The Cry of a Heart // Psalm 23

Psalm 23,

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

One of the most popular psalms of all time, this one is commonly held near and dear to our hearts. While most psalms up till this point have been declared in trying times, this one pauses and reflects on the goodness of God.

Psalm 23 is one of those passages that speaks to whatever season you find yourself in. If you find yourself in a dark and difficult season right now, you can turn to these beautiful words for encouragement that there is more in life than the heaviness. If you're in a good and plentiful season right now, these words are a sweet reminder of where you are. David no doubt wrote this psalm in a season of great rest and peace.

Before David was king he was a shepherd. So when he opens up this psalm describing the Lord as his Shepherd, he knew what that truly meant. He knew that God was one who leads His people safely where they need to go. We have no need to wonder if where He leads us is safe. A shepherd's true goal is to protect their sheep at all costs. 

When you put your confident trust in God and have faith in Him, you can know regardless of what's going on around you that your Shepherd has all you need.

This shepherd, your God, will lead you to a place only He can lead you to. A place of green meadows and peaceful streams--where could be a better place to lay down in peace and rest? Can you imagine a more appropriate place to be renewed and strengthened?

In the next few verses, David describes where and how the shepherd leads us.

  • Along the right path.

  • In a way that honors His name.

  • You don't have to fear in the valley because He stays close.

  • With a rod and staff to protect you.

  • To a feast where you have more than you need.

A wonderful part of this psalm is in the closing when David shares confidently that God will pursue him always.

Know this--the Lord wants to:

  • Provide for you.

  • Refresh you.

  • Lead you in righteousness.

  • Protect you.

You are taken care of. All your needs can be met. You can find peace and rest. You are watched over with care. And all by the great Shepherd. Cast your worries to the side and rebuke any thought that tells you that you can't have access to this. God shepherds His people--all His people--through the ups and downs of life. 

Will you follow Him today?

P.S. Now is a great time to go purchase the Living Liturgies worship album below, if you haven't yet. One of the psalms beautifully placed with music in this album in Psalm 23 and it will no doubt refresh you today!

Click the image above to download the free scripture print for this series! It's a great way to memorize an encouraging verse while staying in tune with the series.

One of my favorite worship albums of all time is one put out by the ladies of the Red Rocks Church worship team. It's 4 songs developed out of their favorite psalms and it's some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard! Click on the album to purchase it at itunes.