Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2016

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

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Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

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Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Getting Through The Valley

GETTING THROUGH THE VALLEY
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“YES, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW
OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME”
(PSALM 23:5)

When you have those experiences when you have a reason to fear or become discouraged, resist it.  Jesus has already come through the same valley you are going through and made it to the other side.  Not only that, He is with you while you are going through your valley.  Jesus often told His disciples to "Fear Not".  The opposite of discouraged is to have courage.  Hopefully this sermon will motive you to ask our Lord Jesus for courage to walk through your valley.

Mountain top experiences are wonderful and we should praise God for each one of them that we experience.  We should remember them and share them with others.  These are times when God has blessed us with His good gifts of love.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).

The danger with mountaintop experiences is that they are so wonderful and so revealing that we don’t want them to end. Many people try to live out their life on the mountaintop. But, life isn’t lived on the mountaintop. It’s lived in the valleys below. After the Lord Jesus‘ transfiguration, He, Peter, James and John came down from mountain and they found people who were hurting and in need. They came back to the reality of every day life. 

Nearly 19 million Americans or about 10 percent of the US populations age 18 or over will suffer some form of depression each year.  This percentage is probably true of people in all countries.  This is a real valley for both Christians and non-Christians.  Other valleys we experience include physical illness, loss of loved ones, loss of a job, the loss of one’s identity and self-worth

The Lord Jesus was also going to face a valley.  He was going to be betrayed by one of His disciples, denied by another one, and forsaken by all of them.  But before this valley, He went to a place to prepare for it.  To a place of prayer and strength.  Let us look at this valley, and see how our Lord “walked through it”.  “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit here while I go and pray over there.  And He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.” (Matthew 26:36-37).  In this chapter, the Lord gives us some ways to walk through our valleys.

Jesus did not isolate Himself.  He kept His friends close by His side as He was experiencing a great spiritual battle with Satan.  Jesus let others in on the sorrow and grief that filled His heart that night. Jesus surrounded Himself with friends.  Too often Christians are imprisoned by themselves because they believe the lie that their depression should be kept as a secret—a deep dark shameful secret that we hide from everyone. When we get depressed we isolate ourselves from other people and try to ‘pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.’  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2).  Jesus was open and honest about the trial He was facing; He did not let His depression isolate Him from others. Will we follow His example and not isolate ourselves from others? Sharing our depression with someone else is the first step out of the Valley of Gloom.

Jesus not only was with His disciples, but He let them in on the struggle He was going through.  “Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and pray with me."  (Matthew 26:38).  Notice too that Jesus didn’t just tell everyone about His need. Jesus used wisdom about who He shared His need with. Jesus asked His disciples to pray, but then He pulled Peter, James and John aside and shared more openly.  If we are going through a valley we need to get counseling and comfort from those who love us and will pray for us.

Jesus was honest and to the point with His Heavenly Father about His sorrow.  “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:29).  Jesus didn’t hid anything from the Father; instead Jesus was honest and let the Father know exactly what caused His heart to be heavy.  I personally do not believe that the Lord was trying to get out of going to the cross, because He had said many times that that was the reason He had come.  I believe He did not want to experience the temporary separation from His Father on the cross when He took on the sins of the world.

Jesus did not get trapped by bitterness or blame.  On the cross, our Lord said:  “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  (Luke 23:24).  He did not blame the disciples when they fell asleep instead of praying, the Jews, or the Romans.  This is an important step in walking through the valleys we are in.

Jesus prayed more than once about His valley.  God hears us the first time and every time we pray, but we need to hear ourselves pray.  We need to spend time with our Heavenly Father and express our sorrows and difficulties to Him.  Prayer is not trying to convince God to change His mind but to give us strength to get through our valleys.  Paul had the gift of healing, but when He was sick, God chose not to heal him immediately, but promised Him that He would give Him the strength to get through it.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  God answered Jesus and gave Him the strength He needed to endure the suffering, shame and pain he would endure on the cross.  “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43).

Jesus got up from His time in prayer and confronted His difficulty head on. Jesus didn’t run from His problem; He didn’t head for the hills and try to hide. Jesus faced Judas and the soldiers who had come to arrest Him. Jesus was ready to face the agony of the cross with God’s power. 


God will strengthen you to overcome your valleys and move forward with His freedom and liberty. Don’t let depression freeze you in your tracks; let God warm your heart with His love. Move forward with His strength.  “For I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13).

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