Anticipating a God-given, Good Life

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23:1-6)

Psalm 23:6 promises that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives because God is with us. God is more faithful to us than we are, and we will dwell in His house forever. David proclaimed these promises, knowing the Lord as his Shepherd and revealing his attitude towards God.

We can adopt one of three attitudes towards life:

We can live without thinking and merely exist.

We can be fatalistic, living defeated lives.

We can adopt an attitude of expectation, believing that we are empowered creators of our circumstances and destinies.

It is clear that we should seek to have the third attitude. Here are some important points to consider as well as some roadblocks that can hinder an attitude of expectation:

  1. Anticipation is often hindered by pessimism.

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” (1 Samuel 17:33-37)

As a young boy, David was hindered by his age and occupation, as he was only a shepherd and the youngest of seven brothers. He was met with a lot of pessimism, but his confidence in God empowered him to conquer Goliath. God will defeat the Goliaths in our lives and promote us when we move forward with the right expectations.

  1. Learn how to handle your heart.

Crises can cause our hearts to lose confidence and become discouraged. Be careful to always guard your heart. Every discouraging situation is an opportunity to trust God in disguise.

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. (Ecclesiastes 9:3)

  1. Root yourself in righteousness.

Be like a tree rooted in fertile soil. Even when it is cut down, it will soon spring up again. When drought comes, the Living Water will sustain it and bring forth new branches.

“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. (Job 14:7-9)