I SHALL NOT WANT?

Either God’s promises are true or he is a liar and he claims to be unable to lie. A friend recently texted that she loves Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.  Still, she has trouble with Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want, (Presumably because her life, like all of ours in this sin damaged world, is full of want and has trouble resting in the provided green pastures.)

Put in ordinary words, she must see a world in which there is constant struggle and a very real sense of not having things she needs and definitely does “want” more.

I think that we can all relate. If you read Foxe’s book of Martyrs you will be appalled at what the Lord allows his servants to go through. Still, one Roman soldier warned the administrators that when the smoke from the burning Christians hit the watching crowd; it had magical power and turned the watchers into Christians also. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church’s growth. The first missionary to North Korea was murdered as he waded ashore; still it was on that very beach that a great revival started that spread throughout all of Korea.

It is helpful to put all truth in context. In Ephesians 4 we read, “Not that I speak in respect of want. (Paul was in real need and appreciated the gifts sent so what does he mean that he had no “want”?) for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, in this to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, (note that he was hungry) both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.”

I am troubled on every side,perplexed,persecuted, cast down, bearing about my our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, always delivered to death II Corinthians 4:8. But in all these things I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me. I have the privilege to be his fellow sufferer, fellow laborer, fellow soldier.

Salvation saves me from the penalty of sin but does not instantly fix my vision.  If I could see the bigger picture I would be content with what God is allowing but seeing takes humility, “Lord I see a little please touch my eyes to see more. Note that even a man as disciplined as Paul had to LEARN and to BE INSTRUCTED in the art of contentment. Surely the Lord is my shepherd and I may have to walk through the valley of evil but he will never leave me nor forsake me. If I seek a god who will guarantee comfort or even function, I must look elsewhere. The only true God does not guarantee comfort, security or function, he only guarantees himself as my “enoughness” and that he will walk every path with me.

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