“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
We continue our article from last week concerning your dark valleys.
4. VALLEYS ARE TEMPORARY They have an end to them. They don’t last. They are not a permanent location. David says, “Even though I walk through the valley.” The valley is not something you stay in your entire life. It’s something you go through — a circumstance, a situation that has a season to it. When you’re in a valley you often think it’s a dead end, but it’s not. It’s like a tunnel — there is a beginning and end. You go through the tunnel and eventually you’re out of it and back out in the light again. They don’t come into your life to stay. They come to pass. I Peter 1:6 “There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.” He admits that sometimes you’re going to go through tough times. It’s going to be rough. Life is tough. You’re going to have it.
But it’s only for a while. There is wonderful joy ahead. He’s talking about Heaven. There are no problems in heaven, no valleys, no dark days. While you may be harassed down here, in heaven you’ll have no problems. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s where you’re going.
He says don’t get discouraged. Even if you live 80 or 90 years and have a problem your entire life, that is so insignificant compared to the thousands and millions of years in eternity problem free. He says, even if it’s your whole life it’s just temporary compared in light of eternity.
“Our troubles are short lived and there is an eternal glory which outweighs them all.” They won’t last; they will be short. But he says, there is an eternal glory. This is important. Pain can be productive. There will be a benefit for our problems if we respond in the right way. While we have the temporary hassles there is long-term, eternal benefit when you go through a valley and respond to it correctly.
5. VALLEYS ARE PURPOSEFUL God has a reason for taking you through the valleys. Whether it’s doubt, depression, despair, discouragement, or defeat — He’s got a reason behind it.
I Peter 1:6-7 “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials.” He says temporary — they aren’t going to last forever. You are temporarily harassed with problems here. And there may be all kinds of trials. There are financial valleys, relational valleys, emotional valleys, and all kinds of different trials. “…This is no accident — it happens to prove your faith…” The valleys are not just a freak of nature. God wants to build your faith in the valleys of life. We love to enjoy the mountaintops, but you don’t build faith on the mountaintops. You build faith in the valleys of life. When everything is going fine and great you don’t really need God. But when you come face to face with a dark valley, you get on your knees. Faith is strengthened in the valleys. When you don’t feel like serving and trusting God, praising God… that’s where your faith is tested. Not in the good times of life, but in the valleys.
1. Every problem has a purpose. The small ones, the inconsequential ones, as well as the ones that seem like mere irritations. They all have a purpose. God can teach you character. He wants to change you, mature you.
2. Faith is built in the valleys of life. God wants to build your character. He is far more interested in your character than He is in your comfort or your convenience. God’s goal in life is not to just make life comfortable for you. He wants to build character.
He wants you to develop the character of Christ. In doing so He is going to take you through all of the circumstances of life He took Christ through. Was Jesus exempted from suffering? Absolutely not. What makes you think you’re going to be exempted? Did Jesus go through times of loneliness? Yes. Will you? Yes. Was Jesus ever tempted to be discouraged? Yes. Will you? Yes. Was Jesus ever misunderstood, maligned, and criticized unjustly? Yes. Will you? Absolutely! What makes you think you’re any different? You’re going to go through valleys. God wants to build character in your life. It’s not by accident. Does God cause accidents and tragedies? No. God does not cause accidents and tragedies. God is a good God and He cannot cause evil. He cannot do evil. Can God use accidents and tragedies for good? Absolutely. He can use even the evil done to us by others, turn it around and bring good out of it by building character in us. He definitely uses the tragedies and valleys of life in our lives.