In Psalm 42:5 (AMP), the psalmist asked, "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me?" It seems that many people often feel this way. Because of the pressures of everyday life—in our work, finances, our homes or relationships—there is some form of depression, discouragement or discontentment in almost everyone you see.
But it really doesn't have to be that way. We do not need to live our lives in despair, restless or disturbed. We can be content, encouraged and joyful even in the midst of troubles.
For many years I felt bad about myself because of the abuse I endured for most of my childhood. I felt damaged and ashamed and focused more on what I did wrong than anything else. That is until I came to an understanding of who I am in Christ.
You see, what we think of ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves. And when you give your life to Christ, you don't have to be mad at yourself because you don't do everything right. You can enjoy your life even while you have a problem!
The question is, can you see yourself the way God sees you—the way He says you are in His Word? Will you trust the Holy Spirit to work in you until you can see it? Don't worry—you don't have to wait until He's done; the work is ongoing. You just need to trust Him.
Come to the Table
In a book I read about shepherds and sheep, it talks about how a shepherd will go to the "table lands," a high plateau that is difficult to reach but where there is good, healthy grass for the sheep to graze. He goes and "prepares" the land by removing any poisonous grasses and flowers that could harm the sheep. In Psalm 23:5 (NIV), David says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." And 2 Samuel, chapter 9 tells a beautiful story that conveys how welcome we are at the table of the King.
After the deaths of King Saul and his son Jonathan, David began to search for someone from the bloodline of Saul, to whom he could show favor to honor his friend Jonathan (2 Sam. 9:1). He just wanted to be good to someone in Saul and Jonathan's family on Jonathan's behalf.
David found out that Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, was still alive. But he was told that the young man had "issues." His feet were lame. That was no matter to King David, who sent for Mephibosheth to be brought to him.
Mephibosheth came before King David in fear and shame, bowing and asking, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" (2 Sam. 9:8). Many of us come to God that way because we do not feel good enough or that we deserve God's love and mercy.
I felt this way for a long time, so I understand what it's like. But we don't have to clean ourselves up to come to God, because the truth is, we can't make ourselves good enough in our own effort or strength. God wants us to come to Him just as we are, and then He will change the things about us that need to be changed as we grow in our relationship with Him.
David assured Mephibosheth, saying, "Don't be afraid, for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table" (v. 7).
The last verse of that chapter (v. 12) says, "Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table; he was lame in both feet." What a beautiful account of unconditional love, acceptance and redemption!
You Are Always Welcome
This can be our story as well. As Psalm 23:5 says, God's table has been prepared for us in the presence of all our enemies—all our issues and problems. The Lord welcomes us to His table and anoints our heads with oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who refreshes and energizes our hearts. And He continually fills our cup to overflowing!
When we live in God's presence, our "cup"—our life—will overflow with His love, grace, mercy and every other good thing He has for us. The Lord is a good Shepherd, and there is no reason for you to feel insecure, ashamed or fearful before Him. You are always welcome at His table, in the presence of God!
For more on this topic, order Joyce's four-teaching CD series "Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd." You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.