Daily Devotional


Peace in the Shadow of Death

by Simon Whitton

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

There are difficult times in our lives where we are hard-pressed, miserable, anxious or fearful.  We may look for a way out of these dark circumstances, and we often struggle to steer the direction of our lives along a more pleasant path. This is a natural response, but it is the Lord who has led us to this place.

The Lord is not as concerned about our situation as He is about our relationship with Him.  He doesn't always offer us a way out of hard circumstances, but He does offer us Himself.  The Lord offers His love, His comfort and His peace in the midst of difficult trials.  But in order to receive these, He requires that we trust Him.

He has brought us to this difficult place, so we will put our trust in Him.  He wants us to trust Him while things appear desperate, to look to Him for protection, provision, guidance and deliverance, and to continue to trust Him even when it all goes wrong.  We must set our minds with determination to steadfastly trust Him, come what may.  It's this sort of trust that results in profound peace, an internal calmness despite the storm outside, and freedom from anxiety and fear.

When you have peace like this, it's like you need nothing else, you are content. There's no bad situation, no pressing or dark circumstance in which we can't have the peace of the Lord.  We will always have challenges ahead, and the final one which none of us can avoid is death, but you will be able to face even this with perfect peace.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet
waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 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.

Psalm 23:1-4 (NIV)

It is the Lord who led you into this valley, and even though it is the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you.  The green pastures and quiet waters He leads you to are found within this valley, they are your relationship with Him, not deliverance from your situation.  It is the presence of the Shepherd that causes you not to fear and who comforts you, not the fact that He has led you out of this dark place.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)

You are in the presence of your enemies at the invitation of the Lord, and He is with you.  He hasn't yet removed these enemies, but He serves you and ministers to you as you rest in His house, in His presence.

Spend some time praying, and pray that you will trust your Shepherd completely, wherever He may lead you, even in the most difficult situations. Pray that you will find peace from all anxiety and fear; and that you would find this peace in the Lord and not in your circumstances.  Ask Him to restore your soul as you rest in His presence.


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