Comfort Found in Psalm 23

Comfort Found in Psalm 23

By Tim Hardy

It’s been a difficult season because of the passing of a dear family friend. It is amazing how grief is so emotionally draining and begins to uncork past grief. However, amid the grief, comfort can be found through the Word of God.

One such section of Scripture that has helped to bring comfort and focus during this time of chaos and distraction is Psalm 23. It is one of the most recognized and recited Psalms. Because it is so familiar, the meaning can be somewhat lost. Praise God for His living Word and how He can breathe new meaning and insight through a familiar passage.

Let’s take a moment to look at each of the six verses.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (verse 1).

God is our intimate provider. God provides in such a way that we are in need of nothing. This thought is echoed in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters” (verse 2).

God gives peace and refreshes. A great appreciation of this verse is that it is not a suggestion. “I think it might be best if you…”, “You might want to try…”. It is a loving demand, “He makes me lie down”. God knows what is best and makes us stop and take in His peace and refreshment. Again, in Philippians 4:7, we see that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (verse 3).

God restores and revives our very soul. He gives us strength beyond ourselves, so that our life’s path is righteous instead of purposeless wanderings. He leads each step we take for His glory. These words are like those of Isaiah 40:29–31, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4).

God is our ever-present protector. Even when we face valleys of deep darkness, God is with us. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5) and “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Is 41:10).

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (verse 5).

God is our complete satisfaction. Regardless of our circumstances, God satisfies fully and is accepting and approving. As King David said, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4). And as Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

And finally verse 6…
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

God is our perfect promise keeper. For those of us who believe in Christ, God’s steadfast love is with us every moment of our life. In Lamentations 3:22–23 it is written, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” But even greater still is the hope that we have of being with our Lord and Savior forever!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Regardless of what comes our way, may Psalm 23 be a constant reminder of our hope in God because of His intimate provision, His peace and refreshment, His restoration and revival, His constant presence and protection, and His satisfaction and promise keeping.

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