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Through the Valley
By Joel Osteen - Mar 15, 2024

There are so many opportunities to live anxious and afraid. News reports of accidents, violent crimes, wars, viruses, and inflation shake us to the core and strike fear and uncertainty. There are enemy forces that would love for us to shrink back and change—from peaceful to panic, from trusting to troubled, from knowing that God is on the throne to fearing what lies ahead.

David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4). We all will face some dark valleys, some shadowy days when someone does us wrong and walks away, or a medical report is not good, or a child goes off course. But when fear knocks, you have to answer with faith as David did. He dared to declare, “When darkness comes, I will not give in to a spirit of fear and let it change who I am. I’m walking through this valley and not stopping here.” He refused to get stuck in anxiety and stress, letting negative images play in his mind, rehearsing disappointments, hurts, and heartaches. Those images may come, but you can’t let them keep playing. You have to switch over into faith.

In life, there are defining moments when what happens tries to push you from living in peace to living in fear, from enjoying your life to worrying through life. When these moments come, you could shrink back in fear, but, no, this is the time to step up and declare, “I will not fear, for my God is stronger and greater. God being for me is more than the world being against me.” This is the time to rise up and hold fast to what the enemy tries to steal, to stir up your faith and move forward, to renew your dedication to serve God and be the person He created you to be.

The reason David could declare “I will fear no evil” is that he first knew “the Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). It wasn’t because David was so strong and courageous that he never felt fear. It was because he knew he had the Good Shepherd, the Most High God, watching after him. When you’re tempted to be anxious and afraid, you need to remind yourself, “The Lord is my shepherd. He guards my way, protects me from evil, and will take me through safely.”

David ended Psalm 23 by saying, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” He tells us to remember that after every dark valley, a “surely” is coming—surely healing is coming, surely greater is coming, surely new levels are coming. God is saying, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and uphold you with My victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). No matter what you face, your best days are still in front of you. Keep moving forward in Jesus’ Name.

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