Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23
1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
I have known some of the wealthiest men on this continent intimately -- also some of the leading scientists and professional people.  Despite their dazzling outward show of success, despite their affluence and their prestige, they remained poor in spirit, shriveled in soul, and unhappy in life. They were joyless people held in the iron grip and heartless ownership of the wrong master.
By way of contrast, I have numerous friends among the relatively poor people -- people who have known hardship, disaster, and the struggle to stay afloat financially. But because they belong to Christ and have recognized Him as Lord and Master of their lives, their owner and manager, they are permeated by a deep, quiet, settled peace that is beautiful to behold.
It is indeed a delight to visit some of these humble homes where men and women are rich in spirit, generous in heart, and large of soul. They radiate a serene confidence and quiet joy that surmounts all the tragedies of their time. They are under God's care and they know it. They have entrusted themselves to Christ's control and found contentment. Contentment should be the hallmark of the man or woman who has put his or her affairs in the hands of God. This especially applies in our affluent age. But the outstanding paradox is the intense fever of discontent among people who are ever speaking of security. By contrast the simple Christian, the humble person, the Shepherd's sheep, can stand up proudly and boast, "The Lord is my shepherd -- I shall not be in want."

W. Phillip Keller, From his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

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