March 19, 2018
- By Ed Powell
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"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me." Psalm 23:4
All of us are given experiences in life, when we are called to walk through the agonizing valley of the shadow of death. The valleys touch us in every stratum of mankind, and their effects and results vary to a great extent. Going through these valleys is a heart-wrenching and soul-searching experience. Some become bitter and resentful, some distraught and lonely, others are perplexed and frustrated, and still others simply lose it altogether. They cannot cope with the devastating demands, and they become emotionally despondent.
God has given precious promises in His Word to assure Christians of His presence with them, His care and comfort for them, and His sufficiency to enable and strengthen them through their dark hours of need. It is in these dreadful experiences that Jesus says to us, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). We all will have valleys, disappointments, afflictions, trials, discouragement, despair, loneliness, and other dark and difficult days.
But these need not be disasters. They can be the most blessed and productive times in our lives. Often, God uses these "valley times" as turning points in our lives and awakens us to a new awareness of His greatness. When our attitude is one of quiet acceptance of His leading, confident trust in His faithfulness, and assured hope "that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28), we can rest triumphantly! How comforting to know He will walk with us through the valley.
It is in our "valley experience" that our faith is stretched, but made steadfast. Our walk is weak, but we are made stronger. Our way is dreary and dark, but He is the light of our life. Our hope is unstable, but He makes it unwavering. The "all things that work together for good" become the very things God chooses to bring us near to Him. It is in His working that the life and love of God can flow through the valleys that have been carved and cut into our lives by these excruciating circumstances. Those who have come through adversities without fear, confident in the faithfulness of God, are the ones who can be the best towers of strength and sources of inspiration to others who are going through their valleys.
Paul, writing to the believers in Corinth, seeking to encourage them in their trials, spoke of "the God of all comfort: who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:3,4). Those of us who have experienced God's comfort and sufficiency may encourage others to "dare to believe" God in their trials. God uses our adversities to prepare us to minister to others facing similar difficulties. We need to come alongside them and share their hurts and travails in the love and compassion of the Lord. May our "valley walk" with the Lord be a refreshing challenge and an encouragement to others, pointing them to the true SOURCE OF OUR STRENGTH, JESUS CHRIST.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2018-03-19
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