How do you respond to the times in the valleys?


Ever had a year where it felt like you were walking through a valley? Not sure what was going on? Not sure if you would ever get out? Not sure the exact purpose? For me in 2020 there was a lot of that type of time but fortunately as I walked thru the valley of the shadow of death I was able to fear no evil because God was with me and I knew He had His rod to protect me and His staff to guide me, together they comforted me. It wasn’t an easy time but as I got to the end of the year and was able to use hindsight to see how it was a time of preparation for something new, I realized it was necessary. God’s plan was for good and not for evil. God was able to take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good.

A valley time, you may ask what does that mean. It usually means a deep time. It usually means a time that feels sunless because you are so far down that the sunshine has difficulties getting to that place. It can feel dark and lonely. It can feel cold and distant. One thing I know though from previous transitional times is that sometime to get from one peak to another you need to go down first. It might even require going deep down before things start to turn back up.

' Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.' -- Psalm 23:4
‘ Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.’ — Psalm 23:4

So don’t lose hope in the darkness. Don’t lose hope with the lack of visibility. Don’t lose hope because you can’t see any way out. Don’t lose hope because you are not alone! Call out to God! Lean in on God! Trust in God rather than trying to lean in on your own understanding! In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight! Be still and allow His rod to protect you and His staff to guide you! With this you can find and receive comfort in the midst of the valley and the midst of the storms!

Now leave the past where it belongs, behind you, and only take the lessons with you. Allow the knowledge and the wisdom of the experience help you to live out your today with greater trust in God!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 20th


The God of the Valleys


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: I Kings 20:28

‘Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, “Thus says the Lord : ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,” therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord .’ ” ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Where do you think God is in control?
  • When do you think God is in control?
  • What do you think God is in control of?
  • Do you think God’s control is limited to a time or a space or a location?
  • Do you think God’s in control when you are having a mountain top experience?
  • Do you think God’s in control when you are walking through the valley too?
  • Do you trust God in the good times and the bad times?
  • Do you trust God’s plan is good and so can lean in more to Him when things get tough?
  • Are you more interested in peace and comfort with plenty of material things as the world proposes?
  • Are you willing to allow God to be God and to follow His agenda in order to learn and to grow?
  • Are you willing to allow valley times to build even greater trust in God and build a stronger faith in Him?
  • Will you lean in to God when you are going into or through difficulties and setbacks be they in your personal or your professional life?
  • Ever heard the C.S. Lewis statement “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”?
  • Don’t lose hope if it feels like you are in the valley for a while or too long according to your own timeline! God’s timing is perfect and in time the answer will come.
  • God delights in revealing Himself (check it out here)
  • God’s never late! God’s rarely early! God’s timing is perfect! So don’t lose hope if it is taking time to get an answer, it took most of 2020 before I got my final answer. It was “wait for it…” most of the year.
  • Don’t lose hope because you are in the valley!
  • Don’t lose hope because you don’t have a why answer or a how answer or your answer yet!
  • Remember God is God! Remember God is love! Remember God is good! Remember God’s got a plan for us and it is for good and not for evil, it is to give us a hope and a future!
  • God is the God of the mountains and the valleys!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What do you normally think about God when you are in one of life’s valleys?
  • Why?
  • What is going on?
  • What is the reason?
  • What is the lesson?
  • What did I do?
  • What could I have done differently?
  • What should I learn?
  • How long is this going to last?
  • How long will this go?
  • How is God going to use this time?
  • How is God going to get me out of this one?
  • How is God going to get the glory from this experience?
  • Who is watching that is going to get to see God in action?
  • Who is watching that needs to realize or learn that God is both the God of the mountain and the valley?
How does Lewis’s statement encourage you to keep pursuing God in times like that?
  • Be still and sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit!
  • What might I have not heard because of the noise of life that required the valley to allow me to hear better?
  • Make quiet time daily and even stop throughout the day in order to hear the still quiet voice of God!

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

He who offers God a second place offers Him no place.

John Ruskin

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


No matter what you are going through don’t lose hope! Don’t put God in a box and think things are impossible or outside of what He can do. Remember to take hold of and say “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” No matter if you at the top of one mountain or in the valley leading to the next one, put your hope and trust in God! The harder life seems to get the harder we need to lean in on God rather than our own understanding! Let’s give God first place in our lives! Let’s allow Him to be Lord of all rather than not lord at all!

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


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