Difficult times come to everyone. No one is exempt from trouble or pain. That’s life. However, the way we handle difficult times determines our outcome.

The late President John F. Kennedy talked about times of trouble during speeches in 1959 and 1960. He said, “In the Chinese language, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity.” He encouraged the American people that, during times of crisis, we should be aware of the danger, but we should also look for – and take advantage of – the opportunities the crisis might afford us.

Everyone will experience a crisis at one time or another. In a crisis, you face dangers, disappointments, or losses. Nevertheless, with God’s help you can—and WILL—overcome these problems! When you do, you will find the hope of new opportunities. That hope comes from the knowledge that God has helped you in your time of trouble, and He will continue to help you no matter what comes your way.

Although it is a very familiar Psalm, there is something in what we call “The Shepherd’s Psalm” that some people may not have seen before.

Psalms 23:1-3  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  [2]  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  [3]  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Instead of concentrating on the text itself, look at the pronouns David used. He opens verse 1 by identifying about WHOM he is talking – he’s talking about the Lord. Therefore, the pronouns that follow refer back to the antecedent or subject – the Lord. In verse two, David refers to the Lord as “He” – which is written in the third person. The Psalmist is talking ABOUT the Lord. “He makes me lie down … He leads me.” David continues this third person reference in verse three: “He restores my soul … He leads me … for His name’s sake.

At verse four, however, this all changes. Pay close attention.

Psalms 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Verse four describes David’s “crisis:” he is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Notice now, however, that the pronoun has changed. He says, “I will fear no evil, for THOU art [not “HE is”] with me.” In the midst of the crisis, David quit talking ABOUT the Lord and started talking TO the Lord.

As you read through the remainder of the Psalm, you will see that the writer continues his narrative in the second person. No longer is David talking ABOUT God. Because of the crisis, David is talking TO God!

Psalms 23:5-6  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  [6]  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

He continues this perspective throughout the end of the Psalm. Verse 5: “THOU preparest a table … THOU anointest my head.” Recognizing the presence of the Lord in the midst of the valley caused David to also recognize that “goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL THE DAYS of my life” – why? Because “THOU art with me!” The ending conclusion of the Psalmist was simply that there is no reason to look or go anywhere else. He was saying, “As long as I remain with the Lord – to which I now commit myself “forever” (verse 6) – everything’s going to be alright!”

A story is told about a ship that was wrecked at sea one night. The only survivor was a little boy. He was swept away by the angry waves and clung to a rock. The next day he was spotted and rescued by another ship passing by. Sometime later, someone was talking to him about that terrible night and how he must have felt scared. They said, “You must have been trembling while you were clinging to that rock.” The little boy looked up and replied, “I trembled all night long, but the rock did not.”

No wonder David later wrote:

Psalms 61:1-2  Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.  [2]  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Don’t let the dangers of a crisis destroy you – or even get you down. Instead, look for the opportunities it provides – especially the opportunity to run to the Rock Christ Jesus and cling to Him. In so doing, you will come to know Him like never before!

The Truth Church wants to help you in your crisis. Get in touch with us or visit us soon. We want to lead you to the Rock! We know the Good Shepherd and He desires to help you!

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