Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Jennifer Rothschild’s new study, Psalm 23. Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/Psalm 23. You can also pick up a copy at your local LifeWay Store. We’ve also included some fun, free downloads at the end of this post to celebrate this new study!
I will fear no evil—easy to say, easy to type, easy to read, and easy to wear on your T-shirt. But when your valley lasts long and the darkness closes in—bam! Your fear gets real. At least this girl over here can get fearful in the valley. Sometimes I can feel fear just anticipating and dreading the valley that may or may not be in my future. It’s taken me a while to admit and understand that about myself.
You’ve got your stuff too. You have a valley, or several, that whisper what-if to you. Fear is a natural reaction to our valleys. But, sister, faith is a supernatural response. We’ll get to that response by the time we’re done today, but first we’ve got to get honest about fear. Some of us think we aren’t fearful. However, fear shows up in ways we don’t realize. Being overly controlling is fear in disguise. Anger is often fear in disguise. Isolating yourself is fear in disguise. Anxiety and worry are fear in disguise. (Well, those things aren’t really good disguises!)
Now, let’s get one thing straight right here, right now. Just because you feel fear doesn’t mean you can’t have faith at the same time. Fear and faith can share the same heartbeat.
Find Mark 9:21-24.
So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21-24, NKJV
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
Sister, I get it. I know that even when we have faith, it’s so easy to feel fear when the shadows of uncertainty get thick.
But even though fear and faith can share the same heartbeat, they don’t share the same perspective. That’s why we need the faith perspective when it comes to our valleys. Fear focuses on the shadows. Faith focuses on the Shepherd.
Fear sees only the dark of the valley. Faith sees the light of the Shepherd. So how do we get the faith perspective? How do we see our valleys, our very lives, through the eyes of faith?
When I went to Scripture with this question, I found these two ways to get the faith perspective. Let’s look at them together.
How does Romans 10:17 say we get the faith perspective?
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17, NKJV
We hear His Word. We read His Word. God’s Word produces faith. Our opinions and speculations will not produce faith. Instead they can easily produce fear. So girl, if we want to have the faith perspective, we’ve got to stay in His Word. Does it seem that no matter what we study, it leads back to this truth? There is just no substitute for God’s Word!
How does Luke 17:5 suggest we get the faith perspective?
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
Luke 17:5, NKJV
The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith and so can we. Want more faith? Ask Him for it. Faith is a gift that God gives us. When we ask Him for more, He gives us what we need.
Sister, even the darkest valleys aren’t so dark when God is with us. He is light (1 John 1:5), and His Word is a light to our paths (Ps. 119:105). So ask Him for faith, and stay in His Word. Your faith will grow, and you will see light even when your valley is dark.
If your walk through the valley feels a little wobbly, ask God for faith. Tell Him you believe, and ask Him to help your unbelief. Ask Him to help you recognize your fear and increase your faith. He loves you, my sister. You are His precious lamb, and He wants you to feel His comfort and presence in your valley.
Here’s the last thing I want to remind you of today: valley times don’t last but valiant women do!
Yep. Take that, fear! We may feel fear from time to time, but we are the women of God who are strong and courageous in our Lord!
Want to learn more about this new study? Watch the short video below or view a free sample and teaching video clips at LifeWay.com/Psalm23.
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