We all have seasons of life — mountains, if I may — where life is good, by all worldly and even Godly estimations. If you are an extrovert, your social calendar is full, your week has lunch dates/meetings with lots of good friends, and encouragement from other people is simply overflowing. Or as an introvert, you have a healthy smattering of activities and plenty of downtime at home or the coffee shop to reflect and recharge on your personal thoughts. These are blessings; make no doubt about it.
But valleys are inevitable, and dare I say, also good for the life of the Godly. “Though I walk through the valley…I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Our reliance on the Lord is imminently visible when danger lurks around every corner and we recall that our “adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking…to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). If we are not finding our hope and “resting our affections” in the Lord when His blessings abound, we will be unprepared when He leads us from the mountaintop.
“What I mean by resting our affections is that the desires of our hearts find their end point–their goal, their resting place–only in God, even though, as it were, they ride up to God on a thousand gifts.” (John Piper, “God Is The Gospel”, p. 117)
Without further ado, here are some words from our Father eternal, graciously given to point us to Him so that we might participate in the story of His glory. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
“LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am…And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Psalm 39:4,7)
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, for the help of His presence…The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:5,8)
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and *hope does not disappoint*, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
This is how Paul made it through the valleys:
“Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, *He on whom we have set our hope*.” (2 Cor. 1:9,10)
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Tim. 6:17; as Americans, we are all “rich in this present world”, so let us heed these words and fix our hope on God)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)
The Lord has blessed you with every heavenly gift through the giving of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Be a blessing this week wherever you go.
~Psalm 130; Job 19:25,26