Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God’s Loving Character

Welcome! If you’re reading An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell with me, I’m in Chapter 4. If you’re not studying this book, please know that you are welcome to read any posts that interest you. And stay as long as you like!

Psalm 23 from the New King James Version (NKJV) is printed in Chapter 4 of An Untroubled Heart. I’m familiar with Psalm 23 so I didn’t notice what version it was quoted from; I was more focused on the points made in the chapter.

However, when I read Psalm 23 from my New Living Translation Bible, I immediately noticed the difference in how it reads. I’d like to share it with you…
Psalm 23 (New Living Translation)

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk 
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me 
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me 
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
forever.
I don’t know about you, but I find these words give me comfort and a greater understanding of God’s character.

Allow me to pull out some of the parts that struck me…
He lets me rest; He leads me and renews my strength. He stays close beside me to protect and comfort me. He will pursue and stay with me forever.

So, I wonder, in God’s loving character, why would He leave anything in our lives to chance or coincidence? I don’t believe He does.

Over the past few years, I have stopped attributing anything to coincidence. I don’t believe things happen through luck or by coincidence. But what I do believe is that, from small insignificant things to life-changing events, God works things together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

God wants to be involved in every part of our lives. We shouldn’t feel like we cannot ask Him for His provision, or that we need to figure something out on our own. He wants us to turn to Him and let Him provide for us. God knows what we want and what we need, and He knows what is best for us.

This doesn’t mean life will always be bliss. Life this side of Heaven will never be without struggles and trials, but He will be there with us. God knows what we can handle on our own and how much more we can deal with through His love, strength, and guidance. No matter how dark the valley we must go through, we don’t need to go through it alone—for He gives us His Word that He will be close beside us, guiding us through each day.

15 comments:

  1. This is beautiful Laura. Grateful for our loving God!

    Blessings!

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  2. I have always loved Psalm 23. I enjoy reading other versions because each one seems to catch me a different way. So much peace comes from knowing that nothing comes our way without Him knowing. Great post!

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  3. Charina and Christina, thanks for your comments! God bless you!

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  4. I just read that this week in my daily reading and what stuck out to me was "for His name sake". He does all those things for His glory and for us to make His glory known.

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  5. I had not read this translation of this psalm. Wonderful. I love the different translations and what they bring to the scriptures causing me to think from a different angle. This is just beautiful!

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  6. I've learned that God loves me and there's not a thing I can do about it!

    Thanks for your great insights, Laura!

    I'm praying that God's love comforts every troubled heart and washes away all your fears as each of you take part in this study. Blessings!

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  7. Hi Ms. Kathleen, I agree - sometimes a different translation is just what I need for a better understanding. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    Hi Debbie and Micca, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a message!

    To God be the Glory!
    Laura

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  8. On the way to school in the morning, one son reads a proverb, one leads us in The Lord's Prayer, and one leads us in the 23 Psalm - and the 23 Psalm - it always makes me visualize those green pastures, the still waters - and I feel so much peace! I also love each individual translation that brings deeper meaning. Like you catalog so beautifully - God has great plans for us!

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  9. I couldn't agree with you more - I don't believe things happen by accident or coincidence. However, as you pointed out, we will have trials and troubles in this life. However, the Good Shepherd is with us, leading us through them all.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  10. Thank you all for your thoughts and comments, I love the sharing going on!

    In Christ,
    Laura

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  11. The older I get, the more I realize that it's HIS PRESENCE that makes all the difference in my life. So thankful for his constant vigilance to stay by our side. What a beautiful Shepherd he is.

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  12. This version really does make the verse even more personal and easy to understand. Thank you for the nice comment you made on Spiritual Sundays. I'm glad you're sharing with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  13. Psalm 23 is sooo comforting! I have many notes written next to it in my bible, from sermons and bible studies as well as personal reflections. Whenever I need comfort or encouragement, I turn to the Psalms.

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  14. Oh,I love that sentence, "He lets us rest." I need that especially today--His rest!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!