We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed …. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 13

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 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 23:1-4

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Psalm 3:3-8

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

The change in course God has in mind for us puts us in a place where we are squarely in the center of His care. When we are off course the focus of God’s care is centered on getting us on course and so the fullness of the care that otherwise might be ours awaits the change of course that is needed. There is certainly more to fear in choosing to stay off course and remain in the nakedness of missing care from God than there is in the momentary vulnerability before God and others that comes with acknowledging that we are off course and in need of a course correction. God is waiting for us to respond to Him and to let Him deliver us from all our fears that hinder us from making the change in course we so desperately need.

Picture a flock of sheep that are under their Shepherd’s care. All their needs are being met as they stay near their shepherd in the pasture where he keeps them and tends to them. Now picture one sheep that goes astray by wandering outside the pasture and away from the care of the shepherd. It will not be until the sheep returns that he will be back under the Shepherd’s regular care. The shepherd will now devote himself to finding, rescuing, and bringing the lost sheep home to his pasture and the regular care he provides there for his sheep. We may think there is satisfaction and fulfillment to be found elsewhere and stray from our Shepherd and his pasture, but in the end our path will be perilous, filled only with pain, misery, and loss. The Lord seeks us when we have gone astray (off course) and he calls us by name. He wants to bring us home and we must let him do so. There is no better place to be but home under the Lord’s full and complete care.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, help me be and stay home with you. I believe the allurements of the world bring anything but satisfaction and fulfillment. I believe my true needs (spiritual and all the rest) are met by you and you alone. Help me adjust my course so that I am fully under your care. I know by being under your full care, I will serve you and live for you fully. Amen!