The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my scup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Walking Through a Valley of Shadows
What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of looking foolish in front of others? Are you afraid of something happening to you or your family? Are you afraid of not getting a job, or losing a job, or economic hardship? Fear plagues us all, and in Psalm 23 we find great comfort.
You’ve Got Plenty of Good Reasons to Worry
David Powlison, in his book Seeing With New Eyes points out that there are plenty of things in our lives that might cause us to worry, the chief of them being death. “Worry rages about your health, your money, your relationships, and your achievements. Any of those things can hijack the controls of your mind. The fact is, you can’t control any of them. There is every reason in the world to worry about them. When all is said and done, why do you worry? You worry because of you, not because of things.”
You’ve Got Better Reasons Not To Worry!
Look at Psalm 23:4. Even if I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, God is with me. I love this verse. First, he says that he walks through the valley of death. This indicates that there is something on the other side of death that God walks us toward. Secondly, he doesn’t say that he walks us around the valley of the shadow of death. While there may be those who say that Christians should be healthy, wealthy and prosperous, suffering is a normal part of Christianity. The rod and staff are two parts of the shepherd’s equipment that kept predators at bay and the sheep in line. Our lives are safe in the hands of the shepherd, thus our response is one of confidence, or a lack of fear.
Remember: if Jesus is my shepherd, I have every reason in the world to be confident in the care that he will exercise on my behalf as his sheep.
If worry and anxiety are sins that you struggle with, please read this great article by David Powlison and begin applying these great principles to your life!