Handling Your Valley Rightly Brings Victory

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Handling Your Valley Rightly Brings Victory

Post  fennywest on Tue 10 Jul 2012, 2:14 pm

18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things.
19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"
20 When the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?' "
21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
22 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."
24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings' courts.
26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
27 This is he of whom it is written: ' Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.'
28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."Luke 7:18-28

In this passage the fiery evangelist, forerunner of Jesus, the who was bold to challenge the King for his misdemeanour, the man of God who saw Jesus from afar and proclaimed:’ Behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the World, He must increase and I must decrease, I am not the light, He is. He was before I, I am not qualifies to untie the latchet of His sandals, He is the Bridegroom and I am the best man. By His coming, my joy is full.’

This is not a weakling. He was bold, uncompromising, courageous, did not take none sense. He was a man of faith.
Challenging the King’s impropriety, greed and impurity: taking the wife of his brother, Phillip, he court trouble. (Matt14:3)The King was wrath and so was his mistress, Herodias so they conspired to put John the Baptist in his place. He was arrested and dumped in the dungeon and left there to rut.

John persevered for a while, thinking Jesus, his cousin and the Son of God, the Miracle Worker would intervene and release him from prison. He waited and waited, but it was not happening.

Doubt began to assault his soul. Dark imaginations came from all corners ( 2Cor10:4-5): 'He does not care about you. Is He really the Son of God, the Lamb of God that you claimed Him to be? If He is He would deliver you. You have been deceived. All those things you believed were a lie' And as John continued to meditate on these bombardments on his mind, he started to believe them and sent his disciple to Jesus with the question: ‘Are you the one who is to come or should we look for another?’

John thought because Jesus was there everything will be honky dory, green pasture, fair haven, pleasure Island, just as you and I would think from time to time. What happened to John the Baptist can happen to you and I. We will all be visited by the Valley moments, the valley of the shadow of death; vicissitudes will visit us regardless of how mightily God is using us. No one is immune from the dark times. Yes, the Lord is with us, nevertheless He will allow troubles, struggles, calamities, tribulations to refine us so that we reflect His glory.

Paul went through his valley moment: 23 Are they ministers of Christ? --- I speak as a fool --- I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness ---
28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
It is true that Paul was mightily used by the Lord, receiving incredible revelations from Him but God also allowed him to go through Valley times so that he would continually rely on God and not on himself.(2Cor12:1-6)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul handled His Valley moment rightly by encouraging others: ‘be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Eph6:10 ) Our light affliction works for us an exceed weight of eternal glory. (2Cor4:17 ) 'God is working everything together for the good of those who love Him and who are the called according to purpose. If God is for you who can be against you? If God did not spare His Son, but delivered Him up for us how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Neither death nor life nor principalities nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor this present nor things to come nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors.' (Rom8:28,31-32, 37-39 )
The more you encourage others in your valley times the more you will be encouraged to stay strong in Him and in His mighty power.

John the Baptist was feeling sorry for himself. He was having a pity party and no one was prepared to attend his party. Have you been there? You thought the whole world should stop because of your circumstances but the world continued to run as if nothing was happening to you. You thought you were having the roughest deal of all but people were just going about their business.

You and I must believe that God is good all the time regardless of our experiences. God know what He is doing. He knows what to allow into our lives to shape us for the plans and purposes He has for us. And so at such times we must not take our eyes off Jesus -the Author and finisher of our faith. The storms will come and so will the fires of life. Like it happened to Peter, the moment we take our eyes off Jesus who has told us to ‘come’, we would start sinking.

Joseph was in this valley for a long time after God had shown him a rosy picture of the future- the end picture, because He declares the end from the beginning. Joseph jumped for joy at that dream where he saw everyone bowing to him. it must have filled him with pride, more so when his father compounded it by making a coat of many colours for him. He must have been on the moon, walking head and shoulders above all his brethren. The honey moon was on!

But then God knew that he had to pass the Pride Test by allowing him to be thrown in to the pit and then sold as a chattel, a commodity, to the Midianites and then as a slave to Potiphar. He was in his valley. Joseph handled his valley rightly by maintaining his integrity and intimacy with God despite the woes he faced after the great dream. However, despite his faithfulness, excellence, favour which spilled over to Potiphar because of him, he was still tempted by Potiphar’s wife so he could pass his Purity Test en route his Promised Land. Despite passing that test, he was thrown into prison but there again he distinguished himself and was made an overseer of other prisoners. He did not throw a pity party rather was concerned about other prisoners, noticing their countenance and encouraging them, interpreting their dreams. ( Gen.37, 39, 40)

As you make things happened for others even in your valley times, that valley will turn out to be a set up for a lift up. Your setback shall be platform for a great come back as we saw in the life of Joseph. Handle your valley rightly and God will not forget you. And in the fullness of time, Joseph was raised from his dungeon, from the valley into victory; in to the palace and everybody was bowing the knee and eventually even his brother came and bowed the knee, because the word of the Lord will not fall to the ground. The end which He declared from the beginning came to pass eventually. ( Gen41)

What has the Lord promised you? What dream of greatness has He shown you? What end has He declared to you that made you jump for joy when the promise came, and do you now face a valley? Are you in the valley of the shadow of death like David wrote in Psalm23? If so know, that you know, that you are only going through the valley. Look unto Jesus and the valley will not be your abode. It will not be your permanent residence. Praise God even in that valley, like Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi and He will refine you through it and bring you to your place of abundance, your wealthy place. Yes, He will allow you to go through fire and rivers but you will not be burnt; the flame will not kindle upon you. You will be refined to come out shining like gold, reflecting His image. When you go through the river, your boat will not capsize so long as the Captain of Salvation is the Captain of your boat, you will not drown. ( Isa43:1-3) You will not go under for going over. Yea, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death know and remind yourself that shadows never hurt anyone. Jesus took the substance of death; the full force and ferocity of death and rose up victorious for you. Therefore you are coming out smelling like rose like the three Hebrew children.

David was a regular in the valleys of life. After defeating Goliath who was breathing violence, havoc, mayhem on the whole of the armies of Saul who were quaking in their boots, he found himself running from pillar to post, with his life in his hands, running from King Saul whom he had helped to consolidate his position as king. David even sought refuge among the Philistines. What a humiliation! What a valley!( 1Sam17)

However, in this valley he wrote Psalm3 and other Psalms which are now a blessing to countless generations. When you handle your valley rightly, God will bring about your ministry from your misery, your boon from your battles, your miracles from your struggles and your victory from your valley. He will burn off the dross so that your gold can show and your life can reflect His image.

In Ziklag David faced another valley where, while on the run he came across disgruntled men who had no hope and encouraged them and recycled them into a formidable fighting machine. Unfortunately one day when they returned another business that required their attention they could not believe that the enemy had come to devastate their camp and carried away all their wives and children. The people turned on David and wanted to stone him

1 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire,
2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.
3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.
6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

David had to encourage himself in the Lord. Did you ever wonder how he did it? I believe he did it by going back to the Psalms he had written and praying them back to God or mediating on them until he was revived.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me, " There is no help for him in God." Selah
3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your peoplePs3
You and I must do the same when we come into the Valley of life. Go back to the word God had given you and pray it back to God; Lord, you said.... on such and such occasion. Lord, you confirmed the word I received from you when ... was preaching. Now Lord, behold their threatening. As you do, you will be revived to stand to see the salvation of the Lord.
Job was in this valley and at times did not handle rightly when he cursed the day of his birth.
1 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
2 And Job spoke, and said:
3 " May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ' A male child is conceived.'
4 May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it.
5 May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 As for that night, may darkness seize it; May it not rejoice among the days of the year, May it not come into the number of the months.
7 Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it! Job3:1-7

However he redeemed himself when he saw through God’s eyes and said; ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.... He knows the way I take and when He has tried me I will come forth like gold.... The Lord gives, the Lord takes blessed be the name of the Lord... I will wait until my change comes.

Job worshipped in his Valley
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
21 And he said: " Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job2

15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,Job13
10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.Job23:10
12 If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?'

Though he had miserable comforters, when he prayed for them as commanded by the Lord, God turned his captivity and blessed him superabundantly even more than before. Handle your valley rightly and God will bring your victory.( Job42)

Jesus, our Saviour was in this type of Valley when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane.
There he agonised in prayer as He was faced with the prospect of the cross, when He would be separated from the Father, when the sin of the whole world would be heaped on Him. It was a daunting moment and he cried: ‘Father, it is possible , let this cup pass from me. But nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done.

Yes, at that moment when you are faced with your cross and you think you can’t handle it remember:Jesus was there and prevailed so that you too can prevail. God will not allow you to go through what you cannot handle. Surrender your will like Jesus did, saying ‘Not my will but Your will be done.’ Know, that you know, that you know, that God is with you and He Who had begun the good work in you will also complete it. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He knows when to bring you out of the furnace or the refinery or the fire. Diamond comes about when tons of pressure is exerted on what is essentially carbon. Unless you are bruised you cannot be used. Tea yields its flavour only when hot water is applied.

38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

John the Baptist forgot what he knew, doubted what he believed when the crunch came. Do not doubt God because of your valley moments. God is still on the throne. You are still on His team. He still loves you with an everlasting love. He is still sovereign. Nothing will come to you unless He permits it. Your life is hidden in Christ in God. No weapon that is fashioned against you will prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall show to be in the wrong. When the enemy comes like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against him. You will not die but live to declare the works of the Lord. Yes, when you go through the valley of the shadow of death, fear no evil because God is with you. His rod and His staff they comfort you. He will prepare a sumptuous sup for you in the presence of your enemies. ( Ps23) When you are hard pressed know that He is with you and you will not be crushed. When you are perplexed, be not in despair. When you are persecuted, know that you are not abandoned. He said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you until the end of the age. When you are knocked down, know that it is not the end of the road for you. You are not knocked out you are still in the Race of Grace. (2Cor4:7-9)The righteous man may fall seven times but he rises again.’ (Prov24:16) Tell your enemies, ‘O rejoice not against my enemies, when I fall I shall arise. When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.‘( Micah7:Cool

Forget not the benefits of the Lord in your valley rather remind yourself: He forgives me of all my sins, heals me of all my diseases, satisfies my mouth with good things, redeemed my life from destruction, crowns me with love and compassion and renews my youth like the eagle’s. ( Ps103:1-5) Learn from David who said,’ I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I will make my boast in Him. Let the afflicted hear and rejoice. This poor man cried and he heard him and delivered him from all his fears.( Ps34)

Say to yourself I will lift up my eye unto the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth... He who keep me does not sleep. (Ps121)

Regardless of the valley
Victory you will see
If you look to Jesus
His triumph on the cross.
You will not go under
But you are crossing over.
To the other side
Because God is on your side.

Your valley will bring victory
Cause you to mount up
Even to the illusory top.
Therefore be not a quitter
But a be winner
Because quitter never win
and winner never quit.

©Fenny West2012
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