of powerlessness to one of possibilities, from depression to determination, from overwhelmed to overcomer, from victim to victor.

These mythbusting truths are abundant in the Bible; we often refer to them as promises… God is with you: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  Things that happen to you happen for a reason: “All things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).  You were made for a purpose: “We are his workmanship, created unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10).  God is greater than anything in this world: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  God’s thoughts are on you: “I know the thoughts I think toward you…to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).

Keep the Door Open

Charles Allen said, “When you say a situation is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.”  Hope keeps the door open!  God is a God of the impossible… NOTHING is too hard for Him!  Jesus told his disciples (Mat. 19:26), “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  The truth is, the only hope we have sometimes is in God. No one is ever hopeless whose hope is in God!  The message of Ephesians 2:12 is simple: ‘Without Jesus, you are without hope.’ A new twist on the bumper-sticker says it best:  No Jesus, No Hope. Know Jesus, Know Hope!

If you’re experiencing a season of depression, it’s here for a reason.  Its likely God is allowing this in your life so you will turn to Him and find real & lasting hope.

 

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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