March 16, 2020
- By Ed Powell
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"He restores my soul." Psalm 23:3
Surely, anyone in the care of the Good Shepherd has experienced the need for restoration. To think differently is to deny the reality of life with its many devastating circumstances. God did not promise we would not have difficulties, but He did promise He would be our sufficiency in them. David knew what it was to be "cast down," to be in constant danger and fear, without resources and strength.
He cried out, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God" (Psalm 42:11). What does it mean to be cast down?
Paul knew what it meant to be cast down, to be in desperate need, to have no resources within yourself to rise above your need, or to withstand the difficulty you encounter. He said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; 'cast down', but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8,9).
Paul knew the comfort and care of the Good Shepherd. Sometimes a sheep finds himself on his back, unable to right himself. He becomes frightened and he panics. Unless the shepherd finds him and sets him aright, he will perish from his pathetic dilemma. How blessed to know that God, our Good Shepherd, comes and ministers unto us as the shepherd of the sheep does.
Upon finding a cast-down sheep, the shepherd restores it with loving comfort and tender care. He restores peace where fear and panic abound while physically ministering to the needs that have resulted from this dreadful experience. Slowly but surely, the shepherd restores the sheep and takes him back to the fold.
What a beautiful picture of compassion, concern, and care of our Good Shepherd. Like the sheep, we are frustrated, fearful, and often panicky in our devastating circumstances. We search for help but find none, until we turn our hearts in faith to our Good Shepherd who is ever sensitive to our needs.
Our Shepherd is always ready to rescue and restore, to comfort and care, and knows just what we need. He comes to where we are, helpless, needy, and fearful, and restores us as He "leads us in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake."
This is the heart of Christ, our Good Shepherd. Many erroneously think that God becomes disgusted, fed up, and furious with believers who fall or become frustrated, helpless, and spiritually vexed. Let me ask you, "How did Christ deal with Peter when he denied the Lord in the palace courtyard?" As they took him out, Christ looked at Peter, not with scorn and hate, but with eyes of compassion, love, and divine patience. He dealt with Peter so he might be tenderly restored.
Can we not look back over our lives and remember times when we had fallen, were overcome with fear, had no one to turn to, and were desperate and without hope, until our blessed Lord put his loving arms around us and restored us? How blessed to know the Shepherd who found us, for "He restores my soul." Jesus our Shepherd, whoever seeks to bring us back into the blessed relationship with the Father, has promised, "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Bless the Lord!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=2020-03-16
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