“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬

One of the most well-known psalms is the 23rd Psalm. It’s been memorized by Sunday School classes and confirmation groups, put to music and had entire books written on it.

Unfortunately, many know this psalm as a funeral psalm. Virtually every funeral or celebration of life service includes the 23rd psalm somewhere in the service. That’s unfortunate because Psalm 23 has little to do with death and much to do with life and love!

Todays verse is a great example. There are times in our lives, like now, when the trials and fears of life weigh us down. One more news report, one more doctors visit, one more call from the bill collector, one more car breaking down. We need strength! We need the power to push through.

When life gets confusing, and people let us down, by nature we look for someplace to get our strength. God, as our good shepherd, does two things to help us move forward when we don’t think we can.

First of all, he renews our strength. Like a drink of fresh cold water he revives us. Like a strong hug, he encourages us. Like a reassuring word he comforts us. He strengthens us physically, emotionally and spiritually when we rest in his arms.

Secondly he guides us to the path that we should move forward on. The voices of society and culture scream at us and tell us where we should go. But their voices conflict. The way they tell us changes with the wind. There’s no stability, no trust, no truth in what they preach.

With the strength and guidance of our good shepherd we can be strong. We can see the path clearly, although He may only show us a few steps at a time. When we have direction, we feel good about ourselves. And when we feel good about ourselves God is glorified.