Wednesday, February 3, 2016
One of my favorite Internet pastors recently pointed out an interesting pattern in the 23rd Psalm I had not noticed before. In the first three verses, he refers to Him as “He”, namely “Hemakes me lie down, He leads me, He refreshes my soul, and He guides me.” Then, when he speaks about going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, the relationship turns personal. Then, it becomes “You are with me; you prepare a table before me, and you anoint my head with oil.”
Knowing God, we know that this was not just a coincidence. By this, we should understand that when God’s children are going through dark valleys in their lives, that’s the time when they are closer to Him, and I’ve seen that truth played out over and over again throughout my many years in Christian service in the lives of genuine believers. When Christians go through these difficult trials, then they really know the meaning of such promises as “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
I believe there are plusses and minuses in every situation of life. A definite plus in times of trials is the fact that God is closer to us then, than at any other time. Nobody volunteers to go through hard trials, but if and when we do, we must never forget that those experiences not only make us stronger, they draw us very close to God. Take heart, child of God, if you find yourself in the middle of a personal storm and remember the message of the 23rd Psalm. It is great to know it and understand it, but greater still is the fact that you know the Shepherd personally.
Memory verse for the week (1 Peter 1:22) “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”