The Shadow of Death

by Beth Fore

“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. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence
of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.  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 23:4-6 NIV)

The Shadow of Death

I see the shadow of death, Father,
and the time of departure is near.
I feel the minutes of life passing by
for this one whom I hold so dear.

My heart grieves and mourns
at the thought of my loved one’s passing.
I pray for comfort from this sorrow
that only Your Spirit can bring.

Help us to treasure each moment
and each precious memory we share.
Embrace us with Your loving arms
as we place our hearts in Your care.

Give us Your comfort and strength
as we place our trust and hope in You.
Give us peace that passes understanding
and a strong faith to see us through.

May Your Holy Spirit empower us
as death knocks at the door.
Let our faith glorify You in our grief,
an offering of praise to the One we adore.

May your angels carry our loved one home
to live in heaven with Thee.
Console us that we will be reunited
and forever share eternity.

written by Beth Fore

*Everyone will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but Christians do not have to be fearful or afraid.

“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 23:4 NIV)

A Christian sees death as the open doorway into heaven.  God promises his children that He will take them home to heaven to live with Him forever.

Everyone will walk with someone through the shadow of death and/or walk through the shadow of death themselves.  Most people are afraid of the unknown or the uncertainty of the afterlife; but Christians know that there is life after death, and they will be rewarded by God who has prepared a home with Him for eternity.

We grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one because we will miss their physical presence and they have been such an important part of our lives.  This is a normal, human response.  But our Christian response is to be happy for our family member, or friend, if he is a Christian, because we know he is going to live with God and no longer suffer or be in pain in a physical body. 

*God will give comfort and peace to Christians who are losing a loved one and to Christians who are dying.  The Holy Spirit of God, the Comforter, can provide a peace beyond human understanding for the people who believe in Him.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

We know that God will give us the peace, comfort, and strength to make it through any circumstance we may encounter in this life.  He promises this, and He will be our source of strength and peace when we call upon His name and claim this promise.

Non-Christians are often puzzled by the way Christians can seem so calm during the unexpected death of a loved one.  The Holy Spirit guides the Christian into all peace and reminds him that his loved one is still alive in spirit and that spirit is now in heaven with God.

*The Christian knows that God loves and provides for his children in this life — and in the life to come.

“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 23:6 NIV)

When Christians trust in God and give their concerns and fears to Him, God sets them free from worry and fear. They believe His promise to take care of them and provide for them and give them a home in heaven where they will live with Him forever.  Christians have a lifetime guarantee that God will take care of them forever!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Have you walked through the shadow of death with a loved one who was a Christian?  How did this walk affect the way you think about death for yourself?
  2. How does the hope and assurance of salvation affect the way you live in this world?  How does it affect the way you view your own death?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

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