Glory Seed Devotionals, 2015: Year of Promise
The LORD is my Light in the darkest valley…
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 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.” (Psalm 23:1–4, NLT)
It is easy to memorize scripture verses and it is just as easy to quote them to someone who needs to hear their message but it is another thing entirely believe in them when we are the ones in need. I am writing this morning’s Glory Seed from somewhere in a “darkest valley” and I find myself struggling with my own loss of direction desperately reaching out to Jesus the only one who can help me find my way to the promised “green meadows” and “peaceful streams”.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” (1 Peter 4:12–13, NLT)
There are times on my own faith journey when find myself wandering in a “darkest valley” and I ask myself, “Gary, how in the world did you get here in the first place?” And after wrestling with myself for a while I come to the conclusion that I honestly don’t know. However, I am not satisfied with that non-answer and so I ask the LORD for help. And this morning from deep inside one word keeps resurfacing in my thoughts “depression”. Could it be me, a Christian who depends totally on Jesus, a man who believes deeply in the words of the bible be depressed? According to the Apostle Peter the answer is yes it is possible, just because we have a relationship with Jesus does not make us impervious to the influences of everyday living.
“Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:31–33, NLT)
During Jesus’ darkest hour after all his friends deserted him he wasn’t alone! And because God was his constant companion he was at peace. During times in our “darkest valley” when it seems as if we’re alone we are not, Jesus through the Holy Spirit is our constant companion leading us to the promised “green meadows” and “peaceful streams”. And mine are now coming into view, thank you Jesus!
Anticipate! Experience! Believe! Be transformed!
Grace and PEACE, Amen!
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Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 LEB)
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“Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.”