Surviving the valley

Whenever we experience a spiritual high, we can expect a low. It’s the way of nature. Things go up, and they go down. God is always constant, and He remains faithful, but our motivation or excitement for serving Him will wax and wane. Let’s say this a different way. We should always have the joy of the Lord, but that joy will not keep us from experiencing sorrow.

The Christian life is like surfing. You ride a wave, and you wait for another wave. Sometimes you have to swim back out to the high seas. You won’t always be riding a wave, so you need to learn how to survive when you’re not.

Proverbs 24:10 says, "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." Notice this verse didn’t say "if the day of adversity comes." It said, "If thou faint." You see, we don’t have a choice when it comes to the valleys we will encounter. We have a choice as to whether we will be strong in the Lord or not.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah had just came off a spiritual high. He had stood in faith before the entire congregation of Israel and called down fire from heaven. He then killed all the prophets of Baal. Later that day, he prayed that God would send rain in the current drought. God did. Then, Elijah raced the king’s chariot and won. Yeah, he was on foot.

You want to talk about a spiritual high, that was a spiritual high. A short time later, Elijah had a pity party and asked God to kill him. God talked to Him more than once and even sent an angel with special food to sustain Him. Elijah refused to repent. God eventually gave Elijah orders to appoint his successor. God was through working with Him. God chose another servant to accomplish His will.

Elijah failed to survive the valley. The consequence was an end to service.

We will experience times of hardship. Times of sorrow. Times of depression. But we can choose whether to succumb to our emotions and circumstances, or ask and receive God’s power to rise above them. We have the choice. If you’re going through a tough time right now, I challenge you, ask God to sustain you. He loves you. He wants to help you. Tell Him all your trials and cast your cares upon Him. He alone can lift you up and keep you through all the times of discouragement.

Further reading: Psalm 22 (Watch David’s thought patterns as he goes from depression to praise)

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