BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
The world revolves around seasons, four seasons to be exact. Winter, spring, summer and fall are all different, but yet all have a purpose. In life, we live in and out of seasons, favorable and unfavorable. We have all experienced seasons in life where we feel as if things aren’t going the way we want them to be. It’s during unfavorable seasons where discouragement and doubt can come to the surface. You may be in one of those seasons right now, struggling to be happy, peaceful and full of joy where you are currently. It is in unfavorable seasons where you may become frustrated, upset or even mad at the world or at God for that matter. God has never intended for you to live in one type of season. Different seasons help build us in different areas of our lives.
When you find yourself going through a dark, cold and lonely season, it’s not the time to get angry, upset or stray away from God. This is the time to get closer to God. In many instances, when we are going through the darkest part of our lives, the scripture reminds us not to be afraid—the reason being that God has promised to never leave or forsake us.
What God wants us to know through the testimony of David who wrote this scripture is that you should never fear during the darkest time of your journey because He is there with you during your most difficult time. Scripture also reminds us that even when you can’t see a way, He will make a way. Even when things don’t turn out the way you expect, God has the ability to turn everything in your favor.
The key to walking through the darkest valley to victory is to have the brightest light with you. The light I’m speaking of is not in the form of a fluorescent or energy saving bulb, but rather in the form of your faith that will declare that no weapon formed against you will prosper—the importance to declare that you will rise and not fall. You will be victorious and not fail. It’s not just the words coming out of your mouth, but the belief behind them. When you truly believe that God walks with you when things do not work out the way you planned, you are telling God that your heart belongs to Him. God is not concerned with lip service and the words that are released from your tongue. He is concerned with the heart that backs up the words from your mouth.
Faith without works is dead. And when we are fearless in the night, it is because our faith depends on God to get us through it. Your faith is to be just like David who had assurance that His Shepherd would lead him out of his dark valley. God never promised to take him over the valley, around the valley or to avoid the valley, but He promised to go with him through the valley. David never succumbed to fear during his most difficult time because he was assured that God—who is the shepherd—would protect and comfort him with his rod and staff.
Historically, the rod of a shepherd was used as a weapon of defense or offense against enemies. Even today, in many parts of the world, shepherds still carry rods to protect and care for their sheep. But the staff has a significantly different meaning. The staff is symbolic of God’s authority, working through his leaders to keep his followers safe.
Regardless how dark your valley may be at the moment, know that He is your shepherd that uses His rod to fight on your behalf. The possession of His staff is in the form of His power and favor on your life.
Therefore, keep moving forward and walk through your darkest season to a brighter and more promising future. You are destined for greatness, but there will be some unwanted seasons you will encounter that will not work against your future, but as a prerequisite to where God is leading you because your future is brighter than you can ever think or imagine.
May God bless you.
177-06 129th Ave, Jamaica NY 11434
Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org