Monday, October 12, 2020

He Renews My Strength

 By: Joanne Viola

“He renews my strength.” (Psalm 23:3, NLT)

The older and more familiar version puts it this way, “He restores my soul” (NKJV). And who of us does not need our souls restored these days?

Our souls get tired, worn down, and discouraged with the challenges facing us each day. We long for days to be easier, happier, more peaceful, and “normal”.

The psalmist knew exactly this emotion well and in other psalms gives us the remedy: we need to talk to our souls. Take a peek into his conversations with his soul on various occasions:

  • Why, my soul, are you downcast? “Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”(Psalm 42:11, NIV)  
  • “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5, NIV)  
  • “Bless the Lord O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1, NKJV) 

David had shepherded sheep long enough to know they wander and often find themselves in a precarious position – cast down.

This meant a sheep had chosen to lie down in a spot which would cause him to roll over onto his back with his feet up straight up. He was left unable to right himself and without the shepherd coming to his aid, he would either fall prey to a predator or die.

We are sheep who often wander and in so doing, become stuck. Stuck in a despair, or hopelessness, or discouragement which would seek to overtake us without the help of our Shepherd.

He comes and breathes life into us, righting us back on our feet – He renews our strength. May we remind our souls today:

“Have you not heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find
new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:28-31, NLT)

“He renews my strength.” 


Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash




  1. Joanne,
    I did not know that this was what it meant to be "cast down." I can picture myself as that helpless sheep - stuck upside down with no hope for survival. So thankful we have a Shepherd that watches over us and helps us to get "un-stuck!" He not only does that, but renews our strength . Thanks for a much needed reminder.
    Bev xx

    1. It is amazing all we yet have to learn from Scripture. I didn't know either and am grateful David shared his shepherd insights in the psalms. Our Shepherd sets us right side up time after time. Blessings to you, friend!

  2. Thank you Joanne. 2020 has been a really hard year for us and I am weary. No other word describes it better. Thank you. ❤️Terri

    1. Praying for the Lord to impart all that you need to make it through!

  3. After spinal fusion surgery in January - and the difficulty I had rolling over - and just rising to sit and then stand - I understand how a cast-down sheep felt (didn't know cast down was a sheep on its back, legs straight up) - For quite a while, I needed to much help - Thank you for making that connection for me!

    1. I didn't know either :) It has brought such an image in my mind of the tender way our God sets us back up on our feet. I hope you are doing better!

  4. I love this truth. No matter how weary we get or what the reason, God is willing and able to renew our strength.

    1. Barbara, yes (!), He is always able to renew our strength, set us upright, and back on the right path. He is an amazing Shepherd to us all.


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