“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

Sometimes it feels like all hell is breaking loose in life and circumstances are just pressing in against you. It’s important to know that even though you “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, you are walking through it. Don’t camp there – walk through it! We live in a fallen world and things do go wrong from time to time and we may be going through what seems to be “the valley of the shadow of death”, but it won’t last forever and we’re just passing through. God has set you up to reign through “the valley of the shadow of death” so that you’ll come through the negative circumstances stronger and better than you went in.

Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but He also said that we don’t have to let the circumstances determine our emotions – no matter what’s going on in the world and in your life, you can experience constant joy and peace (John 16:33). 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…”
Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

Even in the middle of chaos and death, you do not have to fear anything because God is with you! Fear is crippling and will suck the life right out of you. Fear tries to get you to take your focus off of God and His Word, and it tries to get you to be consumed with the circumstances and negative reports coming your way. Fear weakens your faith – and faith (looking to, trusting in and relying on God) is what you need to overcome.

Fear is not an uncontrollable force. You have the power and ability to reject fear and refuse its influence over you. Jesus encourages us on numerous occasions in the Word not to fear, and that means that it is entirely possible. You do not have to fear anything! In actual fact, because of the Greater One in you (1 John 4:4), fear is scared of you!

On a number of occasions Jesus said “Do not fear” or “Do not worry” or something similar. While it is an encouragement that we do not have to fear, worry or be anxious, it is stated as more of a command. This means that He is instructing us not to give into the negative emotions of fear. It would be unjust for Him to give an instruction like that if it were not possible; therefore it is possible!

You need to know that fear is a choice – so choose not to fear.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”
Psalm 23:4 (ESV) – emphasis mine

“I will” reveals that it’s a choice or decision to fear or not. Fear is not an uncontrollable force – you can live a fear-free life! In Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives His people the choice between blessing or curses, and life or death. These things don’t just happen to us: we choose them through our decisions and what we focus our attention on.

You need to know that because God is with you there is no need to fear.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…”
Psalm 23:4 (ESV) – emphasis mine

When we are convinced that God is with us, and that He has our best interests at heart, it enables us to reign over fear. I have tangibly felt the presence of God many times, but I remember one day when I didn’t feel His presence at all – I was miserable and wondered where God was. God spoke to me and said: “You can seek tangible experiences but they will never last. It will cause your life to be like a roller-coaster, up and down. Or you can base your life on My Word which promises that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and you can experience constant joy. It’s your choice.” I quickly chose to go with what His Word says and I haven’t doubted God’s presence since. Knowing that God never, ever, ever leaves us and that we always have Him with us, gives us confidence. His presence isn’t dependent on your holiness and goodness; it’s a promise with no conditions. God is with you.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Faith and fear are opposite forces. If you want fear to diminish and your faith to grow strong, then choose to continually focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and His Word. Fill yourself with the Word and choose to believe God above anything or anyone else (Romans 3:4).

In the midst of death and destruction you can be confident and have a hope-filled expectation of good things to come, because GOD IS WITH YOU. Even in times of economic ruin, political turmoil or droughts, you can be expectant that you will come out of it and come out of it whole and well, because GOD IS WITH YOU.

“But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator says, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you [from captivity]; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
Isaiah 43:1-2 (AMP)

“So nothing bad will happen to you. No diseases will come near your home.”
Psalm 91:10 (ERV)

Thought to focus on for the day:

You have nothing to fear because Jesus is with you! Focus on the promises in His Word and don’t focus on the troubling circumstances that surround you. Have a hope-filled expectation of great things to come.

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