Verse of the Day

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. "

~Psalm 23:4

Today's Devotional Thought

January 21, 2010 by Wendy Foreman


You Are With Me

We’ve been exploring the 23rd Psalm and on Monday, we left off with “I will fear no evil.” Today I want to touch on “you are with me.” This is a wonderful promise. God has gone many places with us. Not just the happy places that bring us much joy, but also the places that bring us sadness and pain. It is nice to know that the Lord isn’t a fair weather friend that is going to bail as soon as the times get tough.

In Luke 8:22-25 we read a story of the disciples and Jesus on a boat when a big storm hits. Jesus is sound asleep down below. The disciples wake him up in a panic saying that they are all going to drown. It appears as though Jesus just tells the wind and rain to stop and that is that. He then questions the faith of the disciples. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have such little faith that I don’t believe that God can stop the storms of life. No matter what is going on in our lives, God promises that He is there. That is a promise that we should cling to daily.

Even though God can stop the storms of life, sometimes He doesn’t immediately. Especially when we have wandered away from Him. Why do you think it is that the Lord doesn’t stop us from wandering away from Him? Why doesn’t He stop us from sinning? I think the answer to that is human responsibility. Our shepherd allows us to make decisions because we need to be responsible for our walk with Him. God has everything; the one thing that we can give Him is our worship.

When we begin to stray there are several things that the shepherd uses to get our attention to get us back on the right path. The first is our conscience; we have all heard that small voice telling us to not do something. Some of us listen to it and some of us just brush it off and keep on going. Next, I believe would be the Word. We have heard messages that have taught us right from wrong and many that have convicted our hearts. But, we still disobey even with all the conviction we might feel. If that doesn’t work, then, my friend, I am sorry we are left with feeling the consequences of our rebellion. My husband has oftentimes said, “If you can’t listen, you can feel.” We, at times, find ourselves experiencing the results of rebellion and wonder where is God in all of this? Where was He when I was straying?

The scriptures are clear that he was right there with us. He always takes care of us even when we don’t see it or feel it.

What I love about our heavenly shepherd is that he walks patiently with us through difficult times and the times that we are straying. He waits for us to come to the realization that we have sinned and for that moment when we will ask for forgiveness. When we reach that point where we cry out He is right there.

I am thankful today that the shepherd leading me is patient, loving and forgiving. We all stray in life. What is important is that we always listen to the voice of our shepherd and allow Him to guide and direct us back to the path that is safe for us, the path that will allow us to grow in Him and help others in our journey. I am looking forward to sharing with you tomorrow the last part of this verse, your rod and your staff they comfort me.

Memorize this verse today:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. "
~Psalm 23:4

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