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Today’s Truth

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

Psalm 23:4

Friend to Friend

The greenest grass is always found in the valley. Shepherds and sheep are well acquainted with the fact that both mountains and valleys are an inevitable part of life. Again, the shepherd is the one who has to figure out a way over the mountain and through the valley. If a sheep is injured, the shepherd must carry his sheep and tend to its wounds until they are healed and the sheep is ready to return to the fold. The shepherd’s whole world revolves around the safety and comfort of his sheep, even in the deepest valley.

Valleys are a certainty of life. Your job is eliminated. Your husband is having an affair, or your teenage daughter is pregnant. Financial pressure suffocates dreams, or the betrayal of a trusted friend inflicts a wound so deep and painful that you long for that valley of death. Each day is thick with fear, and your heart is filled with disbelief. The valley may suddenly be before you in a time of loneliness or in the shock of a dire medical diagnosis. How do we deal with those valleys?

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

We must respond to each valley with trust and faith. The word “trust” means “to lie helpless, face down” and is the picture of a servant waiting for his master’s command or a soldier yielding himself to a conquering general. “Heart” refers to “the center of one’s being.” In other words, to trust God completely means that from the very center of our being, from the very core of our existence, we trust Him, totally abandoning ourselves in childlike faith to Him and His plan. We come, holding nothing in our hands, pushing no agenda, with one word in our heart— “whatever!”

“Whatever You want me to do, Lord, I will do.

Whatever You want me to say, Lord, I will say.

Whatever You want me to think, Lord, I will think.

Whatever path You have for me, Lord, I will walk.”

If you are like me, you sometimes think you don’t have enough faith. The amount of faith is not nearly as important as the right kind of faith—faith in God alone. A mustard seed is small but can still take root and grow—just like faith. Faith is also like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. We must remember that faith doesn’t rest on what we have done but on what Christ has done. As Paul says, times of stress accentuate the presence and power of God.

We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:3-5 nlt).

When the valleys come, we are tempted to abandon our faith and strike out in our own strength when what we should do is embrace our faith in God, look for our Shepherd, and follow Him.

The story is told of a shepherd who tried to persuade his sheep to cross a swiftly flowing stream. Since sheep are naturally afraid of rapidly running water, the shepherd couldn’t get them to cross. Then he had an idea. Picking up a lamb, he stepped with it into the river and carried it to the opposite shore. When the mother saw that the shepherd had safely led her lamb across the stream, she forgot her fear and stepped out in faith and into the rushing current. Soon, she was safely on the other side. The rest of the flock followed.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to thank You for being my Shepherd. Please teach me how to rest in Your care and trust You no matter how high the mountains or how deep the valleys in my life may be.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

By faith, accept the truth that God is always at work in your life and thank Him for His steadfast provision. Look back over the past few days, weeks and months of your life. Now praise Him for the things He has done.

Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are the steps listed in this passage that – when taken – will help you walk by faith?

More from the Girlfriends

Join Mary and women across the world each Wednesday beginning September 5 for a free Facebook Live Bible Study, Sandpaper People. Learn how to deal with the difficult people in your life. Perfect for personal or small group study.

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5 Responses to “Embracing Faith in the Valleys”

  1. Patricia says:

    I am curious where you got the definition you used for the word trust? I feel that God may be leading me to teach a lesson with Proverbs 3:5-6 to our ladies group at church, and I have not seen your definition before. I have not checked the strongs concordance yet but I will. Thank you!!

  2. Val says:

    As I read this message before I dress for work, I am screaming and shouting in praise because in this valley I find myself in, it’s lonely, frightening, and I see every pitfall. I know He is moving in my circumstances but I am looking at the pitfalls. A parent’s health diagnosis, a grandchild preparing for surgery, financial struggles associated with health and education, the overwhelming tasks on the job, and questions on how to manage and maneuver. Because I am not prepared, I feel like I am drowning. I did not prepare for this valley and it’s my fault that I am feeling like I am coming out a loser. This morning’s word was calming and so needed for my journey in the valley that I am in today. Last night I prayed for peace and rest just so I could go to sleep for a few hours. Thank you Lord for that covering because I woke up saying “whatever.” Now, I see that word in your message. So, I will continue to pray all day I can place my valley moments and my valley season in HIM and not look down at my sinkholes while in this valley. But look up in faith. Lord thank you for the provisions You have made always for my family and the ones You are making in this storm in the valley we are facing!

  3. Your opening sentence really says it all, Mary. The greenest grass is always found in the valley. It’s hard to see that there is grass or that it is green when you’re standing in the valley looking up at the great big mountain you need to climb. Thank you for this encouragement today. Praying that we will put our trust in the Shepherd as He leads up the mountain. God bless!

    Praying for you Val. Thanks for sharing your struggles with us. God has you covered in His grace for sure! Keep the faith may God bless you through this valley you are facing.

  4. AbandonedandBetrayed says:

    I am walking through the deepest valley I have ever encountered in my life. After 29 wonderful years of marriage (34 years together) my husband abandoned me for another women. No mention of being unhappy. Telling he loved me every day. Going out together every week, three nights a week. And just like that, he was gone. He literally cut me off in a one hour period. This was on August 4th, 2017.

    Today I am still struggling to understand why. The divorce is not yet final because we have built a very successful business together where we both work. He sees me every day and acts as if nothing is wrong, but then goes home to another woman. He takes her places he refused to take me. He holds her hand in public. And he expects friends who were once OUR friends to just accept her as my replacement. NO ONE holds him accountable.

    The pain is nearly unbearable, but reading your blog today sends me hope. I pray every day for him to turn back to God (he has completely denied his faith), and I pray for strength to get through this. Now I will pray for God to help me find the right kind of faith. Faith to understand that “HE alone has my back. That HE has a reason for me to walk this path alone.”

    Thank you!

    AandB

  5. Rebecca Jones says:

    That’s what we get for not knowing a lot about sheep. I love the story, and definition of trust.

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