by Croft M. Pentz
Peter, James, and John were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8). Moses and Elijah also appeared. Peter enjoyed it, asking Jesus if they could remain permanently (Matt. 17:4). All enjoy the mountain-top experiences, but there are times we must live in the valley. Look at some of the experiences we have while living in the valley.
“In the day of my trouble, I will call upon Thee; for thou wilt answer me” (Psalm 86:7). The psalmist didn’t say, “If you have trouble.” The child of God has either been through trouble, is going through it, or will face it. No Christian is immune from trouble! David said, “For He will conceal me when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock” (Ps. 27:5 nlt). Also, “I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them” (Ps. 91:15 nlt). John said, “in the world we will have tribulation (trouble), but be of good cheer, because Christ overcame the world” (John 16:33). Paul admonishes us to be patient during tribulation (Rom. 12:12). Trouble comes our way to train, mature, and establish us!
Job could say after losing his wealth, children, and health, “Though God slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Also, “When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). God does permit us to be tested. However, there is a limit to the testing! “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Is. 15:19). He also said, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle thee” (Is. 42:2). The psalmist said, “We went through fire and flood. But You brought us to a place of great abundance”
(Ps. 66:12 nlt). Testing comes in various forms, but He’ll be with us during the testing!
Tears come because of sorrow, grief, loss, disappointment, pain. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept (John 11:35). David said, “I am worn out from sobbing. Every night tears drench my bed; my pillow is wet from weeping” (Ps. 6:6 nlt). Disobedient and wayward children create tears. No Christian is immune from heartbreak and tears! David said, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Tears won’t last forever! Joy in the morning awaits you. John tells us there will be no tears in heaven, as God wipes the tears from our eyes (Rev. 21:4). The song writer said in a song, “He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.” Those who sow in tears will reap in joy (Ps. 126:5,6).
Children of God must face trouble, testing, and tears. They must go through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4). The Apostle Paul said all living godly will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). God uses all things in our lives for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). If He doesn’t remove the obstacle, He makes a way around it or through it. He may not deliver us from it, but He helps deliver us through it! Daniel, the Hebrew boys, and Joseph were not delivered from their troubles, but delivered through them! God brings us out in triumph from these valley experiences. There is no triumph without the valley experiences.
The Christian life requires balance—both positive and negative. Heaven means more when we realize the pain of hell. God’s love means more when realizing His wrath. Good health means more after we’ve faced sickness. The mountain top experiences will mean more after having gone through the experiences in the valley. David said he would not fear the valley because the Lord was with him (Ps. 23:4). God is with you in the valley as He is with you on the mountain top.