The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want (Psalm 23:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When it comes to the resources that we need for life, this promise from the 23rd Psalm is staggeringly important to remember, because it holds the promise of contentment in our lives. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. Wow!
A famous actor was once the guest of honor at a social gathering where he was asked to recite favorite excerpts from various literary works. An old preacher who happened to be there asked the actor to recite the twenty-third Psalm. The actor agreed – on the condition that the preacher would also recite it.
The actor’s recitation was beautifully intoned with great dramatic emphasis for which he received lengthy applause. The preacher’s voice was rough and broken from many years of preaching, and his diction was anything but polished. But when he finished, there was not a dry eye in the room. When someone asked the actor what made the difference, he replied, “I know the psalm, but he knows the Shepherd.”
When we know God, we have everything we need. An amazing strength and unshakable contentment comes from a source that is not our own. It comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing God makes all of His resources available to us. Resources like:
In other words, God provides strength for every area of life. Strength is fertile soil for peace, and will produce a harvest of contentment.
“The LORD gives His people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace” (Psalm 29:11 NIV).
God did not come to give us human strength. He came to give us His strength!
“The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12: 2 NLT)
When we count on His resources instead of our own, we will experience true contentment. I read a story about a man who had to cross a wide river on the ice. He was afraid the ice might be too thin to hold him, so he began to crawl on his hands and knees, fearing that he might fall through at any moment. Just as he neared the opposite shore, totally exhausted, another man glided past him nonchalantly sitting on a sled loaded with iron weights.
Aren’t we just like that man? We live each day, crawling through life, settling for our meager strength and our pitifully limited resources, afraid that His promises will break under the weight of our circumstances.
When will we learn that there is no limit to His power and no end to His strength? In fact, our weakness is the perfect showcase for God’s strength.
Hudson Taylor once noted that, “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” Paul writes in another letter to the church at Corinth in which he stated that Jesus said to him, “My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT).
How about you? Are you ready to exchange your weak resources for His by giving up your rights, your plans and solutions? Do it! Lay them at His feet and choose His plan instead. Contentment will be yours.
Father, it seems that a seed of discontent has taken root in my life. I have tried so many things, hoping they would fill that “hole” in my soul. I have expected others to make me happy. I now realize the only source of contentment is You. Right now, I lay down every lifeless resource and submit to You. I choose Your plan and Your perfect provision in my life. Thank You, Lord, for being everything I need.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What resources have you been counting on for contentment? Have those resources disappointed you? If so, how? What steps do you need to take in order to experience His contentment in your life? Try these:
- Admit that you have been counting on your resources instead of God’s.
- Recognize that those resources have not produced contentment in your life.
- Choose to allow the Holy Spirit to create God’s resources in you.
- Commit to follow His plan, and count on His resources for that plan.
- Thank Him for the contentment that you know, by faith, will flood your life.
More from the Girlfriends
Mary examined the life of Paul, a man who had every reason to be discontented. Instead, he lived a life celebrating the grace of God. At one point, Paul exclaimed, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” How? Mary’s E-Study, The Secret of Contentment, is a five-week study that answers that question with six steps you can take to experience God’s grace.
New! Mary’s heart is to train and coach women in ministry. Be sure to check out her new Zoom coaching ministry, Friends for the Journey.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.