"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." - Psalm 23:4
In the Upper Room Jesus charged the disciples: "Don't be troubled; don't be afraid!" He knew what was ahead; they didn't. But instead of struggling with panic, Jesus was calm, fully in control. When you are stronger than the circumstances which confront you, you, too, can have that peace. Jesus finished his challenge to the disciples, saying, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Do you believe that? When you are convinced that God is still in control of our world, you can have peace and know no fear no matter what happens. George Bernard Shaw once quipped that if there is life on other planets, they must be using earth for their insane asylum. The news today would only seem to confirm that. There is no logic in the thinking that drives terrorists or pushes nations to the brink of war where there is no winner.
The overview of history, however, including the accurate descriptions of the rise and fall of nations recorded in the Bible, still confirms the reality that there is an unseen hand that writes the destinies of nations as well as the sagas of those who briefly come to center stage as world leaders and quickly pass from the scene.
A German poet, Freiher von Logau, who died in 1655, is credited with having written, "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding fine. Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all."
Jesus knew exactly how things would play out, which is why He said, "Don't be troubled; don't be afraid!"
The old story goes that a little girl was a passenger aboard a ship which was captained by her father, and as the ship crossed the Atlantic, it was caught in a winter storm. Gales lashed the vessel that tossed and rolled with the angry waves. The captain, concerned for the safety of his passengers, asked the steward to have every passenger put on his or her lifejacket and prepare to evacuate.
Gently, the steward knocked on the door of the cabin occupied by the little girl and told her that orders had been given to put on the life jackets. The little girl who had been sleeping soundly, rubbed her eyes, and asked, "Is Father at the helm of the ship?" And when she was told that he was, quickly added, "If Father is at the helm, everything is going to be fine."
God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is not indifferent to our world, not to your personal needs. His hand is not too short or too weak to reach you at the point of your need. And that's why you need fear no evil as you walk into the future.
Do you recall the words of the boy shepherd turned king of Israel who wrote those marvelous words found in Psalm 23? "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" (v. 4). Can you say personally, "I, too, will fear no evil, for I know that You are with me"?
Safety is not the absence of danger but the presence of the Lord. The dangers are all around us, yet so is His presence when we belong to Him. There's good news, friend. You can face today and tomorrow with confidence, because He still says, "Don't be troubled; don't be afraid."
Resource reading: Psalm 91.