Spiritual Renewal is Possible!

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Imagine a life of complete satisfaction. You lack nothing. You dwell in a place of beauty, peace and contentment every day. Spiritual renewal is possible!

Imagine a life of complete satisfaction. You lack nothing. You dwell in a place of beauty, peace and contentment. Each day is full of delight, rich nourishment and invigorating refreshment. You anticipate what tomorrow will hold.

This sounds like Heaven.

It also sounds like wishful thinking. But when I read Psalm 23, I get the impression that David had a taste of this kind of life here on Earth.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

(Psalm 23:1-3a)

It’s easy to read this passage and think, “That sounds wonderful, but it was written during simpler times. David was a shepherd out in the fields, enjoying silence and leisurely strolls through green hills while singing his heart out and enjoying uncommon intimacy with God.” We think it’s out of our reach.

But in the next verse, he says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” (Psalm 23:4a). And later, he talks about his enemies (Psalm 23:5a). David’s was not a life of ease or freedom from stress and sorrow.

Much of David’s adult life was spent running and hiding for survival. His enemies wanted him dead. He experienced extreme hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. He knew what it was to wander, to be in need, to suffer.

If David could sing Psalm 23 in the midst of what he was going through, why can’t we?

Maybe a better question is: HOW can we?

David’s peace, spiritual nourishment, refreshment and renewal did not depend on his circumstances. He did not depend on physical comfort, safety, or security to feed his spiritual hunger. He found everything his soul desired in Christ alone.

Jesus invites us to experience this, too.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29, emphasis mine)

No matter where you’re at or what you’re going through, the good news is that spiritual renewal is possible!

Our God is a God of resurrection!

Restoring what’s been lost, repairing what’s been broken, reviving what’s been lifeless… these are His specialty!

Live It Out

Today, fix your eyes on Jesus. Put your hope in Him. Regardless of how you feel or what your circumstances look like, trust that He is who He says He is and that He’ll do what He said He’ll do. Anticipate the renewal that can be found in Him.

And if you’re struggling to do that, PRAY. Be real with Him and ask Him to help you. Tell Him you want to trust Him, but you can’t do it alone. He won’t turn you away! Our Father is delighted when His children ask Him for help!

Father, I pray for restored hope today. Give us eyes to see You no matter the wilderness in which we find ourselves. Help us to believe that with You all things are possible!

26 Responses

  1. What a great reminder that the same God that was there for David is here for us! Our circumstances are different than David’s, but God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

  2. I’ve never really stopped to think about the two very contrasting sides of this Psalm like you did, Jana! I love this! I’m certain David faced some challenges, especially later in his life, that were far more frightening and unfair than anything we will ever experience in life. Still, he held firmly to his faith … well, the vast majority of the time! Lol! Pinning and tweeting this my friend!

    1. Yes, Beth. David’s life is inspiring. I’m studying 1 Samuel right now, and I marvel at his assurance of God’s love and care for him – no matter what. Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing, my friend!

  3. I love when someone speaks of how the Lord can be what sustains us, day in and day out! It’s all a matter of, if we are willing to let Him be our All in All! I have found that we seem to experience this even more when we are actually in the Valley of Shadow. Great encouraging post, Jana!

    1. You’re right, April. Without the valleys, there’s no opportunity to see God for the amazing Provider, Sustainer, Protector He is. Thanks for joining the conversation, April!

    2. We can get so caught up in what’s going on in our lives that we are not anticipating Jesus to renew us. Although His mercies are new every morning, how often are we intentionally tapping into them? Such a great reminder.

      1. I was just talking with someone this morning about how we look for God’s mercies when we pray for them. And because we’re looking for them, we SEE them. He is faithful. It’s easy to become complacent and forget to pray for specifics. Then we don’t notice His hand at work as often. It’s not His failure, it’s our neglect. Thanks for chiming in, Brandi!

  4. What a great post! Love the use of Scripture here. David’s life, in so many different ways, is such a great reminder to us of God’s love!

    Pinned & tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  5. I love the 23rd psalm. When my mom died I got her wall hanging with the first few verses of that psalm. It’s hanging within my sight whenever I sit at my desk. A great reminder that God provides through good times and bad. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #InstaEncouragements.

  6. Yes, Yes, Yes! Great post! We often miss that before David killed the giant he killed a lion and a bear (as a shepherd) and he was trusting God to be with him just as he was then. I don’t think the life of a shepherd was as simple as many of us think, it was a humble profession and I think that is part of what prepared David for his role as King, a man after God’s own heart. There is so much to the 23rd Psalm, life in just a few short verses. Many Thanks 8) pinned, tweeted, and sharing on Facebook

    1. What a powerful observation, Debra. Yes, humility would have been a key to David’s fruitfulness and faithfulness to the Lord through it all. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. So true, Diane. There is power in praise. It changes us. It makes the storms more bearable because we’re reminded of the God who is with us in the midst of it all. He is good. He is faithful. Always.

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