by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday September 22, 2005
Walking Through a Valley
Journeys through the valley are both inevitable and painful. They are also meant to be profitable. For example, trials can be times of discovery about God. When feelings of helplessness overtake us, He provides His strength to sustain us. When despair tries to close in, He invites us to experience His peace and promised rest (Matthew 11:28). In the midst of the clamoring pain, He offers Himself as our comforter and protector.
Other discoveries we make in severe crises have to do with ourselves. Terrible times test our faith and reveal our true character. When a crisis first hits, most of us will respond with alarm. Then, if our relationship with the Lord is weak, fear will increase. As the pressure continues, some of us will panic, some will seek ungodly counsel, and others will blame people or God for the problem. Instead of standing firm and looking to the Lord, we also try to find a way out on our own. These are signs of spiritual immaturity.
By contrast, those whose faith is strong will move from alarm to trust over time. We will seek out the Lord through prayer and the Word, remembering His help to us in the past (Psalm 77:11-14). In this way, our endurance and confidence in Him will build (Psalm 119:49-50). We will also believe His promises and trust Him to keep them, despite any evidence to the contrary. The spiritually mature wait on God with patience and hope (Psalm 37:7-9).
What do you do when the pressures of life seem greater than you can bear?
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