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.
This is a classic Bible verse from the 23rd Psalm that recreates the image as God as the good shepherd and us as the sheep. This verse is a good reminder that despite any and all horrible things we may go through in life, God is there with us to comfort us and guide us. There is no need to fear. It is one of those things that is great to hear. Sometimes it seems like we are alone going through horrible occasions, but that is not the case.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I know this is quite a chunk, but I have loved this passage, especially the last two sentences, for a long time. I even used it at my confirmation many years ago, however, I feel like it is often overlooked. I feel like that in life nowadays we are often so worried and stressed about everything, from what is going on tomorrow to what is going on three weeks, three months, or three years from now. We micromanage our lives so much. Sometimes it is better to be able to ease up and realize how much we actually do have and it is not that hard to make it through each day.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I went to a parochial elementary school and this was our school’s theme verse. It was repeated a lot and, honestly, it was a nice thing to hear repeated over and over again. It was used from little things, to be hyped up before sports games or musical performances to the times when certain members of our community were going through hard times. It is an inspirational phrase that serves well to be repeated and remembered. It is also a beautiful image. Not only will we be able to get along, but we will be strong, we will not grow weary, we will fly.
1 John 4: 9-10
We love Him because He first loved us.
Short and to the point, but still powerful. Sometimes we get disenfranchised with our faith, feel like we are bartering to get into heaven or whatever, but that is not what it is supposed it be about. We should not love God out of fear or to try and gain anything for ourselves. We love him because he first loved us, which is a very parental thing, reinforcing the concept of God the Father. The first people who loved us were our parents before we understand even what love is or how to love. It is something given to us not on conditions that it will be returned, rather we love back because it was given in such a conditionless manner.
1 Peter 3:14
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened.”
As much as we like to be reassured that everything will be alright and our plans will succeed and life will not only be easy, but great, that is not always the case. There is a lot of suffering in the world and in our lives and sometimes we suffer due to us trying to do the right thing. Sometimes it is not appreciated, sometimes you get conned, sometimes you get hurt, sometimes it doesn’t help, but at least you tried and you are blessed for even trying.