Psalm 23:4, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
I am writing this blog post today with a heavy heart. I pray that you will hear my words and take this message as I intend it.
This morning, I had to erase someone from my prayer list... because he died yesterday. He was my cousin and I loved him. He wasn't much older than me. And this could have been avoided.
Also, yesterday, as my Pastor continued his teaching on Psalm 23, God told him to skip verse 3, and go to verse 4. I'm glad He did.
We ALL have valleys we go through. It's a part of life. How we handle our valleys is a totally different story.
Josh had four points:
1. You cannot avoid the valleys of life. Jesus even warned us of this in John 16:33.
2. You cannot schedule your valleys. Sometimes, they are piled on each other.
3. Valleys don't last forever. Can I get an amen and thanks be to God for this statement? Because Lord knows if a valley lasted forever, I would be in trouble.
4. God is with you! God goes through everything with us.
Bad things happen to good people on a daily basis. Sometimes, those bad things are our fault, other times they are someone else's fault. It's all in how we deal with the bad stuff.
I am begging you right now, if you have a drug or alcohol addiction, please get help. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol while they are in a valley. They think if they just numb the pain, they will make it through. But numbing the pain numbs everything else too. And those addictions can kill you.
God is the way we need to get through the valley. Turning our lives to Him. Fully surrendering to Him.
Seriously, I've said it before, and I will say it again.. without God, I don't know where I'd be. I was in a valley from August 2012 until March 2013. Then, that valley shifted and put me into another one.
I hung on to God for dear life. I had to. Nothing else can satisfy or help you through junk like God can. He loves us unconditionally and He will NEVER leave or forsake us.
If you are in a valley right now, I promise there is an end to it and a light waiting for you. I also promise that God is walking through it with you. He hasn't left. He is our Good Shepherd. He will lead and guide us through the dark, if we'll let Him.
Father God, I pray that every single person who reads these words today or whenever, that they will feel You near. I ask that they make the choice to trust You in the valley and not turn to something or someone else thinking that will get them out. You have a rod and a staff to pick us up out of trouble, and to protect us from predators. You are here to watch over us, during the good times and the bad. I ask that everyone who is struggling will feel some relief today, Lord. Speak to their hearts... through Your Word, or another believer that encourages them. Let them not camp out in the valley and help them keep moving forward. In Jesus name, amen.
God bless you today and always.