In spite of our best efforts to forget, death is a very real fact. As believers, it’s something we don’t have to fear; rather, we can anticipate it.
In Psalm 23, King David reveals how to smile at death: “Yea, 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” (v. 4).
First, David accepted death as an inevitable fact. There is no way around it, and no way to know when it will happen to us; we just know it will eventually, to each of us.
Second, David acknowledges that death has been defeated. From this perspective, we see that there can be no valley without mountains, and there is no shadow without light.
Adrian Rogers says, “Death is just a shadow because Jesus has become the death of death. He pulled the sting out of death, took the gloom out of the grave, took the dread out of dying. Jesus gives us a hope that is steadfast and sure. A shadow may frighten you, but it cannot hurt you.”
We also learn that there is no evil without a greater good. Because Jesus is our Jehovah, truth is mightier than error, grace is greater than sin, our Sovereign is greater than Satan, and life is greater than death.
David sees that death is no longer his enemy, but his servant. In death, we are finally made like Jesus, able to praise Him with our whole hearts alongside the saints of all the ages, becoming one with God.
In death, we see God’s presence and power. Adrian Rogers says, “There’s nothing that will bring you face-to-face with God more than the dark valleys of life.”
As stated in Psalm 23:4, His rod protects us from all of the powers of evil and His staff draws us close to Him.
Finally, death reveals the purpose of the Shepherd: to bring us out to the other side. David knew enough about a shepherd to know that he would never lead his sheep through a valley unless he was leading them to a better place.
Apply it to your life
Do you want to smile at death? Accept death as a fact, acknowledge that it has been defeated by Jesus, and consider it a friend, used to reveal God’s presence, power, and purpose.
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