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Fear No Evil

by J. M. Farro on August 15th, 2021

   “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”  Psalm 23:4 NIV

   As I go about my daily business in the midst of this unrelenting global pandemic, it saddens me to be surrounded by fearful people everywhere I go.  Lately, some profound words of Shakespeare have been constantly in my thoughts: “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”  What does this saying mean on a practical level?  It means that people who constantly fear death feel the stress associated with it many times before actually dying.  Think about the kind of stress that fear puts on the human mind, heart, and body.  It’s the kind of stress that fosters anxiety, depression, and all kinds of bodily ailments – including headaches, stomach ailments, inflammation, and pain.  Now think of how all of this is suppressing a body’s immune system at a time when immunity is crucial to fight off pathogens of all kinds.  It makes me even more determined to resist being afraid.

   David the shepherd-king wrote, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4 NIV)  How could David say, “I will fear no evil” in dark times?  The key is found in his words, “for You are with me.”  David focused on the presence of God during times of danger and difficulty.  I love how the Living Bible translates his words in this verse: “Even when walking through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.”  Hallelujah!

   When Jesus and His disciples were caught in a sudden violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, and the Savior was sound asleep in their boat, they were so overwhelmed with fear that they roused the Master and exclaimed, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?”  After Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the waves, He proceeded to rebuke His disciples – “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith and confidence in Me?” (Mark 4:38, 40 AMP)  Jesus is contrasting fear with faith here, and He makes it clear that He equates fear with a lack of faith.  One of my study Bibles gives this explanation – “Faith here means trust in God’s helping power in crisis, a help that is both present and active in Jesus.”  If you are a follower of Christ, everywhere you go, you carry the overcoming presence and power of God with you, because the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  Jesus said, “Be sure of this – that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20 TLB)  And He meant it.  Today, you and I can say with confidence and conviction – “I will fear no evil, for You are with me!”

   Lord, forgive me for my fears, and for my lack of faith in You and Your helping power in times of crisis.  On the basis of Your Word, help me to stop allowing myself to be agitated and disturbed, and to not permit myself to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled. (John 14:27 AMP)  Thank You for making me an overcomer in every situation and circumstance!

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