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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

God's most precious servants struggled through much of their lives. Noah struggled to build a big boat. Abraham struggled for a child. He struggled with his faith. He struggled to trust God during tough times. David was rejected by his king and lived as a homeless man for a period of his life. Elijah, Ruth, Esther, Job and all of the major and minor prophets have periods of their lives with struggling. Each of them had to wonder if they would be successful during their times of failure.

Is this because everyone goes through major struggles? Therefore, their struggles are publicized but not unusual. Or, is it because each of these servants of God is so special to Him? Thus, these struggles are part of God's strength training program?

Actually, I think the problem is with our "Expectation Theology." We simply expect that those who follow God will always be healthy, wealthy and wise. We are surprised at the hard times because they shouldn't happen. We think our faithfulness to God ought to purchase happiness and smooth sailing. Our expectations aren't met when God fails to make our lives easier because we have served Him.

God is more concerned for us than what we do for Him. Our responsibility is to give Him glory. We fail in our purpose when we do anything else. No servant of God will avoid very difficult times. Satan knew that there was no true testimony of glory as long as there were no bad times. He told God that that Job would stop giving Him glory the moment the bad things started. Don't think for a minute that Satan hasn't stood before God and asked for this same permission millions of times for other believers who are giving God glory. He has asked to sift you like wheat too if you have given God glory.

The greatest glory comes when the believer praises God as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death.

So, believer, how are you doing?

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk
through the valley of the
Shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
They comfort me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a post. What truth it contains. Thank you for this reminder that life isn't easy. I've learned thru my trials how to best walk in a way that pleases my Lord. I am also reminded often of the Apostle Paul, who, when he asked for the thorn to be taken from him, was told "My grace is sufficient." HIS grace alone sustains us. HIS grace alone keeps us. Thank you again.
Louise in MI