April 24, 2013
“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. 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 Him, we have everything that 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 wisdom, guidance, power, peace, love, patience and self-control. In other words, knowing God provides strength for every area of life. Strength is fertile soil for peace and will bring a harvest of contentment. God did not come to give us human strength. He came to give us His strength.
Psalm 29:11 “The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.”
Isaiah 12: 2 The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
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 it might be too thin, so he began to crawl on his hand and knees, in great fear that he thought 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. How like us! 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.
Listen, girlfriend. There is no limit to His power and there is no end to His strength. In fact, our weakness is the perfect showcase for His strength. According to the American Holistic Health Federation, people who are not satisfied with their lives and seem to have no contentment increase their risk of premature death by at least ten percent. Hudson Taylor once noted, "God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him." Paul writes in another letter to the church at Corinth, “My power works best in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:19) Today, right now, exchange your weak resources for His by giving up your rights, your plans and solutions. Lay them at His feet and choose His plan instead. Then you will find contentment.
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 looked to so many people 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, Your plan and Your perfect provision in my life. Thank You, Lord, for being everything I need.
In Jesus’s name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What resources have you been counting on for contentment? Have those resources disappointed you? 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 brought contentment to 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
If you are like me, I find it very easy to get caught up in acquiring “stuff.” Several years ago, we moved to a much smaller house, and needed to eliminate a lot of “treasures” we had moved over the course of many years and many moves. At first, it was hard to let go of each item…but it got easier and easier as the days went by. Now, I can’t remember most of the things I gave away. Join me in a commitment to loosely hold on to the things of this world.
Do you want to be a success? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Power Up With Proverbs, for Biblical wisdom and practical steps you can take to live a life of victory. Since each lesson stands alone, it’s not too late to join and still have access to all of the lessons.
Do you have any difficult relationships in your life? Get Mary’s book, Sandpaper People, for practical ways to deal with those people who rub you the wrong way.
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