How God Does His Best Work In Us

“He Restores My Soul” (Psalm 23:3)
 
Without a doubt, Psalm 23, a.k.a., “The Shepherd’s Psalm” is the best known and most beloved of the 150 Psalms that comprise the Book of Psalms. In it, David, an effective shepherd in his own right, praises God’s shepherding activities, chief of which is to restore the souls of those who follow him.
 
Burnout, whether in careers, relationships, or even the faith itself, occurs when we chronically give out more than we take in. Christ-followers always run the risk of burnout because we, by our spiritual genetics and the example of Jesus, live a sacrificial life.
 
But even as we sacrifice we need uninhibited rivers of restoration flowing into our souls. So how does our Great Shepherd do his best work in restoring our souls? The conventional ways are through the simple practices of prayer, reading the Word, worship, and fellowship. We can always depend on these, however, there are a few other ways as well.
 
(1) Live in an “attitude of gratitude.” It was once said that gratitude is the “foundation of all good things in life.” I know that when my soul starts to feel toasty, I start to focus on what God has blessed me with, and when I do my soul begins to hydrate.
 
(2) Enjoy Life. I Timothy 6:17 tells us that God “gives us all things to enjoy.” He has created this beautiful world for us, not only to steward but also to enjoy. But do we? A few weeks ago my wife called me a workaholic. At first, I thought it was a badge of honor but then I remembered that workaholism, like any “ism”, is actually unhealthy. I’m working harder (get it?) to regain a better balance in my life so that I can indeed enjoy all things (including the gift of her).
 
(3) Focus on Goodness More Than Badness. In the last few years, I have been getting more interested in national politics. This I believe is wise because as a citizen I cannot afford to be ignorant about the issues that concern my country or me. However, the way the issues are processed and presented through the current media, i.e., so sensationally, so ubiquitously, and so negatively, I noticed that the deflation rate of my soul was higher than ever before. Because we become what we focus on, I now try to do two things to restore it: (a) limit my time “keeping up” with political commentary, whether on TV or social media and (b) look for the good stuff out there. Believe it or not, the good stuff is out there but we really have to dig for it.
God does his best work in us when he restores our soul. All we have to do is let him.
 
Agape,
 
Pj
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