Victoria Osteen, wife of Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, loves the Bible passage found in Psalm 23 because it paints a beautiful picture of Christians walking with God in lush, fragrant pastures.
Even when people encounter hard times, such as the scene depicted in verse four, it is comforting to know that God is always with them. "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," the verse reads.
Osteen writes on her blog that life is exactly like that—there will be good days, and there will be bad days. "Unexpected circumstances, tragedy and trials take us from one place in life to another in an instant. But no matter where we are in life, no matter what has happened, God is still there," she says. "When we look to Him, we don't have to fear. He always brings peace. He always brings comfort."
The verse clearly says people "walk through" bad circumstances and not "enter and stay in the valley of the shadow of death," adds Osteen. She believes this verse is a reminder that dark times do not last because people are only "passing through" the valley.
"Sometimes, when circumstances are so overwhelming, we can begin to feel stuck and limited. If you feel that way today, let this truth sink down into your heart: you are never stuck in the valley. He is leading you to a place of safety and rest," she assures.
Granted, there will be seasons of uncertainty, but Osteen says it is important for Christians to just trust God because He is always near to all who call on His name.
"Know that God is good. He is not the author of confusion but of peace. God is always on a mission of hope, healing and restoration—a mission of love. He's always with you, leading you back to the place of victory," Osteen says.