In the Valley of the Shadow, Look to the Light
By Rick Warren
“Even 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 ESV).
Loss is a common source of stress. You can lose your job, your health, your money, your reputation, or a loved one.
When people go through loss, you see two common reactions: One is fear, and the other is grief. Grief is good. Grief is the way we get through the transitions of life. In fact, if you don’t grieve, you get stuck! Grief will not kill you if you let it out.
On the other hand, fear is a bad thing. Not once does the Bible say, “Grieve not,” “Mourn not,” “Weep not,” or “Cry not.” What it does say is, “Fear not.” And it says that 365 times! Grief doesn’t paralyze, but fear does.
David says in Psalm 23:4, “Even 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” (ESV).
Shepherds always carried a rod and a staff to protect their sheep. David knew that in the same way, God has the tools to protect him, and he trusted God, even in the darkest valleys.
You might be going through the valley of the shadow right now—maybe the valley of the shadow of death. It may be the valley of the shadow of debt. It may be the valley of the shadow of conflict. It may be the valley of the shadow of depression. It may be the valley of the shadow of discouragement.
Shadows are scary. Remember being afraid of shadows when you were lying in bed as a kid? I’ve learned a few things about shadows.
First, shadows can’t hurt you.
Second, shadows are always bigger than the source.
And here’s more good news: Wherever there’s a shadow, there has to be a light. You can’t have a shadow without light. So the key when you’re going through the valley of the shadow is to turn your back on the shadow and look at the light. Because as long as you keep your eyes on the light—Jesus, the light of the world—the shadow won’t scare you.
That’s how you go through the valley of the shadow of death. That’s how you lower your stress. You trust God in the dark valleys, just like David, who prayed, “When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do” (Psalm 142:3 GNT).
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Experience a real transformation from the inside out!
Is there a positive change you want to see in your life in 2019? If so, we want to send you a study kit Pastor Rick Warren has put together called Transformed to help make it happen!
Pastor Rick teaches seven biblically based lessons in Transformed that will help you experience a real transformation from the inside out this year, as you learn from the Bible how to . . .
• Walk more closely with God
• Experience less stress in your life
• Reconcile a ruined relationship
• Handle your money better
• Become more confident at work
The Transformed study kit includes a 7-session DVD and a leather-bound workbook. And it’s our gift to thank you for your financial support of Daily Hope, so please request it when you give below.
Thank you for your generosity to help more people learn, love, and live God’s Word!
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.