Session 8

Pain can be the path to an overflowing life

From The Overflowing Life: A 14-Day Devotional


Psalm 23

Rarely do we record the hard parts of a journey. Often we rush through the valleys in favor of the mountain tops.

In the same way, we like to rush through the difficult parts of our lives. But the same God who leads us to blessing also brings us through suffering. And both, the mountaintops and the valleys, can bring us joy.

David, who wrote Psalm 23, suffered. He also saw people he loved suffer. And yet, David’s cup overflows (Psalm 23:5). This is good news. David reminds us that joy is not always about still waters and green pastures. Joy flows from the Shepherd, not the circumstance.

God is with us at all times, which means we can experience His presence and blessing no matter what comes our way. What David experienced in the valley, we can experience in a hospital room. Suffering and affliction are not the opposite of overflow. Pain is often the path toward overflow.

When we feel frailest, we are most dependent on God to guide us and sustain us. When we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). When we think we’ll be crushed under the weight of one more decision, it feels good to let His rod and staff guide us.

An overflowing life is available to us all. All the time. Are you looking toward someday when God wants to show you goodness and mercy right now, today?

We often stop to take photos of beautiful places. But it’s the difficult times, the painful moments, that are etched into our memories and prepare us to spend eternity in God’s overflowing presence.

  • What’s one thing you learned about God during hard times? How did that season of life deepen your trust in the Good Shepherd?
  • Do you find yourself rushing through the valley to get to the green waters and still pastures? Ask God to meet you where you are and reveal Himself in a new way.

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