Yes, 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 23:4
Life is like going on a long journey to an unknown place. The only person who knows when your life’s journey will end is the Lord. On life’s road, there are difficult terrains like valleys, and mountains and there are also smooth terrains.
Darkness will come during this journey and also light. There will be moments during which our vessels break down and there will seem like no help is coming to us. There will be times when we will feel lonely in this journey and probably wish we hadn’t started it in the first place.
David imagines the worst possible place he can find himself and says that he will fear no evil even if that scenario should come to pass. Once you begin the journey of life, make sure that the Lord is your driving mate.
David knew that the Lord was always watching over him and therefore it didn’t matter what was going on in his life at any moment in time. David said the Lord was his shepherd and as long as he knew that, nothing was ever going to scare or discourage him.
David was a king who had everything he wanted at his beck and call. Yet he knew that there’d be times when he would go through hard times as the king of Israel. This means that as a Christian, there will be hard times in your life as well.
However, it is what you focus and meditate on during these hard times that will determine whether you fall during these times or not. David chose to meditate on the Lord’s goodness and grace in these times and it bode well for him.
Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.Isaiah 41:10
Fear is constantly mentioned in both verses. The reason why we are faced with hard times sometimes is that it is only during these times that we know what our true strengths are. These strengths can only be undermined by fear. This is why David insists that he will not fear.
This is because when your heart is overcome by fear, your body and actions will follow suit. You must therefore guard your heart against fear and remain strong knowing that the Lord is always with you and no trouble or danger can ever harm you if you remain in him.
The devil will sometimes put you through hardships just to put fear in your heart and cause you to lose faith in God. During these times you must stand firm and remain courageous as David did. Remember that you are a soldier for Christ and must wear your Armor of God always if you are to stand firm in him (Ephesians 6:11-13).
Soldiers fight as if they do not know that there is death and sorrow all around them. They put their faith in their armor and their weapons but those things fail them. Put on the full armor of God and you will never fear in battle.
No matter how bleak or grim your situation gets, you must remember that the Lord is watching over you always and will protect and keep you no matter what. There are certain promises and assurances we must meditate and focus on whenever we are faced in hard times.
6 Reminders for hard days
1. God is your shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1
When hard times arrive, remember who your Lord is. The powerful part of David’s verse is ‘The Lord. As soon as he mentions that the all-knowing, all-powerful God who made the entire universe is his shepherd, he knows instantly that all is well with him. He really needn’t say more after this because any other thing he says is already implied.
Who is your shepherd? Who watches over you and makes sure you are not destroyed by the evils of this world? Who makes sure that you are fed and protected through the darkness and night? If you are the Lord’s sheep then you need not be fearful of hard times.
Say these words to yourself repeatedly and constantly whenever you face difficult times. Know that your script’s end has already been decided and it is one of victory simply because the God of David and Abraham is the one who watches over you every day. Simply call out to him and he will be there to rescue you.
2. Hard times test your strength
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:3-4
Times you see as hard are testing times. Testing times cause you to be stronger and tougher for the future so that you are prepared for anything your journey will throw at you.
Difficult times teach you more about yourself than whatever is testing you. It makes you discover how you react to these testing times and gives you inner strength and reassurance to be able to stand firm during future difficulties.
If you hold on to your faith in the most difficult of circumstances, you will stand firm in the future too no matter what happens. Every difficult challenge you overcome makes you that little bit stronger.
3. Don’t give in to fear
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27.
Jesus’s parting gift to you was a peaceful heart without trouble or fear. He knew that your heart was the center of every good and bad thing in your life. Your heart keeps all the treasures of your life whether good or bad.
The things you allow to dominate your heart will determine your path in life. This is why when you face bad times you must make sure you are not left with a troubled or fearful heart.
Fear in your heart will corrupt your mind and put weakness in your body. Things that didn’t use to trouble you will begin to weaken you. This is why you must diligently guard your heart against fear no matter what happens to you.
You must keep a courageous and fighting spirit no matter how strong the winds are blowing. Keep your eyes on your maker and do not let anything distract you from his goodness and his strength.
4. Faith means hope
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:18
When hard days come, let your joy be fixed on what is permanent and not what is temporary. Your faith in God is the only permanent hope you have in your heart so let that be your beacon of light in any darkness.
That flame will never burn out and will give you direction in any hole you find yourself in. When friends and family abandon you, the Lord will always be with you. As long as you have life, keep hope and faith alive in the Lord.
The problems you can see are all temporary, the glory of the Lord is everlasting so lean on his teaching and stay strong so you are not overcome by whatever setback you may be facing at the moment.
5. He will not fail you
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.Psalm 46:1-3.
Know that God will never fail you. Know that he will forever be your pillar in times of trouble. No matter what trouble you are in, always carry this assurance in your heart that God has never and will not fail you. Know that He is always around you and will always be willing to assist you when you call upon him.
When hard times come, know that you have a God who will be by your side all the time. Many people forget this and start seeking refuge in places they should not. They are sometimes pressured to other alternatives because they do not hold on firmly to their faith or because they are fearful of what may happen to them if they don’t take matters into their own hands.
God is your God in all things and at all times so he expects you to look up to him and only him.
6. God is your lifeboat
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rockPsalm 27:5
Again meditate on God’s promises in times of trouble. He is not a God that will disappear in times of trouble but he will rather hide and protect you from evil when hard times arrive. You must cling to him for dear life as if nothing else matters.
When the waves of life try to blow you away, God is your lifeboat. Do not be discouraged or downtrodden no matter what. Keep your eyes fixed on him and let your faith be in him and him alone.
It is during troubling times that the devil tries to steal you away from the Lord. Evildoers will try to persuade you to abandon your trust in God and put your heart into things you can see. The battle is always the Lord’s and once you know that in your heart, trouble times will never get you down.