Despair? Strength Through the Valley


By Rocco T

 

Every one of us goes through the hills and valleys of walking with the Lord. There will be times where you are on the hills and you feel the Spirit of the Lord close to you. There is no other feeling in the world like knowing that our Lord Jesus is walking with you, hand in hand.

When you really feel that His presence is with you, when you have so much zeal to serve Him that you just can’t help but feel excited. Joy bubbles out of you and you don’t have to do anything. You feel like you could run a hundred miles for Jesus carrying everybody along with you.

Those times are to be cherished because those are the hills that God allows you to experience so that you can get through the valleys.

Then there are the valleys. Where you feel like you can’t go another step. When God feels like he is 1000 miles from you, when you really feel despair. When you feel separated from people. When you feel like everything that you’re doing is somehow wrong and that nobody understands how you feel (and how could they), they don’t know your life and they don’t know your troubles. You feel weak toward sin and you feel like every sin is magnified to the point where you question yourself if you’re on the right road.

There is a healthy way of taking account of your life and looking at decisions you have made in order to keep yourself focused on God and not on the world. That is beneficial and should be done on a daily basis to make your walk with the Lord even stronger.

But there is that unhealthy second guessing that Satan uses to attack you when you are at your lowest point. Satan uses temptation and your trials together to bring you into despair. This is the time when no matter what you do, it seems like it fails. So what you do in times like these?

1 Corinthians 10:13 says: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

These are the times when you’re in the valley, and God seems so far away. Remember his words to you through verses like this. His Word is true and faithful so when he says that he will provide you a way out. He will. He does not say he will remove the temptations from you and whisk you away to the hills. He says he will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

If you look at David and the Psalms, there are many filled with joy and there are many filled with sorrow and questions about “Where are you Lord?” So there will be hills and valleys but if you take notice and look a little deeper, David gives us the key to get through these valleys. Take Psalm 42 for example. It is one of my favorite psalms but let’s take just a few verses from it.

Psalm 42:3, 4 says: “My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.”

He is completely down “day and night” his tears have been his food. He is not eating and I’m sure not sleeping because of despair in his life. But in the very next verse all the while he is feeling this despair he says

Psalm 42:5: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Now remember, he is saying this while he is still in that valley of despair. Why? How? Even though he is in a valley of despair, He remembers that God is Faithful, He remembers what God has done for him in the past. He Confidently states that, “For I will yet praise him” meaning, he will come out of this valley and be on hill praising God. He continues on and talks more about his despair and then at the end of the chapter, he comes back to the same thing:

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 43 goes on to talk about despair and those same words:

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 88 is another one full of despair and yet
Psalm 89:1, 2 start out with:

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”

David was not a perfect example on how to live because of his monumental mistakes that he made in his life. But I believe the reason God called him “A Man after his own Heart” was because of his faithfulness to God in times of trouble and despair. In that aspect David gives us a perfect example of how are we are supposed to handle those valleys in life. By remembering who we are serving.

Who led us to that valley? God did. God led you there and “he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” and then (when his time is right) he will lead you out of there and onto a hill. You may go back into valleys but as long as you remember the example of David and Praise God and have Faith in him through the valley, even when you don’t think anybody is listening. You will come out of it and be all the more stronger ready and able to do God’s will. Praise His Name because He is faithful.