There is much that could be said about life in the valley, in fact I did a five part series on this topic not long ago. Attention spans being what they are however, I wanted to write a few thoughts on what to do when you find yourself in the valley just in case you don’t have the three hours necessary to watch the entire series. If you do have the requisite time, then by all means watch the entire series, and consider this post an appetizer before the main course.
We all go through the valley; it is an inevitable experience in this present life of struggle and toil. It matters not how much money you have in your bank account, how stable your job is, how straight your teeth are, or even that you have the metabolism of a jackrabbit and can eat anything you want and not gain a pound. No, I’m not bitter towards people with fast metabolisms; it would just be nice to know what that’s like.
Everyone goes through their season in the valley, it’s just part of this package we call life, but it’s what we do in the valley that must set us apart from the rest of the world. Yes, if you are a child of God, then your journey through the valley must be different than those of the world. We know that our God is a strong tower, we know that He is a present help in time of trouble, and knowing these things must influence our attitude as we journey through whatever valley it is that we are currently traversing, whether the valley of heartache, the valley of need, the valley of pain, the valley of trial, the valley of persecution or the valley of indecision. Yes, there are plenty of valleys, I just named a few, but whichever the valley you might be facing is, I believe the following three things will not only help you cross it, but do it in such a way that it brings glory to God.
The first thing we must do in the valley is refuse to be discouraged.
I realize it’s easier said than done, I realize many right now are having a ‘but you don’t know what I’m going through’ moment, but whatever it is that you’re facing, once again I implore you, refuse to be discouraged. In all things God has a plan, in all things God has a purpose, and as His children we must submit and trust in His wisdom and strength to carry us through.
Psalm 23:4, “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.”
We walk through the valley! We don’t tremble through the valley, we don’t run through the valley, we don’t panic through the valley, we don’t lose hope through the valley, we walk through it, and though we might walk through the valley of the shadow of death itself, we will fear no evil. Not fearing is a choice that we make, not panicking is a choice that we make, not losing hope is a choice that we make, and we must choose not to do these things because God is with us. This is why we do not fear, because God is with us, He is near, and there is no problem, no obstacle, no difficulty that we cannot overcome with God’s help.
The Second thing we must do in the valley is trust in the presence of God.
God will not leave you alone. God will not abandon you when you need Him most. David knew that God was with him, just as we ought to know that God is with us. God is with you, His rod and His staff comforts you, what have you to fear? I know it seems hopeless at times, believe me I’ve been there, when the world seems to be crumbling in on itself all around you, when you see no end in sight to your trial never mind any sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, I’ve gone through my moments in the valley just like everyone else, and I’m certain there are more to come, but through it all I trusted and will continue to trust in the presence of God. I know that He is with me, and He would not allow me to endure more than He knows that I could.
I’ve gone through enough of my own valleys to also know that it is in the valleys that our faith is tested. Nobody wants to hear it anymore, but God does test our faith, and it is often in the valley that our faith is tested all the more.
Psalm 66:10-12, “For You, O God, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid afflictions on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but you brought us out to rich fulfillment.”
After the testing, after the refining, after we have gone through the fire and through the water, it is God who will bring us out to rich fulfillment. This, we must never lose sight of, that God will bring us out to rich fulfillment, and when we look back on what was, on the valley that we crossed, on the trial that we endured, we will realize that it was all worth it.
The third and last thing we must do in the valley is trust in God’s protection.
We serve an omnipotent God, a God who spoke the universe into being, a God to whom the whole of creation must submit, and it is this selfsame God that keeps us in the palm of His hand.
John 10:29, “My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
Jesus said something that we readily forget in our season in the valley, that our God, the Father, is greater than all! It matters not what your obstacle is, it matters not who your enemy is, God is greater than all. Know that God is with you, know that God is protecting you, and because He is there, and He is protecting you, you should neither fear nor be discouraged as you walk through the valley.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
P.S. Yes, I'm still posting a teaching per day, it seems only fair that since you exceeded my expectations, I should return the favor and exceed your expectations as well.