“…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me…”
– Psalm 23:4
What do David’s words point out to us? They give us insight into the journey in this life. We are promised troubles, and even more so as Christians (John 15:18-21). The Psalmist’s words were not merely stated in-order for us to place on our walls as beautiful thoughts, but instead that we might be built up in truth. They were written that we might be warned, prepared, inwardly peaceful, and have joy in all circumstances. For “if you fail under pressure, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).
Happiness is superficial, but joy is substantial. Happiness depends on favorable outcomes, while joy hangs on trustworthy promises. As believers living in a fallen world, we discover the Lord’s rule of grace in our daily lives. There will be conflict, however, and Jesus wants us prepared. We “fear no evil” because God is walking with us!
There are moments when we pray that Jesus would return for us quickly, but with what heart do we make this request? Many times it is not to be with our Savior, but so that we might be at rest. There is no fault in that desire necessarily, yet we must keep watch over that spirit. When Jesus prayed to the Father about the disciples, He said, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). The disciples had a calling to share the Gospel. Their time had not come for eternal rest; it was time for earthly labor. There is still work to be done for Christ, and we are promised when we go out with weeping, we will return with joy. May we recall to mind today that God still walks with us in the darkest valleys.
“…the wish to escape from trouble is a selfish one. Rather let your care and wish be to glorify God by your life here as long as He pleases, even though it is in the midst of toil, conflict, and suffering, and leave it to Him to say when it is enough.”
– C. H. Spurgeon