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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Three Truths to Remember as I Walk Through the Valley

In Psalm 23:4 I read, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (NIV)

While I may not be in the valley of the shadow of death right now, I may be in another valley. Valleys are the hard places on a journey, where it’s easy to doubt or overlook God’s goodness. But I’m learning that I can always trust that God is walking through the valleys with me. And he’s promised to bring me through to the other side.

Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (NIV).

Here are three truths that I need to keep in mind while I’m in the valley:

1. I am not alone. God is with me.

The shadows in my life are evidence of the presence of light. How can I deal with a shadow? I turn your back to the shadow and look at the light. Jesus said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life” (John 8:12 CEV).

The Bible says that God is light and that in him there is no darkness at all. Given this I shouldn’t focus on the dark things that scare me: work, finances, or career. When I move my focus is off of fears, then I can focus on the Father.

2. God has a good purpose for my valley.

God cannot do evil. Even when I’m facing problems, conflict, grief, fear, or failure, God is at work, creating good from my valley.

Romans 5:3-5 says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (ESV).

3. The reward will last forever.

I’ll be rewarded for remaining faithful to Christ in the valley of failure, in the valley of fear, in the valley of conflict, in the valley of grief, and in the valley of trouble. I’ll be in heaven less than a minute before thinking, “Why did I complain so much? Why did I worry when I was going through those valleys? God was right there with me all the time, and he was good to me all the time.”

As the Bible says, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT).

Death can cast a frightening shadow over me because I am entirely helpless in its presence. I can struggle with other enemies; pain, suffering, disease, and injury, but strength and courage cannot overcome death. It has the final word. Only one person can walk with me through death's dark valley and bring me safely to the other side; the God of life, my shepherd. Because life is uncertain, I should continue to follow this shepherd who offers me eternal comfort.