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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday, 11/12/2023

WALKING THROUGH THE DARKEST VALLEYS FOR THE WIN


Psalm 23:1–3 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.


The right path will not always be an easy path.


Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (valley of deepest darkness), I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


There will be times where the way God leads you seems impossible.


There will be times when you find it hard to detect the presence of God.


Even in our darkest valleys, our darkest days, God is there.


Joshua talks about the Valley of Calamity or Trouble in Joshua 7:26


Psalm 84:6 talks about the Valley of Baca or Weeping


Hosea 2:15 talks about the Valley of Achor or Trouble


Psalm 23:4 in Hebrew actually means The Valley of Deepest Darkness


1. VALLEYS ARE A NORMAL PART OF LIFE


John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


2. VALLEYS ARE ALWAYS UNEXPECTED


3. VALLEYS ARE IMPARTIAL


Matthew 5:45 Jesus said, "It rains on the just and the unjust too."


4. VALLEYS ARE TEMPORARY UNLESS YOU SET UP HOUSE THERE


"Even though I walk through the valley..."


1 Peter 1:6 So rejoice. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.


2 Corinthians 4:17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!


5. VALLEYS ARE USEFUL TO FAITH AND CHARACTER


1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT2) So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.


1. Every problem has a purpose.


2. Faith is built in the valleys of life.


1. REFUSE TO BE DISCOURAGED BY FEAR


"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death".

"I will not fear evil". Will implies a choice.


Focus on God's power rather than on your problem.


2. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS WITH ME


Isa. 43:2 "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fires of oppression, you will not be burned up -- the flames will not consume you."


3. RELY ON GOD'S PROTECTION AND GUIDANCE


The rod and staff were the two basic tools that a shepherd used to protect and guide the sheep.


1. Shadows are always bigger than the reality. Fear is always greater than the actual problem.


2. Shadows cannot hurt you.


3. There is no shadow without a light somewhere.


Ps. 34:19 (paraphrase) "The good man does not escape all troubles -- he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one."


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