Read for This Week’s Study: Psalm 23:1-6, Romans 12:18-21.
Memory Text: “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3-4).
Sophie leaned back against her bedroom door and slid to the floor. Tears were welling up fast, and it was only a moment before she was sobbing. “How could he? How could he!” Sophie had just received news that was breaking her heart. Someone she thought was a friend, someone she respected and trusted, was spreading awful gossip about her in order to ruin her reputation and the work she had been doing. Grabbing her Bible off the bed, she suddenly found herself staring at some very familiar words: “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (, Psalm 23:4, NKJV).
“Surely this can’t be!” she blurted out to herself. But the logic seemed inescapable. The Shepherd in the psalm was guiding His sheep in paths of righteousness, but these very paths also seemed to wind their way into the valley of the shadow of death. Could it be possible that even this painful betrayal by a friend, this dark valley, could be used by God to train her in righteousness?
The Week at a Glance: At what times have you grown more spiritually — through the easy times or the harder ones?
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 2.