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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Victory Found in the Valley

Life is filled with valleys. Suffering, fear of the unknown, and hardship are inevitable in life. Without the grace of Jesus I could not sustain the trials of life. The valley reveals how much of His strength I have allowed in my life, and it reveals whether I shall fail or make it. It is in the valley where I discover who I really am and who He really is. It is in the valley I discover His victory that carries me to the mountain-heights of joy.

In the valley—in the midst of the trial, I can become weary and anxious when I don’t know what is next. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul wrote, “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6:7). I pray with thanksgiving in my heart knowing that God is in control. No matter what my human mind perceives I believe in His abiding presence, His encompassing power, and the depth of His love for me. I don't worry about anything because I petition and give that problem to God. Is He not also able to handle any problem? Thanking the Lord for His provision reveals faith, and brings His peace. The promise is clear. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Sometimes I make the valley more difficult by not applying my “mustard seed” of faith in the midst of the struggle. Without applying faith, I not only fail myself, I fail God (Hebrews 11:6). When I I try to humanly analyze “why”, I miss the peace of God. I miss His infinite grace which is meant to lift me above the trial. My mind can only be guarded from fear of the unknown when I thank God for His faithfulness, and when my mind dwells upon His infinite ability instead of my trial (Isaiah 26:3).

Dear Lord, I am willing to face the unknown with hope in your faithfulness to me. I will learn the spiritual lesson you wish to impart. I will seek you everyday and discover your burden is much lighter when I focus on you instead of what I fear. When I give you my trial, my fear, my pain, my struggle‒by letting it go in prayer and faith‒supernatural peace will claim my mind and heart. It is a peace that nothing in this world can offer, and it can only be found through the struggles of life. It is a gift from you to lighten my load. Lord, I don't believe that I am just meant to survive in the valley. I flourish because you have poured living water into what might have otherwise been a desert. You rule in my heart, Lord, and my valley becomes my place of victory. My victory has been secured only with my surrender, and with your power and grace. My victory in the valley is my mountain-top joy which will last because it has been gloriously fought for and won.

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