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Friday, February 22, 2019

Looking for Provision in All the Wrong Places

In review of Psalm 23, it says, The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (NIV).

Psalm 23 explains the ways God wants to show his goodness in my life. All of these benefits are available to me not because I’m good, but because God is good. When I truly understand God’s goodness as revealed in Psalm 23, it will strengthen my faith. I will be able to say:

God will meet all my needs; there’s no reason to worry.
God will help me rest and find peace.
God will refresh and replenish me when I am drained.
God will guide me to make right decisions.
God will be with me on my dark and fearful days.
God will protect me and keep me safe.
God will support me, even if I am surrounded by conflict.
God will give me his favor.
God will fill me with more blessing than I can imagine.
God will secure my future and take me to heaven one day.

When Jesus came to Earth and died for my sins on the cross, he opened the door for me to receive all the benefits of God’s goodness. That’s why we call it Good Friday. It was good for you and me! Good Friday certainly wasn’t good for Jesus. It was painful. It was torture. He willingly said, “No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will” (John 10:18 GNT). Sending the Messiah to die for me is the ultimate expression of God’s goodness.

Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11 NLT).

Everybody needs what God has to offer. But am I looking for it in all the wrong places? Many (and sometimes myself) expect those 10 needs to be met by their careers, bank accounts, friendships, romantic relationships, children, or family. God is saying to me, “No, I’m it. I’m the source of all goodness for my life.”

The biggest cause of stress in my life is the lack of focusing on God’s goodness. When I choose to trust in God’s goodness, I’ll be able to face my struggles with hope and renewed faith.

Bottom Line:
God is the source of all provision.

What this means to me:
When it comes to meeting my needs, I will trust in God’s goodness to me. I will be able to face any struggles with hope and renewed faith.

In summary, with the Lord as my shepherd there is nothing I lack. Psalm 23 explains the ways God wants to show his goodness to me. These are benefits available to me, not because I'm good, but because God is good. God promises to meet all my needs, there is not reason for me to worry. He will help me rest, he will refresh/replenish me, guide and be with me. He will protect and support me. I will find his favor and he will bless me with more than I can imagine. God secures my future and will let me live with him in heaven one day. Jesus is the one who opened the door for me. It was God's ultimate expression of his goodness. With what God has to offer, I do not need to look anywhere else. He is the source of all goodness in my life.

Father, I believe that I do look for provision in places other than you. I count on myself or what I have way too much. Today, I will relax in knowing that you are my source of provision. I pray this morning that you provide me with your guidance and wisdom in handling my tasks, leading others, and my interaction with them. I ask this through your Son Jesus Christ’s name, amen!