Tuesday June 11 2024

Goodness and Mercy…Today and Every Day

I love Psalm 23.

We need both heart and head. Feelings matter and so do facts. When you can’t sleep at night, read Psalm 23, and don’t analyze it. Listen to the Shepherd who says to you, “Go to sleep. I’ll stay up the rest of the night and watch over you.” 

When you’ve really messed up, read Psalm 23. Listen to the Shepherd who is merciful to sinners. When you’re scared, read Psalm 23. Listen to the Shepherd who is your protector and who says to you, “I have your back, so chill out.”

That was the heart. Now to the head. Three facts (that will touch your heart) from Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

One doesn’t work without the other. Goodness hugs you and mercy forgives you…all the days of your life. The most destructive truth a Christian can believe is that prodigals never return to the far country. Of course they—we—do.

The most important truth a Christian can miss is that God kills an unlimited number of fatted calves, stages an unlimited number of parties, and has an unlimited supply of polished rings and new coats. Or as my pastor friend, Jerry Parries, puts it, “You will run out of sin before God runs out of grace.” Before you get started, I’m not encouraging sin. I’m really not. I’m encouraging holiness and showing you the only way you can get there. I’ve been around a long time and, with you, I have a desire to please God and to be better than I am. The difference between you and me is that I’ve tried everything you’ve tried—repeatedly—and nothing works except for Psalm 23:6.

Thank God, goodness and mercy keep following me around…and never leave.

Goodness and mercy sometimes don’t feel like it. Mercy is sometimes a “severe mercy.” And goodness is always goodness for you…even if it doesn’t feel like it.

The hardest thing about being a Christian is trusting God in the dark. We wouldn’t even be able to trust God if it weren’t for the supernatural work of God’s Spirit first in our lives.You may be in a very dark place right now. Even when you don’t feel it, goodness and mercy are following you all your days.

 

Pray this week:

Pray you’ll see God’s goodness and mercy following you this week.

 

Steve Brown