Scripture Reading: Psalms 23:4
The faith of a Christian is tested in the face of adversities and difficulties. Sufferings and difficulties are meant to purify the Christian and give him the needed spiritual stamina to forge ahead in the race towards heaven. As fire purifies gold and makes it beautiful and costly so does difficulty get the Christian best fitted for heaven.
A valley is known not to be a smooth terrain; it is a depression that is longer than it is wide. The topography of a valley makes movement very difficult in it. This is the geographical understanding of valley in the physical world. In the spiritual parlance, the valley could represent the high and low movement and turn of events in the life of the Christian. Sometimes it becomes very smooth and easy that we relish every moment of it, at other times, it becomes so rough that we begin to wonder the essence of existence. David calls this the “valley of the shadow of death.” (Ps. 23:4) This typifies a risky and dangerous path. In the words of David, one will begin to understand how dangerous it is to journey through this path.
The valley could be likened to the moments of trials and difficulties in the life of a Christian. It is not always a smooth sail for any living soul, because there are bound to be difficult and challenging moments of life. These are moments things seem not to be the way they should be; moments our faith is tested in the face of difficulty. Apart from the difficult situations, the valley could be symbolic of the temptations that come to us in life. These are temptations from our environment, temptations from our conditions, temptations from our fellow human beings and even temptations from our own self. In the face of these life challenges and temptations, the faith of the Christian is tested, if not threatened.
Walking through the valley is a sign of braveness and courage. It is a decision to forge ahead despite the situations that I am presented with, situations that seem to discourage me from moving ahead. A walk through the valley is a leap and an expression of faith. It is an option to go back when someone encounters a valley situation. It is also an option for another person to decide to get drawn and be buried in the valley. To muster the courage to forge ahead and to make a walk through the valley to one’s destination, therefore, is praise worthy and a sign of faith. This should be the ideal course of action for the
Christian. It is not expected that the Christian should not give up in the face of difficulties, but should take a bold walk through the situations that present themselves as valley in life.
To decide to walk through the valley is to decide to trust in God as a Christian. It is the evidence that one is convinced of the ever-abiding presence of God. It is a resolute faith that God can supply all needs. (Phil. 4:19) Jesus is our shepherd and He will not spare anything in seeing to our wellbeing, even His own life because He is the good shepherd. (John 10:11) A walk through the valley of the shadow of death is evidence that the Christian trusts in the power of God and not in his own personal strength. David pointed out, “Your rod and Your staff comfort me.” This means that we as the sheep of God are not making our journey through the valley on our own strength. Our confidence is in the “rod and staff” of God. The power of God is the power of the Christian. (Phil. 4:13) Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God will never cease in His work of “guarding” and “guiding” us to eternal life for He is our shepherd.”
Ezek 47: 1-2.8-9.12; Ps 46:2- 3. 5-6.8-9; (R.5); Accl 2 Chron 7:16; Jn 2: 13-22.
- Father in heaven, I thank You for another great opportunity to become better as Your child.
- Be magnified even in the most difficult moments of my life especially when I seem to be overwhelmed by my conditions, to the extent that I lose sight of You.
- As I take a walk through the valley of the shadow of death, help me not to rely on my own strength but to look unto You as the Good and eternal shepherd who guides me with His rod and staff.
- Grant me the grace to follow You diligently no matter how difficult it becomes.
- Give me the courage and strength to lead others to You. AMEN!!!
- Pray for DSD users facing very serious life challenges that God may guide and save them.
Exercise: Try to develop a healthy and cheerful attitude in difficult times.
Memory Verse: 2 Samuel 22:19