How to Be Joyful While in the Valley, Not Just on Top of the Mountain
Posted on July 30 2018
“Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer” (Romans 12:12)
It is so easy to have joy, faith, and praise God when we feel blessed because He answered our prayers and we got the promotion or job we wanted, our children are doing great in school, or we have enough money to purchase the house or car we wanted. We are on top of the mountain and we are singing with praise; our happiness and joy though may also blind us, forgetting to praise God and thank Him.
While enjoying life, the unexpected happens and we find ourselves going through the valley where there is suffering, disappointment, and sadness. We question why God allowed bad stuff to happen to us and when it will all end; we grumble about our circumstances, forgetting everything God has already done for us and His blessings in our life. In James 1:13-14 he explains why we should never ask the reason God tempted us: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
Even though it is normal as earthly beings to feel sad, scared, or disappointed when we feel trapped by life’s trials, we must at the same time remain patient and still for the Lord will fight for us (Exodus 14:14). We must remember in trial times God’s promises just like Joseph remembered while in the Egyptian prison that God was faithful to his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; Joseph had faith that when the time was right, God would bless and redeem him (which we all know He delivered above and beyond). We also know Job’s story who from a wealthy and privileged noble person, he was eating garbage, his body was covered in boils and he lost everyone and everything. However, he never lost his faith and hope in God for no one can take those things from us!
Every single one of us, whether Christians or not, experienced and will probably continue to experience trials and tribulations; however, as Christians, we have direct access to our Father through our savior, Jesus Christ who can intercede and pray for us to the Father. We also have the testimony of our past, helping us to stay strong in our faith knowing that God has already provided and blessed us greatly; therefore, He will do so again but in His time and the way He believes is best for us. We should thus consider what we know and remain joyful, in faith, and not act by the way we feel; the Bible tells us in dozens of places, beginning in Genesis that God will be with us, He answers prayers, keeps His promises, and the only things we must do is have faith, pray, and be still!
Even though none of us like to hear this, trials give us strength and equip us for other circumstances. As James says in 1:2-4, we should “consider it pure joy […] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything….” Furthermore, James also tells us what the prize would be for those who persevere in trial “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1: 12).
Our circumstances in the valley is not our defining story and we shall not remain in the valley! We must remember though while there to keep praying, remain faithful, ask God for his wisdom, guide our steps, and to give us strength and clarity.
What challenges are you facing in the valley and what do you do to keep faithful? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Bible Verses to uplift and encourage us:
Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Mark 9:23 - Everything is possible for one who believes
2Corinthians 5:7 - Walk by Faith and not by Sight
Hebrews 13:5 - Never will I leave you, never will I forsake
Romans 8:38 - I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 - Rejoice always, Pray continually
Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 -Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
1 Peter 5:7-10- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Psalm 34:17-18 - The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Isaiah 40:28-31 - Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.