How could David decide and declare in his darkest days that he would fear no evil? Surely his valleys were just as deep or even much deeper than our own. Surely the valley of the shadow of death that he referred to was a terrifying place. Surely David “felt” afraid when he fought the giant; when his life was so repeatedly threatened by those much stronger than he; when he sinned so grievously; when his darling child died. Surely David has much to be fearful and worried over. Yet, David says, “I will fear no evil.“
Feeling fear is not wrong. Letting fear dictate our actions, reactions, and lack of action is what is wrong. The difference is where David felt afraid, he simultaneously turned his eyes to God, trusted in Him fully, and submitted his own will to faith rather than giving in to his feelings. In the midst of great fear, discouragement, suffering, and even personal failure, David refused to be led by anything other than the goodness of his great and all-powerful God.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
I will not.
I shall not.
I must not.
I need not.
I ought not.
I should not.
I have not.
These, too, are often just what I do.
Still, God does something different. He leads me somewhere different.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness…
He cares for me in every way I could possibly need or imagine. His leading brings me to a place far too few ever find – peace. When I am faithful to follow his lead, I find myself in abundance, stillness, restoration, and righteousness. When I choose to put away want and look to Him, I find His peace; the peace that passes all understanding; the peace David was speaking of.
Nothing can take that kind of peace. I fear nothing when I know that I know that He is with me, fighting for me. I am comforted in Him despite any and all evil that might surround. Fear is swallowed up by courage and confidence and it is all done for his name’s sake. It is not just for me, it is for him, too. Therefore, I am all the more sure He will bring it to perfect completion.
I know my future. He awaits me in glory. Therefore, I know my that neither my past nor the present can cause any want or fear to overcome me. I know that goodness and mercy are what He intends for each and every day of my life, regardless of what valleys it may bring before me.
Therefore, I shall not want.
Therefore, I will not fear.
Therefore, I am safe.
I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
“Put fear behind you out of sight and mind, rebuke it as you do other sins – it is one of the worst of them. ‘The enemy’ may be a human foe, a bad habit, a false belief, or any peace destroyer.” ~Nora Holm, “The Runner’s Bible”