Psalm 23:2 says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”
Though we can obtain great intelligence here on earth, we are spiritually inept, much like sheep. In stressful seasons of life, we can convince ourselves that we don’t have time to be still and rest. But God has called His sheep to lie down in green pastures and to drink from the still waters; we need to learn how to handle stress. We can handle stressful times, first by knowing the security we have in our Shepherd.
We are secure in Jesus: the good, great, chief Shepherd.
The New Testament describes Jesus much like the Old Testament describes a shepherd: full of compassion, care, and courage. A good shepherd will fight for his sheep, fending off anything that threatens his flock. Likewise, this is telling of Jesus’s character in the Gospels, who leaves the ninety-nine to retrieve the one who has wandered. (See Matthew 18:12.)
Jesus is also our sufficient Shepherd.
One source of stress is the fear that our needs may not be met. But in Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us to “...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added...”
In Psalm 23, the green pastures are symbolic of His Word; and the still waters, His spirit. God intends for us to have our fill in Him, and be satisfied. When we are first satisfied in our relationship with God, we can begin to manage our stress.
Finally, we have serenity in our good Shepherd.
Sheep will not lie down until they are content; neither will people. A reason for our stress could be that we've forgotten to take time to slow down, to be still, and know that God is God. (See Psalm 46:10.)
Psalm 104:34 says, “May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.”
It’s not enough to study Scripture; we must be in the habit of digesting what we’ve read, and regularly carving out time to rest in His promises.
Apply it to your life
Do you have a hard time handling stress? Find in Jesus Christ your security, His sufficiency, and the serenity that comes from meditating on the Word of God.
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