Do you ever feel discouraged? Welcome to the human race. All of us feel discouraged at one time or another. It doesn’t matter what type person we are, weak or strong, poor or rich, educated or uneducated, non-religious or religious. We all get discouraged.
Some are discouraged because they wandered away from God. Like Ruth, they can say, “I wandered away full, but he has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21). Some are discouraged because they are tired, some because of criticism, some because they feel unappreciated, some because they feel all alone, and some because they have lost loved ones. To feel discouragement occasionally with reason is normal. To live in discouragement is sick and not pleasing God.
Those of us who are Christians have invisible means of support and encouragement. We can read God’s word, believe what it says, and act upon it. Psalms 23:1-3 tells us “The Lord is my shepherd,” which means he watches over us. We are like fearful babies tossing and turning in our cribs all the while our loving parents are only a few feet away. He loves us, protects us, and even lays down his life for us. He will lead us to better places.
“I shall not want” simply means that he will provide for all our needs. Not all our whims, wants, or desires, but all that we truly need.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures near still waters.” These are places of plenty and free from danger where we can rest. Jesus often took his disciples apart for rest and renewal.
“He restores my soul” means he will lift me up, strengthen me, and put me back where I was. He alone can, and will do this.
Remember, “. . . weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalms 30:5).
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com