Our Good Shepherd

Psalms 23 is such a familiar psalm that it is easy to recite it and move on without seeing the rich blessings of love, care, protection, and guidance our Good Shepherd provides for us. I remember in VBS the summer between second and third grade getting a prize for memorizing Psalm 23. I could recite it by rote, but did not grasp the rich meanings of it.
The Lord is MY shepherd!!! I am HIS lamb in HIS flock. He personally cares for me and each one in His flock. My shepherd is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11). Because He is our Shepherd, we shall not want. This want is not speaking of physical or material riches. Phillip Keller writes in “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”—“yet amid such hardships he can still boast ‘I shall not want… I shall not lack the expert care and management of my master.’”
Sheep will not drink if water is moving or lie down if there is any fear of danger. The shepherd finds still pools of water that quench and refresh and green pastures of refuge and safety where He watches over them. Sheep are dependent on their shepherd to find the water, nourishment, safety, care and rest they need.

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How tenderly our God cares for each of us as His sheep! He gives us His living water and meets our needs. We are blessed with a refuge where we can safely lie down, rest and be at peace in His presence. Our Shepherd leads us on righteous paths to grow us into conformity to His image (Romans 8:29)—to become more like Him. When we go through seemingly hopeless situations, where death seems to lurk nearby, we can have peace and comfort in His wondrous presence rather than be overcome by fear of evil.
Lord, may we, as Your precious sheep, never forget to rejoice and express gratitude to You, the One who shepherds us through all our life until we reach eternity. Thank You for being the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us, Your sheep. Enable us to recognize and remember to ever praise You for Your care, provision, protection, comfort and peace in both the green pastures and the dark valley of death. Thank You that in You we shall not want but can rest content in your perfect care.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.
~ Deb Peabody

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Wings of Hope

But I will hope continually

and will praise you yet more and more.

– Psalm 71:14

One thing that keeps us going even in the hardest seasons is hope. Who or what do your base your hope upon? Is it the circumstances and people around you which can quickly change or fail you? Or is your hope based on the faithful, loving, sovereign, good and wise God who created and holds together every atom of the universe?

I recently did a word search through the scriptures on hope and found out what God’s Word says we can hope in. After reading various verses God laid a response on my heart in the form of this poem. I will share the verses at the end of this post.

Wings of Hope

Hope is a delicate bird, feathered and light,

That the slightest breeze can raise to greatest height.

God’s faithfulness and steadfast love

Cause wings of hope to soar above.

When winds of adversity fiercely do blow,

Hope draws from God’s Word that it trusts in and knows;

Soars to its Hiding Place and Shield,

To the Spirit’s lead it does yield.

The storms may bring turmoil and make one case down;

Hope flutters to life and in despair won’t drown.

Hope knows that it will again praise,

In darkness songs of worship raise.

– Deborah Peabody February 2, 2020

Hope in God’s steadfast love:

Psalm 33:2

Psalm 33:18

Hope in God:

Psalm 62:5

Psalm 33:2

Psalm 42:5

Psalm 71:5

Hope in God’s Word:

Psalm 119:74

Psalm 119:81

Psalm 119:114

Psalm 130:5

May these verses and others in the scripture dealing with hope bring you encouragement and greater hope in whatever season you currently find yourself.

Blessings,

Deb