Looking to Jesus can help in trials

We’ve been considering how to get through the dark valleys of life.

Last time, we learned that we have a choice to make. We can decide not to give in to discouragement. We get to choose where to focus, and we can lift our sights above our circumstances and look instead to Christ.

As we look to him, it will empower us to remember that God has promised to be with us. We have seen how David was so keenly aware of God’s presence in his life. In Psalm 23, he basically said, “You are with me. You’ll be with me every step of the way.”

God not only promises us his power in the valleys of life, he promises us his presence. As a believer, you never face your struggles alone. You will never go through a dark day all by yourself.

God has said, “I will be with you. I will never leave you or forsake you.” I love God’s promise in Isaiah 43:2: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. The flames will not consume you.”

You are never alone. God has promised to be with you. He will be there every step of the way as you walk through your valley.

You can learn to rely on God’s protection and guidance. When we’re going through a dark valley, our tendency is to think the sun has stopped shining. You may feel like you are all alone. You may feel like you’re in total darkness. In the midst of the shadows, it helps to be reminded that there is a light somewhere. You can’t have a shadow without light.

Try it sometime. You can look at the shadow or you can look at the light, but you can’t do both. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” When you look at him, you won’t be afraid of all of the other shadows around you. They fall behind you. When you’re walking through the valley, will you look at the shadows or will you look at the light? It’s up to you.

Struggles are an inevitable part of life. God can use them to grow us up and refine in us the image of Christ. The difference in the way we face our struggles is not in the absence of the shadows but in our awareness of God’s presence.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.