My Success Reframed by God: “I Will Surely Be Blessed Even Though (____) Because The Lord Is All I Ever Need.” Psalm 23

Psalm 23Amplified Bible

The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.


He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.


Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.


Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Most everyone has heard of the 23rd Psalm even if they can’t quote it correctly.

It’s a poem with no peer and has been called the sweetest psalm ever written.

Abraham Lincoln read it to cure his blues, and President George W. Bush read it publicly to calm our nation’s fears after 9-11.

We could very easily and simply call it the psalm that calms the savaged soul.

Since this psalm is so familiar, we are in danger of missing the depth of its meaning.

Because its setting is in the world of sheep and shepherds, many of us can slide right past its richness.

Are you aware the Bible refers to us as sheep nearly two hundred times?

This is not usually a compliment because sheep are smelly, stubborn, and prone to wander.

One commentary explains that this passage is a hymn of resting confidently in the Lords care.

It uses two images: the first is the Lord as a shepherd who cares for the sheep.

We see this in verses 1 through four.

The Lord is my shepherd – He makes me lie down in green pastures, do you know what green pastures in Israel looked like?

They are not the image that may come to your mind of rolling meadows and hills of green with alfalfa waist high but they are rather more like this:

The regions in Israel where shepherds live are predominantly wilderness areas.

They have two seasons:

First is the rainy season from November through March (when even the desert becomes green), and then the dry season from April through October when the landscape is brown.

Even during the rainy season, the wilderness grasses remain short.

Blades of grass grow in the shade of rocks, where moisture is trapped.

At first glance, the “green pastures” of Israel look like a barren, rocky wasteland.

But each day, a few blades of grass grow and there is enough to nourish the flocks for another day

The Lord providing and giving provision for the sheep (or for us) is not giving us more than we will ever need but rather providing our needs for the moment.

The shepherd will take care of his flock, and the sheep are not worried about tomorrow,

They are not worried about an hour from now, they are definitely not worried about the current circumstance for they are taken care of by the Shepherd.

The truth is that the Good Shepherd will lead you in green pastures and by the still waters.

This psalm paints the peaceful picture of the Lord’s care for his children.

Ask the Lord to refresh your soul and guide you along righteous paths of healing and restoration.

Experiencing this rest requires submission to the shepherd

Louie Giglio writes in his book, Don’t give the enemy a seat at your table,

“You may be surrounded by pressures and troubles and uncertainties and misunderstandings, but God has set a table for you in the middle of all this. God’s got your back. He is the Lord of all creation. All strength and power and authority belong to Him. He’s king of the universe. When God is walking you through the valley, you can stop worrying about managing all the outcomes. You can stop looking over your shoulder.”

Which leads us into the second image in verses 5 and 6.

Where we see the Lord as Host who cares for his guest.

These two images are familiar experiences in David’s life but they also elicit and evoke other ideas which were common in the ancient Near East, with the chief deity as shepherd of his people and also the deity as chief host of the meal.

In worship, the faithful celebrate God’s greatness and majesty; and when they sing this psalm, they see the magnitude of His majesty in the way he personally attends to each and every one of his covenant lambs.

A single flock can have as few as 10 animals or as much as hundreds of them.

A good Shepherd knows each and every sheep in the flock regardless of how big the numbers could be, (John 10:3-5).

“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.””

Likewise, David when he uses the metaphor of the Shepherd to describe God, talks not just about a designation or a name for the Lord, but the relationship between God and his covenant children.

He is the shepherd for Israel as a whole; and in being such, He is the shepherd for each faithful Israelite as well.

Verse 4 says, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

The shadow of death itself may be the shadow that death casts or it may be what scholars say is “deep darkness”.

In Job 10:21-22 it’s written, before I go–never to return–to a land of darkness and gloom, to a land of utter darkness, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness.”

In the ESV Study Bible that the shadow of death is perhaps the idea that in a valley in the desert in Judah one can encounter deep shadows, and cannot know for sure who (whether bandits) or what (animals, flash floods) lurks in them.

Even in such periods of suspense and danger, the faithful find assurance that God is with them, and thus they need not fear.

Greg Morse, staff writer from DesiringGod writes this,

“We do not often consider who leads us into the valley. This path of deathly shadows was not self-chosen. The sheep, sheepish as they are, do not walk willingly into unlit places. They aren’t a lion to be so careless; dark paths are where sheep die. So how did David end up walking there of all places? His Shepherd led him. Christ, the good Shepherd, lays us down in green pastures, leads beside still waters, and guides us through dark valleys.”

How important to realize this?

When life overwhelms us, we are tempted to believe that — if we were truly his — we would never travel into such places.

But David thinks otherwise.

When he writes, “I shall fear no evil for you are with me,” David does not see a Shepherd scratching his head wondering where they took a wrong turn.

David trusts that his Shepherd meant for him to pass this way!

Even though there are challenges in life,

God goes before us into and through all the blind bends and corners.

God is with us in all the North, East, South, West twists and turns.

God is 100% reliable, faithful and just and trustworthy and true.

God is worth thanking in highs and lows.

This looks different for everyone, but we see in scripture that the Lord fulfills his promises and his faithfulness is certain.

We see that Even though Abraham and Sarah were far beyond childbearing age, God gave them a child to fulfill His promise. (Genesis 18:13-14, 21:1-2)

a. God declared his name Abraham, which means “Father of many nations” and yet at the age of 99 he had never had a single child with his wife Sarah who was 90 years old at the time – no heirs to legitimately carry on the family lineage.

They were visited by three men and one of them told Abraham that Sarah would bear a child in the next year.

Despite laughing, Sarah soon became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham, at the very moment which had been predicted.

Abraham, then a hundred years old, named the child “Isaac.”

Isaac would go on to become a crucial character in the biblical narrative, fathering Jacob the eventual Patriarch of Twelve Tribes of the Israelites.

God used this to test Abraham and Sarah but used them mightily through their trust and His faithfulness. When you are tempted to give up while you wait, look at the examples in scripture of God’s faithfulness to deliver, even when the circumstance seems to point otherwise.

Or how about this? Even though building an ark seemed odd, it saved Noah’s family and God’s faithfulness was revealed. (Genesis 6:11-14; 7:22, 6-7)

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh,[a] for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.[b] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

The Lord was bringing destruction to the Earth yet he was faithful in his promise to Noah.

Noah endured and in the end God was right about the flood He was bringing, and He saved Noah and his family just like He promised.

Even though all of Job’s possessions and health were taken, he stayed faithful to God. (Job 1:13-22)

13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will depart.[a]

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;

    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job was faithful to God and served Him.

Even so, he greatly suffered. Job knew though that his suffering was not worth comparing to the blessing of not cursing God but continue following God.

What an affirmation of faith, what an incredible example this is, to serve and stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ no matter the circumstance or suffering.

Let’s look back at Psalm 23 verse 4 again,

5. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”(Psalm 23:4)

This verse reminds me of another long forgotten message — now blessedly, thanks be to God for Holy Spirit, gratefully recalled to the forefront of my soul:

I appreciated the insight of another pastor who once preached to me one Lenten Season,

“Moses teaches us how to thank God for giving us a whole myriad of blessings.”

Let me say that again,

“Moses teaches us how to thank God for giving us a whole myriad of blessings.”

Deuteronomy 8:1-10Amplified Bible

God’s Gracious Dealings

“Every commandment that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, so that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore [to give] to your fathers. And you shall remember [always] all the ways which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart (mind), whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and allowed you to be hungry and fed you with manna, [a substance] which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, so that He might make you understand [by personal experience] that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your feet swell these forty years. Therefore, know in your heart (be fully cognizant) that the Lord your God disciplines and instructs you just as a man disciplines and instructs his son. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in His ways and fear [and worship] Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect]. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat bread without shortage, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

He then continues by saying, “David comes along and teaches us how to thank God not just for the myriad and myriads of blessings but also “even though….”

Psalm 23:4-5

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

This remembered pastor wrote,

“This is a graduated form of gratitude. This is the remedial level. Again, Moses taught us to Thank God “ for the” blessing . But this is the place where you learn to praise God even through every single “even though” we can think of.”

This is where you could have everything of the very worst kind of mess breaking loose in one area of your life, but say,

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear …

— it is well with my soul when peace like a river which attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll,

— even though my heart is broken,

it is still well well with my soul.

— even though you and I are in the direst straights, grieving the loss of a job, grieving the loss of our health and wellness, or grieving the loss of loved ones,

it is yet an still well with our souls.

— even though I’m going through ____,

it is now and forever well with my soul and God is still forever and ever, faithful

“EVEN THOUGH.

This is the table where you learn to thank God for what you can see.

This is the table where you learn to trust God with what you cannot.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley.

We see the “Even though ___, God is faithful theme” continue throughout scripture.

John 6:1-14Amplified Bible

Five Thousand Fed

After this, Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or [a]Sea of Tiberias). A large crowd was following Him because they had seen the signs (attesting miracles) which He continually performed on those who were sick. And Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was approaching. Jesus looked up and saw that a large crowd was coming toward Him, and He said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread for these people to eat?” But He said this to test Philip, because He knew what He was about to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii (200 days’ wages) worth of bread is not enough for each one to receive even a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?”  10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down [to eat].” Now [the ground] there was [covered with] an abundance of grass, so the men sat down, about [b]5,000 in number. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to those who were seated; the same also with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they had eaten enough, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and they filled twelve large baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign (attesting miracle) that He had done, they began saying, “This is without a doubt the promised Prophet who is to come into the world!”

6. John Chapter 6:1-14 gives the picture of how 5,000 men and their families ate and ate and ate until they were full with food leftover …..

EVEN THOUGH there were only five loaves of bread and two fish!

An author describes John chapter 6:1-14 like this,

When the disciples saw the crowds and their lack of resources, they were each overwhelmed and knew there was an unsolvable problem.

But when they looked to Jesus, the problem was solved and the Lord provided.

There is never too large of a lack that God cannot provide.

But similar to before, God will be glorified whether that means He provides, or He doesn’t intervene.

If He doesn’t intervene, it doesn’t mean that he can’t, but that it’s not in line with his will.

Know that He is able. He is infinite in resources, while we are finite in ours.

7. Even though Jesus was put to death, He was raised from the dead. (Matthew 28:6)

God’s power is able to do the unthinkable—raise the Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah from the dead to fulfill His ultimate plan from before the foundation of the world.

8. Even though Paul was a persecutor of Jesus and the church, his heart was turned and God saved him. (Acts 9:1-19)

God can change any heart, even the hardest stone heart that you know of.

The beauty of the Gospel is that Jesus is the only savior of sinners and He is all-powerful, not incapable to save because the coldness of one’s heart.

His power is able to turn the greatest wretch into a radical lover of Jesus.

9. Even though Peter was in chains and bound by guards, he miraculously escaped from the prison. (Acts 12:5-19)

And possibly the biggest one,

10. Even though we are sinners, God came to save us. (Romans 5:8)

Many people miss the truth implied by the fact that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

The chronology is important. Christ did not wait for us to “clean up our act”; He sacrificed Himself even though we were still actively, vigorously opposed to Him

Salvation does not depend on our meeting God halfway, on our all keeping the commandments, or trying to be as good as we can.

No, God completed the work of our salvation even though we were in a state of open rebellion against Him.

That’s grace.

Even though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, God delivered them from it,

You see this is the even though….

God is faithful, for each and every single depth of faith that we want to have.

Let me give some context on this passage from Daniel 3,

Three young men named Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were taken from their homes in Israel when they were children.

They, along with Daniel, became important men in Babylon.

The king of Babylon had created a huge statue as an idol.

This was to be used for people to worship the king.

He had made a law that said that all who did not bow down and worship the idol would be thrown into a furnace of fire.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had become governors in the kingdom.

But they did not allow their position to keep them from obeying God.

They refused to bow down to the idol. As a result they were put into the fiery furnace.

However, they did not burn up and die.

In fact, the Bible says they were walking around in the furnace.

And, there was a fourth person in the fire with them.

The king said that it appeared to be the Son of God!

The fire is extinguished.

They were brought out of the furnace and the king repented of his pride and worshiped God.

Their faith inflated and they said to the kind, “even though we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.

But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Whether or not they were rescued, the faith that they showed is the depth that we want. Even though, stayed faithful to God regardless of the circumstances.

What is the commonality in all these things?

The power of God.

And, God works through our obedience: our obedience to trust him within the most impossible circumstances,

the obedience to rely on him even in tough times, and the obedience to worship him even when the most unexplainable things happen to us.

In all these “EVEN THOUGH” things, we can trust in him and we can faithfully say that He is 100% faithful.

Look at the ending verses of the book of God’s Prophet Habakkuk, 

Habakkuk 3:16-19Amplified Bible

16 
I heard and my whole inner self trembled;
My lips quivered at the sound.
Decay and rottenness enter my bones,
And I tremble in my place.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade and attack us.
17 
Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
18 
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!

19 
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my [a]high places [of challenge and responsibility].

For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;

he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

The phrases we see in Habakkuk’s prayer lay out a strong cause and effect relationship for us as an example to follow.

Even though bad things happen, I will still praise the Lord.

Even though bad things happen, I will not let my mind be lost to the enemy and even though _______, God is faithful.

This past Veterans Day, I heard an Iraqi War veteran say ….

Even Though I cannot walk, and I am confined to a wheelchair;

Even Though half my face is paralyzed, and I cannot even smile;

Even Though I am extremely impaired, and I cannot take care of my kids;

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my savior!

He finishes by saying;

“This is not the faith of a Christian who “believes” in God only when the sun shines. This is not a faith that easily wilts under pressure. This faith flourishes even though the pressure is on. This faith says, Even though bad things are still happening, and they will continue until the day I die, I will still forever praise the Lord.”

Like this veteran, how might we personalize Habakkuk’s prayer?

Even though I am under intense (_________) pressure….

Even though my body walks through the valley of the shadow of (_____)

Even though my spirit wanders through the valley of the shadow of (_____)

Even though ______

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord

I will be joyful in God my Savior

Brothers and sisters, Fix your eyes on the good shepherd today.

No matter what circumstances, tell yourself

Even though I am Blessed and Highly Favored and Successful ….

Even though failure seems to define every single move that I make ….

“Even though … I will choose to obey God”

What is your blank space you are dealing with that even in the midst of these circumstances, you are choosing to say yes to God, surrender your life to him.

What act of obedience is God calling you to do in regards to that circumstance?

Is he asking you to Trust or wait or go?

Could God be asking you to worship or seek Him or give to Him all of those “even though” moments or how about even submitting each of them to Him?

Seek God today through His Word and in prayer, and wait upon him for

He. Is. Faithful.

He. Is. True.

He. Is. Life.

He is the Lord, who is our Shepherd and we have all that we will ever need!

EVEN THOUGH ….

EVEN THROUGH ….

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Thank You Father that You are the faithful, good and righteous God. You are the Lord who always keeps Your promises.

You are gracious and merciful in salvation.

We thank You for Your faithfulness throughout the centuries, throughout all the millennia; You have always kept Your promises, Your plans for our salvation have been unwavering.

We thank You Father that You are the God who makes promises out of a character of love and grace, and keeps those promises with all faithfulness even though we will all continue to sin mightily against you.

We thank you for all that you are continually doing in our homes, in our lives, in our communities, in our church. God, we are abundantly blessed by your faithfulness and your continuous goodness to us. We ask that this devotional message be impactful for us as we inspect ourselves and find the blank space that we need to surrender to you. God, we fervently seek after you in prayer, in your word and we now wait upon you.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

 https://translate.google.com/

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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