the valley of the shadow of death…

Covid’s delta variant is rampant and claiming lives. Lockdowns, mask-mandates, and vaccinations strike passionate chords in cultural debate. When will it end?

The Taliban has taken over Afghanistan and amidst the panic to escape the country there are reports of executions of civilians. America’s allies all over Afghanistan are in grave danger.

Anxiety and depression and suicidal thoughts debilitate our youth. Where is hope to be found?

We are truly walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NASB)

Who is with us?

The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need. He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For the sake of His name.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)

The all-powerful God of the universe! He shepherds us in love. Meeting our needs, restoring out souls, giving us rest. And nothing can separate us from the love of God—

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NASB)

Jesus said he was the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). He sacrificed his life to give us life. He conquered death and its power over us. God raised Jesus from the dead and he will raise us—

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40 (NASB)

With this hope, we can confidently say with the psalmist: (Psalm 23)

The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For the sake of His name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life,
And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life…”

Jesus is our hope.

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