“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” Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Some of us have been in that place where we felt like God was far away in a difficult season of life and started to question our convictions about God’s love. At that time, you might think the struggles you are facing are from God and this will cause you to move away from Him, believing that God is angry with you or that He is punishing you.
Difficult times are not a sign that you have strayed or that God is angry with you. In Psalms 23, a chapter we all know and recite, the Psalmist writes about his experience with God in various seasons. In verses 1-3, he talks about the Lord as his shepherd, causing him to lie down in green pastures and we usually relate very well to the rosy experiences. It is not hard to see God in the good times.
However, David goes on in Psalm 23: 4 to say that God is with him even when he is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. The valley of the shadow of death represents dark seasons, seasons of hardship, suffering, loss, and pain but we see David maintaining his conviction that God is with Him.
Having difficult seasons is not strange, but we have a strong comfort and assurance that God is right there with us (Isaiah 43:2). This is why we don’t entertain fear, just like David said, “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…” (Psalm 23:4). This ought to give you all the confidence in the world because it means God is right there with you even in the midst of trouble. He is with you always! (Matthew 28:20).
Like our anchor text states, even when it is dark and everything around you seems to conflict with what you believe, God’s word to you is that you trust and rely on Him (Isaiah 50:10). How then do you stand firm in this conviction when your feelings don’t seem to align?
You must get full of the word of God. Meditate on it till it becomes all you see. Honour the word and what it says above your current feelings. We must also learn to confess and speak loudly about what God has said. If God said it, then that settles it, regardless of how you feel (Psalm 119:89).
When you wake up and God seems far away, or you feel overwhelmed by your situation, get up and speak God’s word over yourself. Say it loud and clear until your feelings and experiences catch up with the reality of God’s word.
So in the midst of dark seasons, remember that God is not far. He is with you!
Bible Reading Plan: Amos 1-5