Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4
I will fear no evil. Why? Because thou art with me. Despite all that David had seen in his journey through the valley, he was still able to stand firm and say, "I ain't skeered!" With people out to kill him, loved ones turning their backs on him and family thinking him unworthy, he still declared, "I have all that I need because You're with me, God." Would that we could learn to do the same! When there's more month than money. When the job is not all you thought it would be. When the doctor delivers the bad news. When the spouse walks away. When the frustrations pile to Everest proportions. When we walk through the valleys of life, can we honestly say that we have no fear? Do we have that much faith? We're commanded to.
I've heard it said that on 365 different occasions in the Bible, God commanded us to not fear. I don't know if that number is accurate. I haven't counted them. But I can tell you this--it's in there a lot. Do not fear. Fear not. Be anxious for nothing. Fret not thyself. Different words and phrases, but all carry the same meaning. Interestingly enough, if you'll read the verses in their entirety, you'll see that many of them command us to not fear and then give us a reason for such security. Take a look:
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. - Isaiah 41:10
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. - Deuteronomy 31:6
When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. - Deuteronomy 20:1
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. - Joshua 1:9
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. - Jeremiah 1:8
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. - Matthew 14:27
Did you notice the trend? Fear not, for I am with you. Don't be afraid; I'm right here. Fret not because I'm by your side. God knew it wouldn't do for Him to simply say, "Don't be afraid!" Huh? How? Why? There's seems to be a lot in this life to fear, right? So why shouldn't we be afraid?
Because God is with us.
He travels with us up the mountains and through the valleys. He's with us when we go about our mundane chores and when we face the greater obstacles in life. He's with us when we're happy and when we're sad.
Not only do we have His promise that He's by our side, but we also have the promise that He'll stay there. He'll never leave us. He'll never forsake us. He's there to share our load. He's there to offer strength. He's there to pick us up when we fall. No matter where life may lead, we can rest assured that we'll never walk alone.
So what do we have to worry about? What do we have to fear? God is in control, and He's on our side. What else matters?
When Satan comes to you today and tries to distract you with worries and fears, stop him in his tracks and tell him this: The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalm 118:6)
The valleys are inevitable. We understand that. But how we walk through the valleys is up to us. We can choose to walk in fear or in faith. And let me tell you, our choice will greatly impact the nature of our journey. It won't, however, hinder God from being by our side. It's simply a matter of whether we'll acknowledge that fact and trust in His goodness and mercy to bring us safely through.
God is on your side. Are you on His? If so, prove it by placing your trust in Him. Walk on through the valley, and don't turn back, no matter what!