Samuel had anointed David to be the next king. When David wrote the 23rd Psalm he would have been best friends with the son of King Saul and married to the king’s daughter. To the world, it would look like David was on the fast track to become king. God had told him it would happen, and it would be easy to assume that this would come true shortly.
We know David would become King but not in a simple way. It would be years before David would reign over the nation of Israel. David would spend years in the wilderness running from King Saul who wanted to kill him. David would need the foundation of trust in God that we find in the 23rd Psalm. God would use these trying times to refine, mold, and mature David so that he would be an even better king.
God often does the same with us in our life. We may think that we will be on a simple straight line to reach the goal God has for us. Most times, however, God leads us on a circuitous path so that He can refine, mold, and mature us into the people He desires us to be. James says it well in his letter, James 1: 2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
I don’t look forward to hardship, but I know God is with me and can use troubled times to build my faith and character. Many times, it is only in looking back that we can find joy in the way God works in our lives.
To hear more about David and Psalm 23, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/david-and-his-songs-the-early-years/the-lord-is-my-shepherd
 The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society