Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,Despite the dangers that surround us and what evils may draw near to us, God is with us. God is bigger than any problem and stronger than any other thing residing in Heaven or on Earth, of spirit or of flesh, heavenly or demonic or any creature made.
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. NKJV
Like David, the writer of this Psalm, being with God means that there is no need for us to fear. We are not promised a life without trial or difficulty, Paul in his later years and David in his early to middle years are certainly proof of this, and if we love Christ the enemy certainly has no love for us. Jesus said as much! (John 15:18-21)
But we need not be afraid because He has His plans in mind and motion. Even if we know where He is sending us, sometimes the fastest way there isn't the straight line we see. God uses hardships and trials and every twist and turn both good and bad in our life if we are seeking after Him to prepare us for His goals, and to accomplish what He intends along the way.
No matter how hard or painful the things of this life, we must simply keep trusting in God. Even if we can't see how any good comes of it, if we keep trusting and seeking, and it may be years and years down the road before we see it, there will be a glory that comes to His name. Besides that, even if we never see the fruit, reward or blessing of our struggles, our reward is not on Earth but in Heaven. (Luke 6:20-23)
We can take comfort both from God's rod and His staff, and notably the rod is not secondary to the staff. They are equal comforts for us. The rod and staff were tools of the shepherd; the rod had a two fold purpose of being used to discipline the sheep and as a weapon against wild animals, both to fight them and to frighten them off before they come near by throwing it to surprise and stun them, the staff was a tool to guide the sheep and hook them to pull them back into the fold when they were going astray.
Like David we can, and should, take comfort in God's defense and protection, His discipline, and His guiding, both gentle and firm.
I want to thank God for every blessing and trial, every little thing in my life He uses and has used to guide me and discipline me and grow me into the person He wants me to be, no matter how hard, and even as I continue to grow. I am fleshly, I have no doubt that there will be many times where in the moment I struggle, but I pray for His help in seeking Him and always being aware of God and Christ and the Spirit filling me.
Now to Him who is able to keep me from stumbling,
And to present me faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.