Are You Looking for Provision in All the Wrong Places?
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23 NIV).
Psalm 23 explains the ways God wants to show his goodness in your life. All of these benefits are available to you not because you’re good, but because God is good. When you truly understand God’s goodness as revealed in Psalm 23, it will strengthen your faith. You will be able to say:
- God will meet all my needs; there’s no reason to worry.
- God will help me rest and find peace.
- God will refresh and replenish me when I am drained.
- God will guide me to make right decisions.
- God will be with me on my dark and fearful days.
- God will protect me and keep me safe.
- God will support me, even if I am surrounded by conflict.
- God will give me his favor.
- God will fill me with more blessing than I can imagine.
- God will secure my future and take me to heaven one day.
When Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins on the cross, he opened the door for us to receive all the benefits of God’s goodness. That’s why we call it Good Friday. It was good for you and me! Good Friday certainly wasn’t good for Jesus. It was painful. It was torture. He willingly said, “No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will” (John 10:18 GNT). Sending the Messiah to die for you is the ultimate expression of God’s goodness.
Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11 NLT).
Everybody needs what God has to offer. But are you looking for it in all the wrong places? Many people expect those 10 needs to be met by their careers, bank accounts, friendships, romantic relationships, children, or family. God is saying to you, “No, I’m it. I’m the source of all goodness in your life.”
The biggest cause of stress in your life is the lack of focusing on God’s goodness. When you choose to trust in God’s goodness, you’ll be able to face your struggles with hope and renewed faith.
Talk It Over
Spend a few minutes every day this week reciting Psalm 23 and working to memorize it. How can knowing this Scripture from memory help you?
Look through the list of ways God provides for you. To whom or what besides God have you been looking for any of these needs to be met?
How does focusing on God’s goodness give you hope?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.