From Chris Dodds
Psalm 23: Perhaps the most known and loved of all the Psalms, it may also stand as the most challenging to our culture's predominant world-view. Advertisements declare that we are lacking and need to buy more and have more to be complete. Standing in contrast, Psalm 23 declares that when the Lord is our shepherd we lack nothing. To pray this Psalm is to both declare our trust in God, and to counter-culturally acknowledge our dependence on him and not ourselves.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11: As you read through these verses make a note in a journal of all the ways that God is described. What do we learn about him? Who is he (v3)? What does he do (vv4, 10)? Why does he do it (v4)? When faced with trials the first thing we are tempted to do is to turn inward, but our true comfort will come not from within, but from God. Like Paul does, we can comfort others who suffer, but it's a comfort that points back to God. He writes of his tremendous suffering (v8-9a), yet declares it was so he wouldn’t rely on himself, but on God who raises the dead (v9b). God’s deliverance of him in the past, and his certainty of God’s deliverance of him in the future, offers Paul confidence in the present (v10).