And I heard a voice from heaven saying, â€œWrite this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!â€ Â Â Â Â Revelation 14:13 (NLT)
I received an email this week from a friend who is going through a really tough time. He feels stuck in this valley. He knows all the Scriptures and prays for God to lift him up but says he still feels like he isn’t getting any where. Oh, how I know what that kind of valley looks like. There have been days when I thought my address had been permanently changed to Low Valley Boulevard.
It is not difficult to get stuck in such a place when I have been knocked down by the death of someone I love or lost a job or I received bad news from a doctor or the bill pile is still high and the bank account is but a tiny blip. The difficulties seem enormous and the Scriptures, while true, solid promises, seem more like filmy clouds than strong poles to pull myself along. And then I read this Revelation Scripture again and got another â€œrevelation.â€
The cloud of witnesses, the ones who have gone before me, the ones who have endured their own set of hardships â€“ they are in front of me! They haven’t been left behind â€“ they have gone on! When I am in a valley all I have to do is follow the disciple who has walked before me. Sometimes I will see Jesus Himself and know to put my feet right into His footsteps. Other times it will be a friend or someone in Scripture (like Job or Peter or Esther or Elijah) and know to just do what they did â€“ for today. It might be to listen. It could be to pray and â€œseek the LORD.â€ Or it could be that today I am to â€œrest from my hard work.â€
When I am in a valley, I am thinking â€œHow do I get out of here?â€ and I get all twisted up trying to figure out the whole journey. And, yes, that brings me to a real trust issue. Do I trust Jesus to give me the journey’s map only one step or one day at a time? Well, since He made all the way up Calvary and out in victory, He has a good reputation I can trust! And then there is His love for me. As we walk through the valley together, I will learn more about His love and care for me.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into Godâ€™s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all Godâ€™s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Â Â Â Â Ephesians 3:14-19 (NLT)
Because He Lives written by Bill and Gloria Gaither