Even Though

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… (Psalm 23:4, NIV)

The dark valleys of life are unavoidable: heartbreak, illness, loss, sin, disease, injustice, and death, to name a few. They are simply part of the human experience on planet earth, a consequence of the sinful choices that separated us from God and the perfect environment He intended for us. We cannot anticipate exactly which valleys we will walk through or when, but they are inevitable.

The good news is we do not have to live each day in fear or dread of what could happen, or even what is happening. Far more life is available to us every day, whether we are on the highest mountaintop or the lowest valley. Our circumstances are not the key to far more life, rather it is determined by the condition of our heart and mind. Jesus’ words to His first disciples inspire me:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33, AMPC)

I appreciate how the Amplified spells it out for us: you will have tribulation AND trials AND distress AND frustration but be of good cheer, take courage, be confident, be certain, be undaunted. Why? Because Jesus has won the war against the evil of this earth for us. Yes, we still have to go fight the battles, but knowing we are on the winning side changes our perspective. That enables us to fight with hope, confidence, and renewed strength.

Psalm 23:4 starts with two important words: even though. They do not deny or minimize the bad situation. But neither do they let it define them. Even though offers hope: this is not the end of the story. Even though offers perspective: there is something to remember we may not see at the moment. Even though helps us find far more life — even in the darkest valley — by pointing us toward the solution: God is with His children.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Joshua 31:8, NIV)

What a promise! Wherever we go, whatever we face, God is with us. Our relationship with Him is not hidden by dark valleys. Our connection to Him is never dropped or cut off. This is the source of our courage, confidence, certainty, and undaunted heart and mind! God’s presence gives us far more life!

As a result of God’s constant companionship and presence, we have no reason to fear. We fear what we do not understand, but God understands everything (Job 12:13). We fear what we cannot control or change, but God has control over everything (Psalm 97). We fear danger, but God is a safe refuge (Psalm 36:7). God’s perfect love for us drives out our fear (I John 4:18).

My teenage daughter has a collage of hand-lettered Bible verses and inspirational quotes on her bedroom wall. She mailed this one to a family friend who had to move into a care center because of a degenerative disease attacking her body:

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… (Psalm 23:4, NIV)

Our friend entered the facility on the day coronavirus-prevention restrictions were put into place. Her adjustment to life at the center has been a dark valley. But this verse has encouraged her and reminded her that, despite physical distancing, she is not alone. Earlier this week, she asked us to pray for her roommate who had a headache and cough. A few hours ago, our friend shared that her roommate has a fever, she is feeling unwell herself, and they are both in isolation. But she can still see this verse on her wall, and it helps her trust God despite her fear. We personalized it to describe the evil she faces: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no virus, for You are with me.”

We can be in a variety of dark valleys. Perhaps your personalization would name one of these evils:
I will fear no persecution, for You are with me.
I will fear no discrimination, for You are with me.
I will fear no injustice, for You are with me
I will fear no abuse, for You are with me.
I will fear no sin committed against me, for You are with me.
I will fear no loss, for You are with me.

Even though we must walk through the dark valleys, they cannot rob us of far more life! Identify your fears. Give them to God, who is with you on the journey. Then walk forward in the peace and confidence of His presence, love, protection, strength, understanding, and promises. You will find far more life, even though…

Sisters,
What dark valley are you in? Or have you been in?
How does knowing Jesus has won the war for you change your mindset during the battles you face?
What do you fear? What characteristic of God can drive out that fear?
How would you fill in the blank: “I will fear no ______, for You are with me”?
Thank God for the security of far more life, even though…
-Shari

Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso


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Shari Damaso

In John 10:10 Jesus says, "I came to bring them life, and far more life than before." I want to inspire women to find far more life by pursuing their passion for God and becoming the unique person he created them to be. I live a simple life, in Iowa, filled with people I love and pursuits I enjoy. I have been growing in consistently experiencing far more life over the past 30 years. My passion is helping women connect with Jesus and live their best life, too.

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