Psalm 40:12 says, “For troubles surround me – too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.” Sound familiar?
We can all relate to what the Psalmist says. But let’s take a minute to observe what David did before and after expressing feelings of being overwhelmed.
Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. (v. 11)
Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. (v. 13)
Both before and after pouring out his feelings to God, David cried out to Him for help. This point is key to understanding how to go from overwhelmed to overflowing.
The Old Testament overflows with examples of God’s faithfulness, and relying on that faithfulness presents yet another key to stepping out of being overwhelmed with life.
As we venture into the New Testament, we find yet another key to moving into overflowing in Romans 15:13, which says, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
So the path that goes from overwhelmed to overflowing includes crying out to God, relying on His faithfulness, and placing confident hope in the Holy Spirit. In other words, our confidence for a life that overflows with His goodness comes from Him not from us.
David understood this and expressed the idea of experiencing an overflowing life in Psalm 23. Most people associate this familiar Psalm with funerals and death. Yet, David meant so much more than that, and to receive this we must for a moment push that funeral mindset aside.
First, let’s take a minute to understand the benefit of valleys for sheep. Typically, valleys provided the best path or route through which a shepherd could lead his sheep to where they needed to go. Valleys are also well-watered and contained the best forage and richest feed. Isn’t this principle also true of the valleys in our own lives as well?
Next, consider that David says, “my cup overflows,” and why he can say this considering the trials he was going through at the time. Look through Psalm 23 and highlight the reasons that David gives for his cup overflowing.
David’s reasons include guidance and direction, having all his needs met, rest and peace, renewed strength, and God’s presence. David also mentions receiving comfort, sustenance and unfailing love before he ends with claiming the promise to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Wow! No wonder David could say that his cup was overflowing. But how did he get to that point? The answer lies again in the habits of sheep and their shepherds.
Shepherds CONSTATNLY spent time with their sheep. They were together A LOT. Likewise, spending constant time with Christ is the only way I’ve found to genuinely go from overwhelmed to overflowing and to, like a sheep, have lasting confidence to follow the Shepherd through the valleys.
Just as a shepherd constantly meets every need of his sheep, protecting them and making them feel safe, secure and confident, so too is Christ offering that for each of us.
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