Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15, 2013 … God’s Valleys

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 288

Devotional Song: Go to this link -  Please take the time to meditate on this poignant song and video, the song written and sung by Sara Groves, It’s Going To Be Alright, … reminding all who are in Christ to have faith when we’re in the valleys of life as we move toward the mountain-tops of life.

Highlight meditation passage – 1st Kings 20: 23, … 28 : [Abundance is not necessarily a “blessing.” ]  
23 After their defeat, Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains. …” 
28 Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the LORD says: The Arameans have said that the LORD is a god of the hills and not of the plains. So I will help you defeat this vast army. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” 
 Highlight reading study of 1st Kings, Chapter 20: Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Psalm 23: 4 … [Even through the valleys of life, God is ALWAYS with us.] … [NLT]  ...
4 Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

Reference Passage #2: 2nd Corinthians 12: 1-10… [God’s grace is most evident when we’re trying to climb out of the valleys of life.] … [NLT] …GO TO THIS LINK ... 

Reference Passage #3: Romans 8: 28… [Again, we read it … but do we believe it?] … [NLT] …  
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

My Journal for Today: Being on the mountain-tops of life is great; and occasionally God allows us to experience those highs. However, I think most would agree, as Os Hillman was teaching in his devotional today, that we grow the most when we’ve come through one of those valleys in life where we experience the downers that challenge our faith and bring us closer to the dependence God desires from our relationship with Him.

Today, Hillman took me back, in his highlight Bible study from 1st Kings 20, which relates one of those times in the history of God’s people [they had many] when they were being led through one of those valleys. It occurred after they had been through a period of leadership when the king and the people ignored God’s will and His ways. And so God had to lead them through a valley-time when they could see that only their God could save them.

Ever had a time when you moved out of fellowship with God and He had to lead you through the “valley of the shadow of death” (see Psalm 23: 4) for you to see that our God is the God of the valleys as well as the God of the mountain-tops of life? I certainly have moved through my share of those valley experiences; and those were the times when I became the most dependent on God’s grace to bring me through.

One of my favorite passages in Paul’s epistles comes from 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 12: 1-10 where Paul is relating a personal story of having been allowed to see a vision of heaven – a real Spirit-led mountain-top experience; and then God allows Satan to give Paul some “thorn,” from which all of Paul’s prayers could not extract him from the pain. It was a real valley of death experience, for sure. But then Paul remembered the words of Jesus, Himself (in verse 9), where Jesus reminded Paul that God’s grace was sufficient to allow Paul (and any believer) to gain the strength we need to prevail in those times of weakness … i.e., those valley of life experiences.

In other words, as David wrote in Psalm 23, God will be with us in the valley of the shadow of death, leading us to His meadows (i.e., heaven) where we will be healed of all the “thorns” of life; and we will dine with Him … FOREVER.

Therefore, my friend, if you’re down in one of those valleys of life, … take heart! God is there with you; and He likely is leading you or allowing you to be in that valley to have you become more dependent on His grace to lead you through to that ultimate mountain-top place, … which we will share with our Lord forever.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, Your grace is truly sufficient. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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