All of us will face extreme trials in life.
They may be sudden. They may shake us to the core of our faith. They may last for a few months or an entire season of life. Only one thing is for certain. They will come.
What’s important is that we keep moving forward. Even if we take just one small step at a time. We can’t let fear, doubt, anger, depression, confusion, bitterness or any other feelings keep us in bondage. By nature, we are survivors. Through Christ we’ve been given freedom, strength to overcome, and ultimate victory.
Psalm 23 says Jesus, our Shepherd, leads us “through the valley of the shadow of death.” He leads us THROUGH the valley, meaning we are moving and will come out on the other side. He doesn’t lead us into the valley to leave us there.
But in order to get out of the valley, we have to stay in step with God.
When we feel lost, the one way get back on the path with God is to go to Him. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This is God’s truth. If we truly pursue Him with a humble heart, He will reveal Himself to us. And here’s good news: God wants to be found.
God also wants us to rise above our real life circumstances and live joyfully with Him.
We’re on a journey with God. There will be hills and valleys. There will be times of great rejoicing on the mountaintops when we feel like we’re on top of the world. And there will be times of great mourning when the road is dark and we feel alone. But through it all, God is there.
God wants to lead us to higher ground––to a new place in our relationship with Him and the service He has planned for us. I’m on a new trek up the mountain now. As I said to a friend last week, I’m just trying to stay in step with the Lord. But the climb is very difficult and my pack is full of everything He has asked me to carry. Although physically I’m exhausted, spiritually I’m excited! I know that when I’m with God, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. And there are amazing things ahead!
So no matter where you are in life, know that nothing stays the same, except God. God can and will lead you through the valley. He will pull you out of every dark pit. He will walk you step-by-step to the next season. Why? Because His plan is to spend the rest of eternity with you.
Don’t give up. Believe that you are a survivor who, with the strength of Jesus, can overcome all trials in life. Turn to God and let Him lead you higher as He Shepherds you toward heaven.
“‘To [her] who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” Revelation 2:7
May I pray?
Lord God, thank You that You will never leave or forsake those who love You. Thank You for Your promise that if we draw near to You, You will draw near to us. Jesus, give us the courage to come to You. Help us to let down any burdens that are not from You, and only carry what You have asked us to carry. Then lead us forward, I pray, to higher ground. May we overcome all that we’re struggling with, and rejoice with You along the way as we head toward paradise. And may we find devoted sisters to share our journey. Amen.
Q4U: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?