We always have a positive outcome and a hope to look forward to as Christians. There are numerous promises in God’s word that convince us of this fact, but Psalm 23 contains a quiver full of promises that we can make our own in any circumstance.
- We shall have NO lack, because God is our Shepherd. No lack means NO lack – you cannot interpret it in any other way.
- In all circumstances God will give you peace and lead you to still and restful waters. He calms the storms, He does not cause them.
- He will refresh and restore your life, no matter how broken, ‘dried up’ or lifeless you feel. This invigoration is something to look forward to!
- You never have to fear or dread any evil, because God (the Protector) is with you.
- You can look forward to a cup that runs over – meaning you will always be blessed with even MORE than you need.
- You can look forward to three things following you ALL the days of your life: goodness, mercy and unfailing love. No other hidden clauses are included in this sentence – the verse says ONLY these things shall follow you.
Read this Psalm often if you feel despondent or fearful – every word is true. You can make it your own, keep it close to your heart and look forward to all that lies ahead!
Although it cannot physically be seen- fear is a phenomenon that can cause even the strongest man to be crippled. From a Christian perspective, fear makes you doubt God’s goodness and His will to protect you and care for you. The onset of fear makes you feel alone, and it immediately takes away all your confidence.
In many instances in God’s word we hear the word “fear”:
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” Is 41:10
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Prof 29:25
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” 1 John 4:18
When fear strikes us there are a few things we can hold onto:
- God’s character does not change. That which you fear is not His will for you – whether it be sickness, death, debt, conflict or distress. He wants to bless you, to give you a life of abundance. This is the truth. God never changes – but your reality can.
- As a Christian you can experience a supernatural life. You don’t have to submit to a doctor’s report saying you have cancer. You don’t have to fear when all you hear about on the news is death and violence. As a Christian you live in the shadow of God’s presence, which means you will experience divine protection, fullness of joy and overwhelming peace and contentment.
Don’t give in to fear when it strikes you – turn your back on it and face the glorious presence of God, which drives away all fear.
As Christians we don’t walk and operate within the natural realm anymore. We have been translated from a kingdom of darkness to a kingdom of light (Col 1:13), and with this comes supernatural protection. This was already partly discussed in a previous post – but tonight I want to refer to some other examples.
In Luke 10:19 we are told about this special protection:
“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.”
Paul became a physical testimony to this, when he was bitten by a snake:
“Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and he was laying them on the fire when a viper crawled out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand…Then [Paul simply] shook off the small creature into the fire and suffered no evil effects. However, they were waiting, expecting him to swell up or suddenly drop dead; but when they had watched him a long time and saw nothing fatal or harmful come to him, they changed their minds and kept saying over and over that he was a god.” Acts 28:3, 5-6
We don’t have to walk around fearing the next natural disaster or evil attack to befall us. We can walk around in confidence, knowing Who it is that protects us.
“You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.” Ps 91:13
In the previous post I spoke about Jesus being the only door through which preachers should approach their church. In this same chapter (John 10), Jesus refers to Himself both as the Door, and the Shepherd (John 10:11). This means we are part of His flock. We belong to Him, not a specific denomination. He is the only truly committed Shepherd and we are under His protection. He has fully dedicated himself to us – He does not flee when danger approaches. He defended us even to the point of laying down His own life. No other earthly shepherd can compare with Him.
The verses I want to focus on is 3 and 5:
“The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out.” John 10:3
“They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call.” John 10:5
We have a built-in voice recognition system which only responds to the voice of Jesus. It is only His voice that will resound in our hearts – any other voice will be of an intruder. This means I don’t have to fear succombing to a lie or being mislead by any other doctrine. As part of Jesus’ flock I will know the true voice of Truth, the voice which confirms every good thing I have heard about the work of the cross and testifies about the love of God.
I am safe and secure.
Over the course of the last few weeks quite a few amazing benefits of salvation have been mentioned. Complete liberty, freedom from anxieties and fears, blessings, divine protection and healing to name just a few. God delights in people who love Him out of free will. That’s why He does not force salvation on us. We are given a choice. Just like we are given the choice to believe in Jesus, we are given a choice to progress to the supernatural life of blessings and miracles.
“I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live…” Deut 30:19
This renewed mindset of blessing, healing and freedom does not always come naturally. Because it goes against what we have come to know in the natural realm we need to CHOOSE life (the supernatural). We need to choose the better portion, the gift that is wrapped up for us to freely enjoy.
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Rom 12:2
Let your mind be renewed in order to see the wealth of blessings that is set before you. Choose the better part – choose Jesus and the life that He has given us.