The Darkest Valley

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

What a wild week it’s been for the United States of America! I’m not sure if any of us really knew how this week would transpire. What is normally a very uneventful and routine meeting for Congress, turned into an unpredictable mess. There are so many confusing voices, opinions and theories about what is happening, it’s near impossible to determine the truth. Regardless of what you believe about this week, it’s safe to say that we are all experiencing a range of emotions. 2021 is starting out with a perfect storm. When we are in pain and confusion, we desperately look for an anchor in the waves (Hebrews 6:19). We long for stability that puts us back on safe and solid ground. We cannot put our hope or trust in people, government or a president. There is only one rock upon which we can stand immovable: Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20). He is Immanuel or “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Our perfect Jesus laid his life down as a sacrifice on the cross to redeem our lives. He bore all of our sins, sickness and shame upon himself, so we can be cleansed and set free! The Apostle John writes, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus loves you! He promises never to leave you or abandon you (Joshua 1:5). Because Jesus is our loving God who lives in us by his Holy Spirit and we know he will never leave us, he is the only one we can firmly trust. People will let us down. Life is full of disappointments and pain, but Jesus will be faithful to us no matter what comes our way in life.

There are seasons of life where we are standing on mountain tops, and there are times when we are walking through dark valleys. Jesus is with us during each of these seasons. He is our guide, our comforter and our friend. He is the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). His perfect love casts out all fear, for “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved psalms of all time. It has comforted many hurting and confused children of God in their darkest valleys. In this special psalm, David writes:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.”

Let this psalm wash over your soul. Let it encourage you and bring peace to your heart. Our shepherd, Jesus, will walk with each of us through this dark valley of uncertainty in the days ahead. If you have not received Jesus as your God and savior, I encourage you to do so today! A simple prayer (talking to God) is all it takes. Invite Jesus to save you and give him your whole life. Hold nothing back. Receive his love and forgiveness for all your sin and imperfections. His tender love will heal you. You will experience a peace you never knew was possible. You are not alone. Jesus is with you. Thank him for his love and salvation. If you have invited Jesus into your life, you are a part of the family of God. Together, we will pass through this dark valley and scale any obstacle that threatens our way to the mountain tops.

Our enemy, Satan, has come to “steal and kill and destroy,” but Jesus gives us a full and abundant life (John 10:10)! If we continue to keep our eyes on Jesus, we will overcome our adversary. How do we do this? The Bible gives us many strategies for a victorious life in Christ. In these unusual times, I am reminded of Revelation 12:11: “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Jesus is the Lamb of God that was sacrificed for us (John 1:29). Our keys to overcoming the darkness of the enemy are trusting in the blood of Jesus that was poured out for our redemption and our testimony. We must trust in the saving blood of Jesus only! In a time where the world has covered the mouths of people, we must speak out the words of our testimony! Our testimony is our own story of how God’s loving salvation has changed our lives. We must share our story with others. Tell people both with your verbal and written words about Jesus. This will give people hope and cause many to come out of their dark valleys into the light of God. These two keys will lead us into a triumphant victory over this darkness! Stand tall. We are The Overcomers!

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