WHEN LIFE HURTS
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for You are with me.
I counseled with a man once who had just lost his wife of many years in a tragic accident. Although he was a committed Christian, he was still devastated, bewildered, angry, and, deep down, did not want to go on. It was hard seeing him so hurt, yet there was nothing anyone could do for him to take away the pain.
While not all of us experience the same tragedies in life, we can all relate to being hurt. We can all relate to rejection, abuse, ridicule, disappointment, betrayal, loss, fear, sadness, bad choices… and the list goes on.
NO ONE IS IMMUNE
King David was the only man in the Bible called “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), yet he suffered hurt on many levels – misunderstood and hunted by King Saul, mocked and despised by his own wife, betrayed and hated by his own son, devastated by his own sin, and rejected by the people who chose to follow Absalom instead of David. Without question, David spent lots of time in the dark valley of the shadow of death.
But notice… he walked through that valley; he did not build a home there. He did not curse God and die there. He trusted God in the valley… and the Lord saw him through to the other side.
Why the dark valleys? Why all the hurts? Why all the storms in life? To show us that God is more than able to take the worst life can throw at us and turn it around for good.
Adrian Rogers used to say, “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.” Our faith is not tested on the mountain top… it is tested in the valley. People watch you in the valley to see if your Jesus really does make a difference.
You and I will NEVER have a better opportunity to show the manifest presence of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world than when we are hurting. If they can see a peace that passes understanding… a confidence that defies the circumstances… a joy that does not make sense… then they will begin to see Jesus in you and me and want what we have.
WHAT TO DO?
No matter how you may be hurting today, do not give up!! Do not give into the temptation to “curse God and die!” Even though you may not feel it or understand it, the Lord really does love you, and He still has a wonderful plan. Nothing can come into your life unless it first filters through His fingers of love.
Thank Him for the hurt. That’s right, thank Him for the hurt. Give it all to Him so He can use it for good. Remember, He promises to never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). He promises to give you “beauty for ashes” (Is. 61:3). Seek Him each day for strength to go on. Remind Him that He promised to be present in your valley. Ask Him to see you through!! He will do it, if you do not quit!
A HAPPY ENDING
My friend who came to me those many months ago with a load of hurt, he came back to see me just the other day, asking me to marry him and his fiancée. God has brought a beautiful, godly lady into his life. She also lost her spouse suddenly and unexpectedly a few years ago. Both of them refused to live in the valley. They sought God through the hurts and the tears and the lonely, dark nights… and God has brought them through.
He will do the same for you, my friend. He is a God who brings us through! It will not be immediate, for it takes time to heal… but it will be sure as you simply depend upon Him and say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).
There is a light and a new life at the end of your dark valley! How do I know? Because He promised!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
When it comes to the Christian life, there are many issues that can hinder our faith, becoming sticking points to spiritual growth. In this eye-opening series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares key insights into the obstacles that keep us from living a life full of faith and a deepening relationship with Christ.