Dark and Murky Valley!

Have you ever met anyone who can say that they haven’t been through an uncertain valley in their life’s walk? At some point in life everyone will go through trials that manifest themselves as dark valleys, These valleys could be one long journey or one might go through many valleys before seeing rays of light.

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We may ask, “Why must we face these gloomy paths in our lives? Did we do something to cause them? Could they be a result of sin, or brought on by some unfortunate circumstance?”  Or maybe we are an uninformed traveler, crossing a dark valley, while looking back and wondering what led us to such a place. Some of these valleys may look endurable, while others can be so dark that you can’t see the light at the end of the path. You’re wishing you never stepped into it….

How do you know if you’re about to enter one of these valleys and can you avoid entering it? More importantly, how do you get through your darkest valley? Whether God places you on a particular journey, or you willfully choose the path, those dingy, gloomy, and obscure valleys in our lives are actually there to teach us how to live humbly according to God’s will and to build our character. They teach us to not rely on our strength and understanding but to rely on God. He is our guide, shelter, and our protector. Every step we take on the treacherous, unknown and unclear path of life can be a trail for his glory, if we will be “still” and “wait patiently” for Him. If we are walking with Him on a daily basis, he will take us to a better place  — a place where we will eventually appreciate the view from the mountaintop.

In Psalm 23, David cried out to God as he was going through his dark valley. He didn’t talk about God, rather he talked to God.  “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”(Psalm 23: 4). This verse points us to God’s promises.

If you find yourself journeying alone through a dark and scary valley along an unknown path, be still and seek comfort in God’s presence by whispering his name and listening in your deepest silence, knowing that you can always find peace and safety in your relationship with him. Even if the valley that you’re traveling on becomes gloomier and your sight is diminished, remember these verses below. They will give you hope that God’s love is sufficient for you. Whether you’re on the top of a hillside or down in a dingy and murky valley, He is closer than you think.

(Psalm 46:1) “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

(2 Thessalonians 3: 3) “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

(Psalm 37:5) “Commit your way to the Lord. (Romans 8:18) “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”

(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.” AMEN!

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Do You Need a Breakthrough Prayer?

Sometimes we find ourselves praying for something earnestly and devotedly, asking God repeatedly to heal an illness or bless our finances, relationships, home, job, etc. But we don’t see any changes. Why not? It seems like our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.

At times we wonder if God even hears our prayers. Then our prayers may begin to change, becoming less about asking and more about complaining and grumbling.  Anger, frustration and bitterness begin to build, leading us to turn our backs on God. At this point, a state of absolute hopelessness sets in and we’re desperately in need of a breakthrough prayer.

How and what does it take to have a breakthrough?  The key is to change how to pray.  My pastor and other leaders, bible studies and personal experience all point me to verse (Mark 11: 24) where Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, BELIEVE  that you have RECEIVED it, and it will be yours.”

According to the verse above, we must believe and lay claim to our prayer requests, as if we have already received our answer. That is called #FAITH.  Ultimately, anything we ask of God in complete faith through his son Jesus will be given to us according to HIS WILL.

You may say, ”Why didn’t God answer my prayer?” The answer may be simply because it didn’t fit into God’s plan for your life. We may never know why God doesn’t answer or He may reveal His plan later on……

Remember, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane right before his death (he would soon be crucified to pay for the sins of every person). His human flash didn’t want to go through that horrific death. But he humbly asked,

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) 

He asked for God’s will to be done. God’s purpose for His son’s death on the cross had enormous impact on the lives of all humanity.

Based on God’s WILL, no matter whatever we go through, He will still be with us. If our small or large requests do not fit into His perfect plan for our life, He will graciously change our hearts and will gently lead us to His plan.

Rick Warren said in one of his sermons, “Thanking God before He gives you something – that’s called FAITH.  Thanking God after He gives you something – that’s called GRATITUDE.”

The most important key to having a breakthrough prayer (besides thanking God before and after He answers our prayer), is to pray as Jesus did in verse (Matthew 26:39) — let your WILL be done, O Lord, not my will. Amen!

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