In life, we all certainly like mountaintop experiences better than valleys — the air is clean, the sun is shining, and the view is amazing. But the truth is, we’re going to go through valleys. It’s inevitable.
Jesus didn’t want us to be surprised by difficult times, so just before He died on the cross, He warned us,
John 16:33 NLT “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
“You will have …” means it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can’t plan valleys or schedule them. Trials seem to come in bunches; serious illness, traffic accident, layoff one happening right after the other in a single year.
But be encouraged that valleys are temporary; they do have an end. And valleys have a purpose. God never wastes our pain.
1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
When God assured Moses He would be with him as he led the Israelites to the Promised Land, Moses replied, if You don’t go then don’t ,make us leave.
Exodus 33:12-16 NLT One day Moses said to the Lord , “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
David, the one who wrote Psalm 23, refused to be filled with fear in the dark valleys, because God was with him in a very real and personal way:
Psalms 23:4 NLT Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Earlier in this psalm, David’s comments about God are in the third person — the LORD is my shepherd … He makes me lie down … He leads me… He refreshes my soul … He guides me.
But when David gets to the dark valley, he switches to second person: “for you are with me”. Now that’s personal. It’s as if David sees the darkness ahead, and he reaches out for God’s hand. What a comfort to put our hand in God’s hand, as we take a step into the dark!
Under the Shepherds protection we can say, even when we’re in the valley, “I’m here;
1. By God’s appointment.
2. In His keeping.
3. Under His training.
4. For His time.”
Lord, help me keep my eyes on You, not the painful circumstances I’m facing — not on my problem but on Your power. Thank You that You are with me and will never leave me. Here’s my hand. Please hold it tightly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor's Note: Some content for this post from Going Through Life's Valleys by Darlene Sala