Thursday, January 31, 2019
God Is There in My Darkest Valleys
In review of Psalm 23:4 it says “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).
Today’s verse comes from Psalm 23:1-6 where David tells us how God is a caring shepherd and a dependable guide. As a result I can follow and obey his commands. For he is my only hope for eternal life and security. Therefore like David I can say, the Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in peaceful places. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for your rod and staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
When I allow God, my shepherd, to guide me, I have contentment. However, when I choose sin, I go my own way and cannot blame God for my environment that I created for myself. My shepherd knows the peaceful places that will restore me. I will only reach them by following him obediently. Rebelling against the shepherd's leading is actually rebelling against my own best interests. I must remember this the next time I'm tempted to go my own way.
Death can cast a frightening shadow over me because I am entirely helpless in its presence. Only one person can walk with me through death's dark valley, and bring me safely to the other side, and this is my God, my shepherd. Because life is uncertain, I should follow this shepherd who offers me eternal comfort. God offers protection when my enemies surround me. As a believer and his follower I will spend eternity with him as a guest in his house forever.
There are lots of things that I can be worried about. God promises that even in my darkest valleys, he is walking beside me.
There are about 365 verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not.” God provided us with one “fear not” message for every day of the year! Perhaps God is saying, “Get the message. Don’t be afraid.” It’s interesting that almost every time God talks to someone in the Bible, the first thing he says is, “Don’t be afraid!”
Why? Because my hurts and hang-ups can often cause me to think that God is out to get me, that all he wants to do is condemn and punish me. But that simply isn’t true, and Jesus is the proof of that.
When I understand God’s grace and mercy, I have no need to fear the future. God isn’t trying to get even with me. Jesus has taken the penalty for everything I’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong. He paid for it on the cross. So when a bad thing happens, I don’t have to think that God’s getting even with me; instead, remember this: “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NLT).
Even in the darkest times of life, God is close beside us, guarding, and guiding us all the way. Therefore we don't need to be afraid.
What this means to me:
Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
In summary, God is a caring shepherd and a dependable guide. I can follow and obey his commands for he is my only hope for eternal life and security. The Lord is my shepherd; in him I have all that I need. He lets me rest in peaceful places. He renews my strength, He guides me along right paths. So even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for he is with me to comfort me. In him my cup overflows with blessings. Surely his goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life. So when bad things happen, I have no reason to think that God is getting even with me; instead know that he is with me.
Lord, thank you for the reminder that you are with me always. You only want the best for me and will guide and comfort me through bad times as well as the good times. I pray this morning for your wisdom and guidance in handling my work, leadership and interaction with others. Help me to accomplish items on my to do list and think of / implement the strategic things that are important to moving my team ahead to accomplish the goals of my organization. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!
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