You know, when life’s troubles hit us hard, it is easy to convince ourselves that we are facing them alone—times when our prayers seem to go unanswered as if the Lord’s attention is far away and our cry is but a faint whisper in His ear. When this occurs, we deceive ourselves, which is what Satan wants. He wants us to believe that God does not care about us, but on the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth because Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). One of the main reasons we can feel alone in our troubles is because we are not listening. In other words, we are not taking the time to sit quietly and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts. Another reason is the Holy Spirit has spoken to our hearts, but we refuse to accept God’s answer to our prayer. That’s on us, not God!
We must keep in mind the promise of Jesus, given in Matthew 28:20, that He would always be with us through the good times and the bad. As believers, we are never alone, even in the direst of circumstances. Take Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for example. Those men were cast in a fiery furnace and yet we not consumed, but instead, they encountered the Lord amid the fire. Sometimes our most personal encounters with God occur when we are standing in the middle of a trial, in the fire!
King David left us a beautiful reminder that God is indeed our Good Shepherd and that His watchful eye is ever-present to guard and protect us and keep us from harm. David wrote:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 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 have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”PSALM 23