Summary: Every single circumstance that comes to us is first sifted through the hand of the One who loves us.
1. Paul has taught us to ‘glory in our tribulations’ & James said:
James 1:2-3 (NKJV) 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
2. We have a serious problem with that don’t we?
• It definitely doesn’t make a lot of sense AND most of us have no idea how to glory in the pains & problems of life.
• It’s actually the opposite of how we usually respond.
BUT Paul is not speaking from an outsider’s perspective, he’s speaking from personal experience. He faced a lot as a believer!
Over the last few weeks, we’re learning here at Calvary that the right question to ask in tough times isn’t A WHY Q but a WHO Q?
• WHO IS OUR FAITHFUL SHEPHERD and Psalm 23 has been a source of great encouragement.
You see, every single circumstance that comes to us is first sifted through the hand of the One who loves us.
• They are Father filtered before we ever see them.
David… the young shepherd boy… propelled to into the throne by God himself, sat down one day to pen this powerful psalm.
• Just 6 verses, 117 words – yet full of timeless truths.
IT’S TRUE! -- God’s Word is one of the greatest sources of encouragement we have.
Psalm 119:14 (NKJV) 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.
When tough times came to brother Job… REM it wasn’t his friends that uplifted him, or wife, or his own opinions… What was it?
Job 23:12 (NKJV) 12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
So what does the Holy Spirit teach us through David?
1. (v1) The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.
a. It’s the LORD that’s my shepherd.
I SHALL NOT WANT… because He’s in TOTAL CONTROL.
• I can live a life of contentment & peace, because I know the Lord is the source of my provision.
• He takes care of all my needs.
2. (2) He makes me lie down.
NOTE: Only our shepherd can provide safe conditions to us.
• It’s completely up to our Shepherd to keep us free from the disturbing influences that can wreck our lives.
NOTICE it’s in GREEN PASTURES & STILL WATERS.
• He both leads us and nourishes us with the best!
• He makes us lie down… because He knows what is best for us.
• Leads us beside still waters… cause He knows what’s best for us.
3. (v3) He restores my soul…
a. Our shepherd restores to us what has been stolen away in our minds and in the deepest emotions of my heart!
4. (v4) I will fear no evil…
a. The Lord is with me even that valley that is full of destruction and death. Yes, God is with me. I’m not alone.
b. If you are in Christ today, He will never leave you in life or in death. You will always be with Him, and He with you.
Out in the arid terrains of the fields, dangers lurked at every corner.
• David knew of all the dangers of the rampaging rivers in flood, avalanches, rock slides, poisonous plants, predators on every side, sleet, hail, snow, and all sorts of storms.
• Nothing took him by surprise. He was ready.
• How? By being with the sheep.
NOTE: I have found through life that the good news of the gospel brings my life the necessary perspectives that I so greatly need.
• The things that matter in life: My relationship with God and my relationship with others are to be up front.
• That’s where my energies & efforts need to go.
• Pouring into Jesus and into others.
AND yes, dark times come. Shadows are all around me.
• The floods of pain. The avalanches of dreams crumbling.
• The poisonous plants of this world that I sometimes nibble on.
• Predators before and behind me… hail, snow, storms abound!
• But The Lord is MY SHEPHERD… and I will fear no evil. WHY?
• His rod, His staff, they comfort me.
NOTE: A shepherd of Jesus’ day would wear a cotton tunic held together by a leather cord belt.
• And on that belt he held many of the tools he would need to care and tend for his precious and priceless flock.
#1 – A LEATHER POUCH – to hold his lunch or small stones.
#2 – SLING – He used it to both scare off predators and to draw back his wandering sheep.
• An experienced shepherd would have such precise aim that he would be able to drop a stone right in front of the nose of a straying sheep, helping to draw it back to the flock.