A Faith that works when life doesn't. (Day 3)

 The Truth About Shadows 

One of the common sources of stress is a loss. You can lose your job, your health, your money, your reputation, or a loved one. During the coronavirus pandemic, stress has been amplified.

When people go through loss, there are 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.

Fear, on the other hand, can be a bad thing. Not once in the Bible does it say, “Grieve not,” “Sorrow not,” “Weep not,” or “Cry not.” What it does say is “Fear not.” And it says that 365 times! Because grief doesn’t paralyze us, but fear does.

In Psalm 23:4, David says, “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).  

David knew shepherds always carried a rod and a staff to protect their sheep. And he knew God had the power to protect him. So David trusted God, even in the darkest valleys.

We, too, can choose to trust God—even in the shadows, where it doesn’t make sense and can seem like it’s a long way out of the valley.

But here’s the good news to remember about big, scary shadows. You can’t have a shadow without light. If you see a shadow, that means there is a light shining nearby.

So, when you’re going through the valley of the shadow, the key 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.

Just like David, trust God in the dark valleys, and pray, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn”(Psalm 142:3 NLT).

Talk It Over

  • What are the shadows you’ve been facing? Why are they so daunting to you?
  • How can memorizing Scripture help you face the fears in your life?
  • Why do you think fear stresses people out?

This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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