Equipped for the Valley
If a sermon is worth listening to, make it a habit to write down the important points. Writing etches wisdom deeper into your heart and mind, which is where you build a foundation of biblical theology.
Christians cannot afford to let a message wash over their ears and drift away: believers who aren't listeners may panic upon walking into a spiritual valley. Since they've retained very little teaching, their understanding of the Lord will be limited. People with a shaky theological foundation don't realize: 1) God is upholding them through their difficulty (Isa. 41:10); 2) it has purpose (Rom. 8:28-29); and 3) they must surrender to His work in their life or be set aside—still a believer but useless to the kingdom (Rom. 12:1-2). Consequently, a believer without a solid biblical foundation may seek out counsel from worldly "problem solvers" who offer only temporary release from pain and fear.
David, the psalm's author, said that he did not fear evil (Ps. 23:4). He knew God. What did he have to be scared of when the One who controls everything was on his side? How could he be stifled by anxiety while in the Spirit's comforting presence? The writer held God to His promises and God delivered (Ps. 23). But the psalmist had to know those pledges in order to believe that the Lord would keep them.
A spiritual relationship heavy on emotion but light on facts falters in a valley. Believers must know how Scripture applies to life. Unless you have a belief system that can withstand pressure, pain, and criticism, you are at risk. Start building your biblical foundation so it will help you in times of need.
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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world?
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