If anyone knew unrest and difficult circumstances, it was David. Yet, he was a man after God’s own heart, and he knew how to walk in the peace of God. One of David’s most well-known psalms is none other than Psalm 23. When I first began writing this 31-day series on God’s peace beyond understanding, this particular psalm wasn’t the first to come to mind. Yet, reading it now, I can clearly see the genuine peace David had in his heart… a peace that only could have come from knowing God deeply and personally.
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The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1
When we trust Jesus to meet all of our needs (as He promised He would), we learn to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves in… we do not want for anything.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. – Psalm 23:2
Not only does Jesus meet all of our needs, He takes us where we need to be. (And I don’t know about you, but green pastures and quiet waters sound rather amazing!)
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. – Psalm 23:3
Jesus breathes life into our souls and directs our lives as He works all things together for good.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
David found himself in many situations that could be described as “the valley of the shadow of death,” but God was always with him. David never encountered danger alone. And not only was God with him, but he found comfort in knowing that God would discipline him and guide his life in a way that only a loving Father could.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. – Psalm 23:5
I love this imagery… imagine God setting before you a banquet. Oh… and all of your enemies are there. In David’s case, his enemies more than likely wanted to kill him. Yet God demonstrated to these men that David belonged to him.
God blessed David and demonstrated favor in front of his enemies. And He has done the same for us. (It’s why the enemy hates us so much.) We are truly blessed, and God has shown us His favor by adopting us as His own children and by giving us His Holy Spirit to empower our lives.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6
This is the ultimate peace… dwelling in the God’s presence forever and ever. And this peace isn’t simply for the future, we can experience His presence now in our day-to-day lives. Anytime, anywhere… we have access to our heavenly Father.
David demonstrated throughout his life that even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we can walk in the peace of God.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.