The Lord is my shepherd! Not a shepherd or our shepherd; he is my shepherd. Remember – the Lord is your shepherd. You then, are a sheep. The shepherd is in charge of the sheep.
In John 10:11, Jesus is the “good shepherd” who gave his life for his sheep. After his death and resurrection, he became our “great shepherd.” “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will” (Heb. 13:20,21). He is working with his Father on our behalf.
When Jesus returns he will be our “chief shepherd,” our “king of kings;” “And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (I Peter 5:4).
Jesus our shepherd
Today Jesus is our great shepherd. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that in all things he was tempted like us. Therefore he knows what we need and understands what we are going through.
Because Jesus is a personal shepherd to each of us, we shall not want. We cannot allow every disturbing factor to come alive in our hearts. When we were baptized, we received peace with God but we still are fearful and often troubled in mind. Why? We are in need of the peace of God. Fear and faith cannot work together and we need faith to please God. So trust the shepherd, leave the troubles, worries, and problems of life to Him. It is the desire of the shepherd that we trust and place our confidence on him. We are only sheep. We must learn to rest in the shepherd’s care.
“He leadeth me beside the still water.” Sheep are afraid of water, as well they should be because if they fall in, their coat of wool will soak up the water and pull them to the bottom. So they gravitate to water that is still. If the water is moving, the shepherd makes a dam that will cause the water to be quiet and still. Once that water is still, the sheep drink and are refreshed.
In times of trouble
In the stormy world in which we live, trouble comes in everyone’s life. But the shepherd knows how to calm the troubled water and allow perfect peace to surround us in the midst of the turmoil. People will not understand why you look so refreshed and cheerful even though troubles are all around you. Your secret is the good shepherd. He stills the troubled water so that you can be refreshed.
“He restoreth my soul.” Sometimes the Christian life might seem monotonous, doing the same thing over and over, day after day. We can stray from the flock and forsake the good shepherd’s care. But the shepherd will leave the ninety-nine in the flock, find you and gently lead you back to the flock. If you keep wandering, the shepherd uses his crook. He will hit the little front leg and afterward tenderly bind it up. The shepherd’s persistence and care can help to keep you in the fold, resting content in his loving care. But you must do your part. Start each day with God, do your Bible reading and pray. This will help to restore your spirit day by day.
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness” or “He leads me in the right paths.” John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” In this world there are so many voices calling us; therefore, we must learn to know our shepherd’s voice the way we know our husband, wife or children’s voices. Our shepherd is there to guide us. If we follow him we can never go wrong.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” A sheep is one of the most defenseless creatures on the earth. He has nothing with which to defend himself. Compared to a lion or bear, the sheep is defenseless and helpless. So we need courage, not to fight, rather we need courage to trust the shepherd. When the lion roars all you need to do is check to see if the shepherd is there; and if you have not left the flock, you can rest assured that he will be there. He knows how to protect everything that is in his care.
Have courage and trust the shepherd
As followers of Jesus, we find ourselves in difficulty from time to time. Someone may say, “Well, I’m doing all I know how to do.” No wonder you are in such a mess. This is not enough. Let the shepherd help you. Take courage and trust the shepherd. Peter denied the shepherd after Jesus was arrested, but after Pentecost he told the religious leaders in Acts 4:19: “It is better to obey God rather than man.” They threw him in prison and sentenced him to die, but what did Peter do? He went to sleep. Peter knew that his shepherd was there.
When we are faced with difficulties, do we have the courage to trust the shepherd or do we rant, rage and have sleepless nights, trying to fight our own battles? We have a good shepherd who has already fought our types of battles and won. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
As we go from day to day, may we have the courage to rest in our shepherd’s care. Let us come to the living water to be refreshed. Let us start with him daily so that we can continually be restored. Let us have the courage to trust Him with every aspect of our lives. We are only helpless sheep, he is our shepherd.
Kendris Hield, Freeport, Bahamas