And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
Recently, this verse came to my attention … again! It is a verse that offers comfort and the assurance that God is and will always be there with us. Whether we are in the valley, the desert, the wilderness, or even the mountaintop, goodness and mercy are right behind.
I recall David’s life filled with challenges and disappointments. Yet, in spite of it all, he penned songs or psalms that offered hope and encouragement in times of distress. He knew his God intimately and consistently leaned on His strength and love to see him through every situation he encountered. He watched God deliver him time and again. Whether he was fighting against and defeating a giant that even the experienced Israelite army refused to face or running from a jealous king Saul who was determined to destroy him, David trusted that his God was always with him. He heavily relied on his God to protect him, fight for him and deliver him from impossible situations.
I used to believe that verse to be futuristic in nature. In other words, goodness and mercy would follow me at the end of a season of trial and testing. It would finally come after I had been through a difficult battle. But it finally dawned on me that my circumstances do not dictate the presence of God’s goodness and mercy. As a child of God, I am entitled to that goodness and mercy in both the good times and the bad times. As David put it, they would follow me all the days of my life, not just the good days but all the days both good and bad. In short, they would follow me to keep me, to make sure I am okay, to let me know that I am going to make it. They watch over me to ensure my safety and to help me make it through every situation I face. They don’t leave during tough times, they are right there with me!
The word mercy usually gives the idea of showing forgiveness to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Yet, according to Strong’s Concordance, the word “mercy” in Psalm 23 implies kindness. At the end of the day, goodness and kindness are attributes of God and once you are His child He will never leave you nor forsake you, His attributes will always be present with you. In Psalm 27:13 David says: “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” David was constantly challenged yet, his confidence was in the fact that, in spite of it all, God’s goodness and His kindness were ever present with him.
It can be difficult to see good in bad situations. It can be difficult to find hope but we can be encouraged by David who knew that even in the dark times goodness and mercy were right there following him, watching over him even when he couldn’t see or feel them. They were not in front of him or even beside him but behind him like his own personal bodyguards ensuring that he would make it through every trial.
We don’t have to wait for the battle to be over or for the storm to end to experience God’s goodness and mercy. These are what God uses to give us the strength to ride the storms of adversity and to face insurmountable challenges that cross our path along life’s journey. God is faithful and the tools we need to survive and thrive are well within our reach. At the end of the day, like David we can be confident that our God will never leave us nor forsake us. He has ensured that we have all we need to strengthen and keep us in the good times and in the bad.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as personal Lord and Saviour I encourage you to make that step today. God is a very personal God and never far away. He will be right there with you, guiding, directing and protecting you through every valley, storm, challenge that comes your way. Just trust Him.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.