Psalm 23 – Jesus is your Shepherd!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I ·have everything I need [L will lack nothing].  He ·lets me rest [makes me lie down] in green pastures.He leads me to ·calm [quiet] water.  He ·gives me new strength [T renews my soul].He leads me on paths that are ·right [righteous; or straight] for the ·good [sake] of his ·name [reputation].Even if I walk through ·a very dark valley [or the shadow of death],I will ·not be afraid [T fear no evil], because you are with me.Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me. You prepare a ·meal [L table] for me in ·front [the presence] of my enemies. You ·pour oil of blessing on my head [anoint my head with oil; C oil was a means of refreshment in a hot, dry environment];you ·fill my cup to overflowing [L make my cup overflow; C a cup of blessing].  Surely your goodness and love [loyalty; T mercy] will ·be with[pursue; T follow] me all my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord ·forever [L for length of days].

General Comments

  • David saw himself as a sheep led by God his Shepherd – he knew that he was loved by God and that he would not lack.
  • In a way, this portrays what 1 John 4:18 is saying
  • Key for us to do our best in life, but not in stress. Live life and love, in rest and peace, not stressed out.
  • We don’t need to defend ourselves, neither do we need to fight for open doors. If God opens the door, it is ours. If God doesn’t open the door, it’s not meant to be ours at this present moment.
  • Many think that this is a Psalm for death, however, when we read and understand the Psalm we come to know that it is about our life with our shepherd who loves, leads, cares and is always with us.

Vs 1 –  The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.

  • Other versions of the bible say, “The Lord is my shepherd; I ·have everything I need [will lack nothing].“
  • As you meditate on this simple verse, begin to realize that the Lord IS (present tense) your shepherd.
  • A shepherd provides for his sheep, feeds them and protects them. In the same way, Jesus your shepherd provides for you, feeds you, and protects you.
  • “I shall not want” = the Lord is our provider! One of the names of our God is Jehovah Jireh, which means “the all-providing One.” He provides more than enough. The God of more-than-enough came in the flesh and walked among His people. And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He did not give His disciples small blessings. That is why He said to Peter, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets [plural] for a catch” (Luke 5:4), and not “let down your net [singular].” And what a catch it turned out to be—a boat-sinking, net-breaking catch! It was such a big and unexpected blessing that Peter and all who were with him were “astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken. He provided while on earth and he provides now for whatever we need.
    • {Health, Healing (“I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26))},
    • Finances,
    • Direction (Are you groping in the dark, not knowing what to do? He says, “I am the light of the world (John 8:12).) Success.
    • Are you looking for a way out of a bad situation? He says, “I am your deliverer. I will reach down from on high, take hold of your hand and draw you out of the deep waters” (see Psalm 18:2,16).
    • What is it that we are facing? Is it wisdom, favor or provision that you need? Rest assured that Jesus, our shepherd, will surely supply it, and you shall not be in want for anything.

Vs 2 –  He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

  • Since the Lord is providing for all our needs, He wants us to lie down and experience abundance (We are receiving based on His completed work!).
  • When you rest, it’s an act of faith. You’re saying, “God, all right, you have finished everything. And if there’s any area not finished, I’m resting so you can finish it in me, through me.” You are resting in work. It is not inactivity.
  • Are you going to work tomorrow saying, “Okay, there’s a deadline. Okay, my boss want to talk to me, or this”? Are you resting in him? Do you believe he will work in you? Or do you feel like nothing is happening? Let me tell you this, even when He’s sleeping, He’s controlling the storm.
  • The place of God’s rest is where you’ll find everything has been done for you. And if something’s left undone, it will be done in you. It’ll be done for you.
  • This is the essence of Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t struggle, they don’t strain, yet your heavenly Father clothed them. Are you not much better than those lilies?”
  • This brings to mind Jesus invitation to us in Matthew to follow Him and to leave a life of worry! Matthew 11:28-30 (Message Version) says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Vs 3 –  He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

  • Expanded version says this: He ·gives me new strength [ renews my soul]. He leads me on paths that are ·right [righteous; or straight] for the ·good [sake] of his ·name [reputation].
  • Voice version: He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
  • Complete Jewish Bible: he restores my inner person. He guides me in right paths for the sake of his own name.

Vs 4 – Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

  • We are only walking through the valley we DO NOT STAY in the valley.  So much grace and love shown us.  We see also that it is but the shadow of death and not death itself.  Jesus conquered death for us at Calvary and defeated it forevermore.  No more fears (Psalm 91), instead we have His shalom peace (John 10:27-28).
  • Our Good Shepherd would never lead us into the valley of death (He came to bring life).   What happens is that we ourselves get into the valley of the shadow of death all on our own.  Our Shepherd, Jesus, who is always with us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Romans 8:35-39) protects us and leads us through and out of this valley.

Vs 5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 

  • Some may say, “Lord, how can you expect me to eat now? The symptoms are still in my body! My bank account still shows the lack! Lord, I will eat well and I will celebrate when all my problems are resolved.”
  • But the Bible says that God doesn’t follow human nature. God says, “I will prepare a table. You eat first! You eat in the presence of your enemies, and I will take care of your enemies.”

Vs 6 – Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

  • “Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the day of my life” literally means “Surely goodness and mercy shall HUNT ME DOWN all the days of my life!”
  • Jesus is faithful and with us now, right here right now
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YOUR EVERY BLESSING IS FOUND IN THE PERSON OF JESUS – Joseph Prince

Great post on Joseph Prince Ministry site! I believe that there is also an audio and video sermon of this.

https://www.josephprince.org/blog/articles/your-every-blessing-is-found-in-the-person-of-jesus

Here are my notes and takeaways:

  • Whatever situation we are in, all we need is the Lord. It is not dependent on anything other than the Lord Jesus. Jesus fulfills our needs.
    • Jesus needs to become the focal point of our life.
    • Don’t focus on the gifts/things and what we want but focus on Jesus and being in His presence.
    • David did this (Psalms). David was concerned that he could remain in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 51:11).
    • The Lord however in the New Covenant will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), so we do not have to have this concern like David.
    • Don’t focus on the issue or what we want or need, focus on the fact that Jesus is bigger than the problem or need. Like David did when he faced Goliath.
    • When the Lord is with you, you will be a success (Genesis 39:2). It doesn’t matter what our standing is in life. Consider what Joesph’s standing was when the Lord said he was a success (Genesis 39:1). He was a slave!
      • Even Potiphar recognized that the Lord was with him (Genesis 39:3).
    • While Martha focused on the past and the future when she spoke to the Lord about Lazarus being dead, Jesus focused on the present (John 11:25).
      • The present help of the Lord, the focus on the Lord led to Lazarus being brought back to life.
    • Reminds me of when the Children of Israel were on the edge of the Promised Land.
      • 2 of the spies focused on God (Joshua and Caleb) and His ability to give them the Land
      • 10 spies focused on the giants and other aspects of the Land that seemed like great obstacles to them (Numbers 13:27-33)
    • Cultivate the Lords presence as you would a friend or spouse (Colossians 3:6)
      • In the presence of the Lord there is rest! (Exodus 33:14, Matthew 11:28)
      • What we have in Jesus is unshakable and unchanging.
  • Jesus is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30) (Proverbs 3:16 – wisdom has two hands. right hand length of days, Left hand riches and honor)
  • Jesus is righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Jesus is sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Jehovah-Jireh (Genesis 22:1–14) – the Lord, Jehovah is Jireh. Meaning Jesus is provision, prosperity and supply.
  • Jehovah-Rapha (Exodus 15:26) – Jesus is healing, Jesus is health!
  • Deuteronomy 30:19–20 …therefore choose life, that both you and your descendents may live…and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…
    • The Lord Jesus is length of days, the Lord Jesus is life

We will not be thrown away! Do not be discouraged!

Isaiah 41:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
    saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
    and will not throw you away.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Fear Not! Do Not Worry!

  • The bible tells us in many places to “fear not” or a variant such as “do not be afraid”. God is in control in every area of life He is leading us and guiding us.

No fear! God is With You!

  • God is with you! It says in Hebrews 13:5-6, “… be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]. So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?” I will not here is a triple negative. He simply will never leave you!
  • God is with you and surrounding you! God can deal with anything we face. Jeremiah 32:27 says, ” I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Psalm 5:12 says, ” Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

Healing Miracles of Jesus (to be continued)

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

John 4:46-54

46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine. And there was a [b]certain royal official whose son was sick in Capernaum. 47 Having heard that Jesus had come back from Judea to Galilee, he [c]went to meet Him and began asking Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you [people] see [miraculous] signs and wonders, you [simply] will not believe.” 49 The royal official pleaded with Him, “Sir, do come down [at once] before my child dies!” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives!” The man believed what Jesus said to him and started home. 51 As he was already going down [the road], his servants met him and reported that his son was living [and was healthy]. 52 So he asked them at what time he began to get better. They said, “Yesterday during the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that it was at that very hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son lives”; and he and his entire household believed and confidently trusted [in Him as Savior]. 54 This is the second sign (attesting miracle) that Jesus performed [in Cana] after He had come from Judea to Galilee [revealing that He is the Messiah].

Healing the possessed man in Capernaum

Mark 1:21 – 27

21 They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were completely amazed at His teaching; because He was teaching them as one having [God-given] authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out [terribly from the depths of his throat], 24 saying, “[m]What business do You have with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet (muzzled, silenced), and come out of him!” 26 The unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions, and screeching with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all so amazed that they debated and questioned each other, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits (demons), and they obey Him.”28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere throughout the district surrounding Galilee.

Luke 4:31-36

31 Then He came down [from the hills of Nazareth] to Capernaum, a city of Galilee [on the shore of the sea], and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were surprised [almost overwhelmed] at His teaching, because His message was [given] with authority and power and great ability. 33 There was a man in the synagogue who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud and terrible voice, 34 “Let us alone! [a]What business do we have [in common] with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent (muzzled, gagged) and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown the man down among them, he came out of him without injuring him in any way. 36 They were all astonished and in awe, and began saying to one another, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out!”

Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

 Matthew 8:14-15

When Jesus went into Peter’s house [in Capernaum], He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her; and she got up and served Him.

Mark 1:29-31

29 And immediately they left the synagogue and went into the house of Simon [Peter] and Andrew, accompanied by James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they told Him about her. 31 Jesus went to her, and taking her by the hand, raised her up; and the fever left her, and she began to serve them [as her guests].

Luke 4:39

39 Standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she got up and began serving them [as her guests].

Jesus Heals Many Sick at Evening

Matthew 8:16-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were under the power of demons; and He cast out the evil spirits with a word, and restored to health all who were sick [exhibiting His authority as Messiah], 17 so that He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He Himself took our infirmities [upon Himself] and carried away our diseases.”

Mark 1:32-34 Amplified Bible (AMP)

32 Now when evening came, after the sun had set [and the Sabbath Day had ended, in a steady stream] they were bringing to Him all who were sick and those who were under the power of demons, 33 until [it seemed as though] the whole city had gathered together at the door. 34 And Jesus healed many who were suffering with various diseases; and He drove out many demons, but would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him [recognizing Him as the Son of God].

Luke 4:40-41 Amplified Bible (AMP)

40 While the sun was setting [marking the end of the Sabbath day], all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them [exhibiting His authority as Messiah]. 41 Demons also were coming out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

Matthew 8:1-4Amplified Bible (AMP)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds [a]followed Him. And a leper came up to Him and bowed down before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You are able to make me clean (well).” Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one [about this]; but go, show yourself to the priest [for inspection] and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony (evidence) to them [of your healing].”

Mark 1:40-45 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And a leper came to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees before Him, saying, “If You are willing, You are able to make me [a]clean.”41 Moved with compassion [for his suffering], Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”42 The leprosy left him immediately and he was cleansed [completely healed and restored to health]. 43 And Jesus [deeply moved] admonished him sternly and sent him away immediately, 44 saying to him, “See that you tell no one anything [about this]; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your purification what Moses commanded, as proof to them [that you are really healed].” 45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news [of his healing], to such an extent that Jesus could no longer openly enter a city [where He was known], but stayed out in the unpopulated places; yet people were still coming to Him from everywhere.

Luke 5:12-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

While Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man covered with [an advanced case of] leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean and well.” 13 And Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Jesus ordered him to tell no one [that he might happen to meet], “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony (witness) to them [that this is a work of Messiah].”

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Matthew 8:5-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

As Jesus went into Capernaum, a [a]centurion came up to Him, begging Him [for help], and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, with intense and terrible, tormenting pain.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied to Him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority [of a higher rank], with soldiers subject to me; and I say to one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those who were following Him, “I tell you truthfully, I have not found such great faith [as this] with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many [Gentiles] will come from east and west, and will sit down [to feast at the table, and enjoy God’s promises] with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven [because they accepted Me as Savior], 12 while the sons and heirs of the kingdom [the descendants of Abraham who will not recognize Me as Messiah] will be thrown out into the outer darkness; in that place [which is farthest removed from the kingdom] there will be weeping [in sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [in distress and anger].” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it will be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was restored to health at that very hour.

Luke 7:1-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

After He had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people, He went to Capernaum.

Now a [Roman] [a]centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and on the verge of death. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him, asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with Him earnestly [to come], saying, “He is worthy for You to do this for him,because he loves our nation and he built us our synagogue [at his own expense].” And Jesus went with them. But when He was near the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof.Therefore I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But just speak a word, and my slave will be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith [as this man’s].”10 When the messengers who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

A Paralytic Healed

Matthew 9:1-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And Jesus, getting into a boat, crossed over the Sea of Galilee and came to [Capernaum] His own city. They brought to Him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a stretcher. Seeing their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], Jesus said to the paralytic, “Do not be afraid, son; your sins are forgiven [the penalty is paid, the guilt removed, and you are declared to be in right standing with God].” And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes [by claiming the rights and prerogatives of God]!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven and the penalty paid,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? [Both are possible for God; both are impossible for man.] But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority and the power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.”And he got up and went home [healed and forgiven]. When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God and praised Him, who had given such authority and power to men.

Mark 2:1-12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jesus returned to Capernaum, and a few days later the news went out that He was at home. So many people gathered together that there was no longer room [for them], not even near the door; and Jesus was discussing with them the word [of God]. Then they came, bringing to Him a paralyzed man, who was being carried by four men. When they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they [a]removed the roof above Jesus; and when they had dug out an opening, they let down the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the [b]scribes were sitting there debating in their hearts [the implication of what He had said], “Why does this man talk that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins [remove guilt, nullify sin’s penalty, and assign righteousness] except God alone?” Immediately Jesus, being fully aware [of their hostility] and knowing in His spirit that they were thinking this, said to them, “Why are you debating and arguing about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your mat and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the [c]Son of Man has the authority and power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralyzed man, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your mat and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the mat and went out before them all, so that they all were astonished and they glorified and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

To Be Continued

Keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout Life

Matthew 14:22-33 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Walks on Water

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

  • The disciples were terrified when they saw him thinking He was a ghost. Jesus responded , “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! No matter what the circumstances let’s take courage knowing that Jesus is here with us in our present circumstances.
  • Peter walked out on the water, but “…when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.” The Lord was there and reached out and grabbed him. Sometimes we make steps toward progress, and maybe have a slight setback and become discouraged. Since the Lord is with us, He will grab us and save us, often we are unaware of these times. At other times the odds may be against us, but let’s not consider what is against us, but who is for us (Romans 8:31)!
  • Finally when Jesus climbed into the boat all the winds and waves stopped. Remember they had been fighting the storm for many hours. It was 3 AM when they first saw Jesus and they left in the boat right after the feeding of the 5000. Some biblical scholars estimate that they were fighting the wind and waves for 9 hours! The point is they were exhausted, but then immediately when Jesus came in the boat there was peace.

The key is Jesus.   We want to rely on him, draw from Him and meditate on Him and be strong in our prayers. When we are tired and need encouragement, when we feel there is no hope, He is there and He is our hope, He is our saving, He is our healing and He will see us through difficult times. If we need peace He has it. Let’s remember who is for us and focus on Him and not the negative things that seem to be against us. With Him we know and are assured that we are secure.