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There will Be Peace in The Valley

There will be Peace in The Valley&
    Even 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. Psalms 23:4 (NIV)
    After racing the deserts of Southern California and Baja for many years, I have come to a greater knowledge of the various types of terrain. I could tell you with a brief scan of the landscape, whether there are rocks within the bushes, or whether there are washouts from water run off lying up ahead on the course. You can almost read the terrain as if there were signs posted letting you know of some rough terrain ahead. After racing around, and learning these lessons, I thought it best to log them away for future reference. You never know when they will come in handy.
    Another thing that I learned is that they taught me to endure and to hold fast to my original goal of finishing the race to the best of my abilities. I would learn that a rough dangerous section would reward me once I safely navigated it, and that I would be better prepared for future challenges in other events. Turning around or quitting was never an option.
    I have found this especially true in my life as a Christian, man, son father, brother, businessman, and husband, and now as a Pastor. It is important to stay focused and realize that God has a plan in and through everything. Stay on course, and finish strong.
    As Christians, we will face many challenges along the course of life that will test our faith and our abilities as Godly men and women. The tests of trials and tribulations of today, are simply to allow us to be better prepared for what tomorrow holds in store. In effect, those things that are hard on us, those obstacles that seem impassable, are actually the best things that can happen in life, because they can cause us to change our course or our direction.
    But as a Christian, we have a distinct advantage in our navigation. You see, we have God as our guiding force. It is up to us to trust in Him, and His leading during the times of tribulation that we will all face.
    The question for us is this: Do you trust Him when things are going bad? Or do you only trust Him when things are going smoothly. Do you trust Him when you cannot see what lies ahead?
    God actually places us right in the middle of these situations so that we can grow, and learn. Our faith is increased in Him, as we see and experience Him guiding us through. It is in hindsight that we can reflect and realize that each and every time that we called out to Him, He was there, and He guided, and provided.
    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
    There are times when we walk through these valleys of testing and we feel alone, as if we have been abandoned. Doubt and fear loom around every corner, and every news report. We can even be dejected because God didnt answer us in exactly the right time according to our wishes. But it is during these times that we can be tested to see how genuine our faith is. And as we pull through with patience and endurance, we come into the finish line, and we are rewarded. And He is praised and receives His rightful glory.
    In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12 (NKJV)
    Hold Fast Christian, God has good plans for us, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He needs to get us better prepared for these plans, so that we can handle them and be used in a mighty way.
    STUDY QUESTION: According to James 1, what type of attitude should we have when we face trials?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you remembering that as a Christian, God is always with us, and He promises to meet your needs?
    APPLICATION: Focus on Christ as you walk through the trials and tribulations of life. By focusing on Him, rather than our problems, we will have peace in the midst of the tough times.
    Father, Thank You for Your love and Your provision in my life. Thank You for guiding me, and teaching me during the tough situations that I have had to face. I know now, that I have never been alone. Help me to remember this when I face future testing. In Jesus name, amen..
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000