I believe that God brings us through different situations in our life to make us more like His son and so we can walk with others through similar situations. God has to do something in us before He can do something through us. Psalm 23 shows us how we can live a balanced life. I don’t know about you, but it’s difficult for me to stay balanced when life has so many ups and downs. We all go through dark valleys, but David tells us that even in the middle of our darkest valley, God can work a miracle and drive out all fear.
4. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
David says, in life you will go through dark valleys and also be attacked by the enemy. We all experience enemy attacks, but David says in the middle of our darkest valley while we’re under enemy attack we can have joy and peace and we don’t have to be afraid. David was confident about the future because He knew who held the future. He knew the Good Shepherd was watching out for him and was fighting for him.
In the Old Testament, God provided a miracle to protect his people. In 2 Chron. 20 we see three armies that had conspired together to attack Judah and King Jehoshaphat. King Jehoshaphat was immediately filled with fear, the Bible says. And maybe today you are filled with fear, confusion, anxiety and worry because you feel like a vast army is coming against you. You feel totally overwhelmed. King Jehoshaphat knew that God alone could protect and defend him, so he prayed. And then God spoke to Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:15.
“He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
To experience a miracle in the valley, we should do what Jehoshaphat did.
First, stop worrying and remember God is with you.
The main reason we become worried and discouraged in the valleys of life is we forget that God is in the valley with us. It may look like you’re outnumbered, but God plus one is a majority. You may feel overwhelmed by the problems you’re facing right now but God says that’s nothing for me. I’m with you. Not only is He with you, but He is in you and He gives you the power to face life’s difficulties. That’s why Paul, while imprisoned, chained, beaten, stoned, ship wrecked, he could still ask this question in Romans 8:31.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
Secondly, I need to stop fearing and give the battle over to God.
God says: Hey, this isn’t your battle. I’m going to fight this one for you. You can turn this over to me.
Sheep have many enemies and are defenseless to protect themselves and so they depend upon the shepherd for protection. And a good shepherd would be skilled with the rod so the sheep had nothing to worry about. In Psalm 23:4 David said: “Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” You guide me. You direct me. You provide for me. You correct me and then you protect me. You fight the battles for me.
The real reason I get filled with fear is because I’m trying to fight a battle that was never my battle to fight. And some of you are filled with fear today because you’re trying to fight a battle that was never your battle to fight. You’re stressing out and you’re fighting for control, to fix that problem in your own strength or to change that other person that won’t change or to get your problems under control. You’re fighting battle after battle that was never your battle to fight. God says: Give it to me. It’s my battle. I’ll fight the battle.
And the third thing is: I stop fighting and position myself for a miracle.
Once you give the battle over to God, our next step is to take our position to expect a miracle. He says: All you have to do is take your positions to receive the miracle. You don’t have to fight. God has allowed us to take a step of faith and put ourselves in a position to receive a miracle. We can never earn or deserve God’s miracles. We could never earn God’s blessings. It’s all because of His grace. We don’t deserve any of His blessings. But through His grace…If we’ll take a step of faith and stand in that place of miracles, then He can work miracles in your life. Position yourself for a miracle. When God asks me to take a step of faith and I take that step, I position myself in that place of miracles.
Now, how do we put ourselves? Well, it’s all about attitude. First, I need to choose an attitude of prayer rather than worry.
Jehoshaphat kept putting himself back in position for a miracle. Now he felt fear. It’s a natural human emotion. You can’t help that you have feelings of fear or anxiety; but then you get to decide whether you hold on to it or pray about it.
Jehoshaphat chose to pray about it. He got others to pray with him, and the question I have for you is: As you’re going through that dark valley, you’ve been trying to fight the battle on your own and control that problem, have you been praying to God? Have you really prayed to God?
And then I need an attitude of thanksgiving, rather than complaining, thanking God in advance.
I wonder how many miracles I’ve missed out on because I complained and griped rather than praising God. We’ll never know until we get to Heaven. Complaining, criticizing, being negative blocks the blessing. Thanking God in advance paves the pathway for God’s blessing in our lives.
You see when I go negative and I complain, that’s a sin against God. When I gripe and complain and about my situation, I’m actually griping and complaining about God because HE allowed that situation into my life?
Our attitude should be… God, I don’t like this. I don’t understand it but I thank you … you know what you’re doing and I know you’re going to see me through. If God doesn’t change the valley, He will change you in the valley. If God doesn’t make the valley go away, He will help you through the valley.
Sometimes God has to allow us to get to the dead ends of life before we really trust Him and we know it’s got to be God and He comes through. He gets all the glory and all the credit.
If you’re in a dark valley right now just know that God performs His greatest miracles in dark valleys and turns dark valleys into valleys of blessing.