Lessons from the Valley

David invites us into hope –
“Even when I am in the darkest valley that life can bring, I won’t be afraid, because God is with me.” Life is full of valleys. Some are self imposed while others are brought to us by others or simply by the unfolding of events beyond anyone’s control. David learned the lesson of Psalm 23 from his own valleys – he’d been there before, so he knew deeply that he need not be afraid. So, he wants to help us.

Jesus too wants to help us. Jesus challenges us beyond imagination:
* Love me above everything and everyone
* Don’t worry about your life, or food, clothing, shelter, or anything else
* Love your enemies –
* I mean really love them – and even pray for and bless them.
* They hate me, so they’ll hate you too – if you really follow me.
* Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor.
* Whoever tries to save their life will loose it.
* Whoever looses their life for my sake will find it.
* Take up your cross and follow me.

But at the end of it all, the very last thing he says to us is this:

“Do not fear, it is I.”
“Remember, I am with you always…”

You are not alone, no matter what you may think or feel at the time. When you are scared, uncertain, anxious, confused, intimidated, feeling inadequate, weak, broken, incapable and just down right bad – I am with you.
And one of your church kids reminded us Sunday, when asked if we are alone in our valleys, “No, Jesus and the other disciples are with you.” Indeed. We are supposed to be here for each other – which means speaking when we have a need. It means being available and willing to put our own stuff aside for a moment to listen. It means making some personal sacrifices as a way of sharing others’ burdens. It means going without what we want, so that others can get what they need.
In life’s valleys we learn to do these things, trusting that God will see that it all evens out in the end. It also doesn’t mean going without what we need to provide others what they want – BUT, Jesus does say to seek His kingdom and righteousness first, and our needs will be met by His provision.
Job had a series of terrible tragedies come his way. His story has been told for 3000 years because in we find our own stories. From it we learn how to live more faithfully before God.
Sermons for August 2009 – “Lessons from the Valley”
8/2 ~ Learning to trust God – Job 1:1-2:10
8/9 ~ Learning to accompany other – Job 2:11-13
8/16 ~ Learning to assess self – Job 26-31, esp. 30:15-31
8/23 ~ Learning to proclaim faith – Job 32-37, esp. 33
8/30 ~ Learning to know God – Job 38-42, esp. 42:1-6
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s