Psalm 23 is a well-loved passage. Many are familiar with it’s comforting nature and reassuring lines. But when we take a deeper look at this Psalm, we will see that David explains 5 reasons why we should trust God in our everyday life.
This Psalm comes in a collection of five kingship psalms. These five all present Yahweh (the covenant God of Israel) as King. (For more on the structure of the Psalms, read here).
But this Psalm is set apart in that the psalmist, David, makes his prayer to God so personal, so intimate. And this Psalm shows us 5 reasons to trust the Lord because of His intimate relationship to us.
5 Reasons to Trust God from Psalm 23
No. 1 | God Is Our Shepherd.
First, the Lord is our Shepherd. Yes, yes, you’ve heard that before. But today in the United States, we do not fully understand this title. However, David, who was a shepherd himself, knew exactly what he was saying about our God.
You see, shepherds know their sheep. They name them, they talk with them, they take particular care of them. Remember the parable that Jesus tells of the shepherd who lost the one sheep? That parable only makes sense because the shepherd knows all 100 of his sheep and then knows when just one sheep is lost!
That is amazing to me. The shepherd loves his sheep and knows them so well.
That is how God knows us. He is intimately acquainted with us. Luke 12:7 says that He knows every hair on our head (He put them there after all). And He cares for us in the same way that a shepherd cares.
And, the fact that the Spirit inspired David to use this term also shows us of God’s love.
John Calvin said about the title, Shepherd, “God, in the Scripture, frequently takes to himself the name, and puts on the character of a shepherd, and this is no mean token of his tender love towards us. As this is a lowly and homely manner of speaking, He who does not disdain to stoop so low for our sake, must bear a singularly strong affection towards us.” [Commentary on the Psalms, pg. 392]
Our God has stooped low to love on us like a Shepherd. How much more can we trust Him? Those comforting words of “the Lord is my Shepherd” should cause us to put our trust in Him.
As His sheep, we should trust our Shepherd.
God Knows Our Needs
In the same vein, the Lord knows our needs. Just as a shepherd knows that his sheep need quiet waters and green grass, our Shepherd knows what we need as well.
The Bible says that He knows our needs even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). That intimate knowledge that I talked about before also means that God knows exactly what we need.
Because He knows our needs, we can trust that He will provide for and take care of what we need.
Now, please do not just see this as a warm sentiment. God really does know exactly what we need. We will not always know exactly what we need. That is where our trust comes in.
We put our trust in God’s omniscient (all-knowing) care and cast all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
And we also trust Him when we do not think we need something He has given us. God also gives us hard things in life so that we can learn to trust Him more. He would never flippantly allow evil to take place in our lives. But He works through hard situations to give us good things like stronger faith or a better prayer life. He is glorified in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God is With Us
The psalmist continues with the assurance that God is with him even though he walks through the valley of the shadow of death.
This extreme picture shows David’s immense trust in God. His trust in God carries him even through threats of death because he knows that God is with Him.
Therefore, we can not fear when we are faced with many trials and suffering, even death itself. As God’s children we do not need to fear and instead we can trust that God is with us, guiding us every step of the way.
This truth has always encouraged me, that God is with us. Even when we feel alone, we truly aren’t. If all the people we know were to abandon us, God wouldn’t. We can trust a God like that. We can draw near to Him as He draws near to us. (James 4:8).
God Provides For Us
In the next verses, David says that God will prepare a table for him and that his cup overflows. Here he is saying that God abundantly supplied for David.
And He did, David’s kingdom was huge and abundant. David referred to his physical blessings, but he also referred to spiritual blessing in the Lord. And it’s that spiritual blessing that we are blessed with as God’s chosen children. We have been saved from an eternity of suffering and brought into God’s Kingdom. He provided a way for us to be saved through His Son giving us abundant life in Him.
And that abundant blessing is even more evident toward us in the Gospel.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
So, we can trust God because He has provided in such a magnificent way, because Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to be saved and have life.
God Gives Us Future Hope
David ends this glorious Psalm reflecting on his future with the Lord. Here are his words, “Surely goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Not only does David see God’s character in what He has provided for him on earth, but He also looked to the future to see God’s faithfulness in heaven.
When we have trusted in Christ as our Savior, we are guaranteed a place in heaven. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2).
We have a future place to go to with our God after our life here on earth!
And, there’s more! In the end, God will right every wrong and bring in a new world that is perfect (Revelation 22). Isn’t that a bright future to look forward to?
That future gives us hope while we are waiting now. It gives us a picture of God’s perfect plan and that we are part of His plan.
We can trust God because His future plan is coming and it is perfect. We will dwell in the house of the Lord as His children and we will be with Him forever and ever, all of our days. So, we can trust Him now.
And when David says that God anointed his head with oil and prepared a table for him, that speaks to God’s role as King. Our Lord is the mighty Shepherd-King whom Jacob foresaw in Genesis 48:15-16 and who will come again to rule. What a great Father to know and trust!
5 Reasons to Trust God from Psalm 23
So, trust God. Remember that He is your ever-loving Shepherd, that He knows our every need, that He is with us wherever we may go, that He provides for us, and that He has given us a future hope of glory when He returns as King.
Trust Him today, turn your worries and anxieties over to Him, He’s big enough to handle it.
But How Do We Trust God?
All those reasons are great. But how do we put them into practice? Friends, this is where the rubber meets the road, where we live out our theology in everyday life.
Here are a few ideas:
When you feel like no one understands your troubles, you tirelessly work at home with your children all day and your husband has no idea what you deal with, remember that God knows exactly what you are dealing with. After all, He’s given it to you. And instead of getting yourself in a huff or throwing a pity party for your hard life, trust that your Shepherd has given you what you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that He knows what you are going through (Hebrews 4:15).
When bad things happen in our lives we often do not think we need it. We don’t “need” a broken leg, we don’t “need” a baby that won’t sleep, we don’t “need” a husband who is not supportive. When, really, we do sometimes need those hard things in life to show us our sin and how to rely on God. He often works through our weaknesses to bring glory to Himself. So the next time you think you don’t “need” something, remember that God knows exactly what we need and we trust Him for that.
Next time you’re walking to your car alone at night, remember that God is there with you. Be wise and safe, but don’t let fear or anxiety rule in your heart in those moments. Rather, turn them over to the Lord and let His loving watch-care over you be a comfort and courage. And recognize that even if evil does befall you in those moments, He is still with you and still ruling your life.
When your funds are low, maybe your grocery budget is really tight, do all you can to stay on budget or make cuts where needed. But then commit it to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to provide where needed or to give you patience and grace to trust Him even if He does not provide in the way you’ve asked.
When our sinful world is failing us, look to the future hope of God’s restored Kingdom and be comforted. After you read/watch the news, read Revelation 22. Remind yourself that our world is broken, sinful, and that the only remedy lies in the Gospel and God’s making the world new in the end. Don’t let the cares of this world wasting away wear you down in your soul. Instead, use those worries to tell more people about the Gospel. An end will come for all us and that is why we must share with the people we know!
Psalm 23 Helps Us Trust God
So there are 5 reasons to trust God from Psalm 23. Which one helped you the most? Let me know in the comments below!
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