Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- July 22, 2012
Even 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
Fear engages an ongoing assault on our heart and mind. If left unchecked, fear can whip our imagination into a frenzy of anxiety. Though only an ounce of what we fear may ever come to pass, we tend to give it a ton of attention. It is madness when we are overcome by fear. It may be the fear of death that dilutes our faith. It may be the fear of failure that drives us to control. It may be the fear of rejection that keeps us from speaking up. It may be the fear of financial ruin that refrains us from taking risks. It may be the fear of divorce that shatters our dreams of a fulfilling family. It may be the fear of losing a job that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever fear preoccupies our thinking, we are not alone.
Jesus walks with us through our valleys. He may not deliver us out of the valley, but He mostly certainly does not abandon us in the valley. He walks with us through the valley of doubt. He walks with us through the valley of shame. He walks with us through the valley of transition. He walks with us through the valley of disease. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Our fear, many times, is but a shadow of Satan. It is not real. It seems like reality but it is not. It is but a reflection of the evil one. So we have no need to fear because our heavenly Father casts His bright light of love. A shadow assumes a light. Therefore, the light of Christ is there to guide us through the shadows of our soul. Death stands next to our path of life and attempts to cast a shadow, but the light of heaven guides our way. We trust Jesus. Trust overcomes fear.
We trust the Lord with the known and the unknown. There may be consequences from relational baggage that we still unpack from our past. This is fruit from foolish choices that we have to take responsibility for and trust God with. Good can still come out of unwise actions, but good is gained as we regain our trust in Christ. In our valleys we can forget our faith and be consumed by our fears, or we can slow down and let the Lord love us through this time of loss. No amount of pain can separate you from the love of God. Pain may be smothering your soul, but do not give up on God. Immerse yourself in the Psalms where David sometimes drowns in doubt, but, by faith, wisely lifts an arm to the Lord. No one suffers alone well . It is with the Almighty and the prayers of others that we make it through.
So go to Christ for comfort. His tools of trust invite us. He repairs our broken spirit with His rod and His staff. He comforts our crushed heart with His caring touch. When we stray as curious or lost sheep, He doesn’t give up on us. Rather He goes after us. Indeed, love is not passive. It initiates contact, comfort, and connection. Love helps you make sense out of a senseless situation. At the very least, the Lord will bring clarity to your confusion. Saturate your soul with truth, and you will flush out your fears. Trust the ones you value most with your Heavenly Father. He values them more than you do, and will make sure their needs are met. Trust Him as you face your fears, whether of death or life. Trust in Christ is a bridge to His comfort. Above all else, trust in the Lord overcomes fear.
Taken from Reading #14 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
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