Valley of Suffering? What are you talking about? We are victorious Christians. We walk on water. We have all the answers in the Bible. No…, we are either in denial, or we are putting on a face so people won’t judge us.
One of the greatest wrongs birthed by the present religious system is the fakeness and hypocrisy it breeds. The world says only the strong survive, and the modern church says look strong even if you are dying inside. The world says channel good vibes, and the church says claim your miracle. Basically, they are saying the same thing, speak “positivity”, so I see no difference.
Because of this there is very little teaching on suffering today. We are usually good with a little suffering, then getting our breakthrough, but what if the Lord permits things to go 10 years or more in the same condition with the same circumstances?
As I write this I am personally in the crucible. I will not be in denial. It is shameful. It is negative and painful, and it is beyond my ability to comprehend why Father would permit it. It isn’t the first time. I have watched things and loved ones get taken from me without explanation. This happens so much that I now tell people I live in the fire. Today I say as my friend, Richard Broadbent, says, “I will not commit spiritual abortion.” I will not sell my birthright to get out of the fire.
Scripture says the Lord Jesus while on earth as a man learned obedience by the things that He suffered. I know the Father is at work in ALL THINGS.
Hope is a moot point unless you are hopeless, and Faith is the hope of things NOT seen.
So, unless we can learn this lesson, as we pass through the valley of hopelessness with no solution in sight, we will not grow spiritually. One thing is to quote Bible verses from your head knowledge, and another is to share your life testimony from life experience. One is hearsay evidence and the other is eyewitness facts as it says in 1 John 1.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life
Many Christians have head knowledge, but few have been matured in the fires of life to the place where they are now eyewitnesses.
I claim no great faith, but I have felt what it feels like to be lifted from the effects of the fires and speak words of Life to situations that would drive most people insane. I believe that the prayers of God’s people, the intercession of the Holy Spirit, and the angels of the Lord are responsible for aiding us during these haunting and very difficult circumstances. Once you have been through them, should the wind and the waves again try to sink your ship, you can stand and say “peace be still.”
One of the problems we have is the idiot, non-existent verse that says, “God helps those that help themselves.” This was just quoted to me two days ago by someone that has been “in Church” more than 30 years. We are weary with doing anything to get out of the fire. Ephesians says in Chapter 6 “having done all to stand, stand therefore.” Standing is a position of faith. It is offense even though we are not moving or can’t move in the physical realm, progress is at work in the spiritual realm. Why is this important? Because, I have never seen anyone receive their deliverance while in doubt. The next time you are faced with an insurmountable obstacle before you, at least stand in the direction of your deliverance.
Sometimes we start well, but after many years, we begin to grow weary and begin to doubt. The enemy bombards us daily with the words, “the Lord is not coming to your rescue,” or “The Lord is fickle and He can’t be trusted with your situation.” Lies, lies and more lies, the enemy is famous for getting us to see things his way.
Here is some help as we WAIT so you can keep a healthy perspective;
Abraham waited 25 years for a promised son.
Moses spent 40 years in the desert before He could be the object of deliverance.
Caleb waited 45 years in faith to get His mountain.
David waited over 20 years to be crown King of all Israel.
Paul waiting at least 14 years before being called up for service by Barnabas.
Delay in the Christian life is not unusual, but it is typical of the way God brings about His promises and purposes. Stated concisely, God is not in a hurry. God has all the time in the world. In fact, God is bigger than time and certainly not limited by time. The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He knows all things that will happen to us. The Lord is never shocked or surprised by anything that happens.
Here are 10 things that help me keep my sanity during my times in the valley of suffering:
- God knew this and He has a plan.
- The Lord has promised that He will never give me more than I can bear.
- I do not belong to myself, and I have been chosen to be a living example of faith for Him.
- Many times, what the devil means for evil, God turns it for good.
- I am not God, and His ways are higher than my puny mind can understand.
- Sometimes the full blessing or purpose will not be seen in only one generation.
- The pain is real, and we know the good Father is closest when His children hurt .
- I am just passing through, this life is temporary, and I was created for eternity.
- I am not alone “knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
- The suffering of one in the Body is the suffering of all.
Some of you can follow me here even though what I am about to share is a little deep for most.
Heb 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
I believe God is now raising up leaders for His Body that will be living signposts in their flesh by the things they have suffered. This is so His church finds its way back to Him and away from the bondage of the religious systems of men. A true incarnation of Christ will happen in our mortal flesh. This will be the death of many things, or as Paul said I die daily.
Here is a short piece on the valley of suffering by my brother Rick Fineout;
“There seems to be little understanding in contemporary Western Christianity about God saying that He will chastise those whom He loves (Heb 12:6). This is not surprising in a society whose values and morals have become merely relative instead of concrete, including the concept that no one should suffer consequences except unborn babies.
However, from a simple standpoint, here is a complicated process in a nutshell of the point of going through trials and tribulations at the hands of the Lord. I have noticed that there seems to be a process of learning in the above. These seem to be the 4 basic steps of understanding brought forth by these experiences:
- Learning that God exists.
- Figuring out whether God either can or can’t do something about your situation.
- Wondering whether God will or won’t do something about your situation.
- Finally, learning why God did or didn’t seem to react in an understandable way.
Ultimately, one learns that the pure definition of faith is based on knowing God’s character through experiencing it.
Any trial one goes through affects more than one person and occurs for more than one reason.
The nature of trials changes as one grows in spiritual maturity. Emotional scar tissue becomes love, and anger becomes trust and peace. Manipulation becomes patience and submission, and communication with God becomes more certain, singular, and substantive.
How do you know you are going through a trial? If you looks at your situation and finds that you did nothing to cause it, you couldn’t foresee it, efforts at escape would only make it worse, close friends don’t understand, others mock you, you feel separated, and there’s no way out—-that’s a trial! Oh yes, you may have lots of well-meaning Christians berate you with scriptures and guilt as well for your unbelief or secret sin.
Why can a trial be so hard? So that you know that only God could have pulled you through. There is no magic formula other than tying a knot in the rope’s end where you find yourself and hanging on. When you finally grow into no longer fearing what disaster may happen, it is far less painful if it does occur.
An entire book of the Bible (Job) is there for just the purpose of understanding the nature of trials. “Pleading the blood”, cursing demons, shouting “Praise God” ten times, and other formulas won’t work. Perhaps that is the reason why Job is not a popular book.
One other thing about going through a trial: you will find that it not only provides growth, it is a sign that you HAVE grown. Hopefully we reach the point in our maturity where, like Abraham, we can say, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25)”
Here is another piece from another brother, Steve Crosby, concerning the valley of suffering;
“The thing that to me means the most in what you wrote is the lack of understanding of our inter-connectedness. This has profound and far reaching implications. Part of our problem in understanding the gospel in general and for our various mental and emotional woes, is the toxic influence of Western, Cartesian, and American individualism . . . the lens that processes everything through its effect on me personally.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, including salvation itself (contrary to Protestant evangelicalism) is individual in the kingdom. Nothing of the kingdom will ever “work” on a platform of individualism. And one of the key elements of maintaining sanity in extreme adversity, is as you say, understanding that I am but one element in a much larger frying pan. Suffering is irrational, meaningless, tormenting, and despairing if I cannot grasp that there is more at stake in the moment of my suffering than . . . the moment of my suffering.
I do not claim to have graduated from this class, but I am enrolled and learning. :-)”
As you can see the valley of suffering is something that challenges the most spiritual of Christians. Rest assured if our Lord grew and matured by the things He suffered, then trust your Creator and Lord to be shaping you into something that will praise His name both here and in Eternity!
Before I end I just want to say I feel your pain. I have been many times before, and again I find myself today in a place that if it wasn’t for the Lord, I would sink into great depression and be in tormenting despair screaming out, “Why God!” I now understand in my flesh what it means when He says He would give us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Only the Father knows why I am at peace and what it has taken Him to get me to this place.
May He strengthen you! Do not concentrate on the failure of the Body of Christ to come to your aid. Concentrate on the fact that even if no one stands with you, your Lord will never leave you or forsake you. May you become an eyewitness of the fact that He is Sufficient!
I want to thank the brothers of the Thursday Fellowship Call for your input and prayers for me and for all these years we have walked together!
Jose L. Bosque
As of yesterday, the dark cloud has passed. I learned many new things and confirmed many old things while passing through this valley. I felt from the Lord to add them to the end of this teaching to help the faith of those who just can’t see the horizon right now.
First, it was clear to me that there must be a purpose in everything the Lord permits in my life. Many times I have been kept wondering and just never knew….Yet. This time I sensed the Father say two things, “For you to incarnate the life of my Son, I must write on your flesh.” He reminded me of the Son in the garden of Gethsemane and what a tough decision it was as the Man Christ Jesus. The Father would later write His love letter to the world on the flesh of His son at Calvary. Second, Father said like a computer puts in a restore point before it adds a new software, so I am putting in a point in your life so all may know where I bring you up from in 2017.
He had me send an email advising my situation and asking for prayer to my blood family and to my closest spiritual family. Here the Lord confirmed blood means nothing and no-agenda relationships are everything. Later on, Father said even though some of them can help you I will not get the glory using them. The Lord put a name on my heart and when I called that individual it started the process of my deliverance. I say started the process because at first, he said he would consider it he later said no.
As I waited for deliverance I was able to do and feel something totally new for me. I was able to worship the Lord on two occasions with the total assurance that I had received my miracle. This was not a forced event or a planned event it was a supernatural visitation where all I could do was weep and thank God. I believe much of those moments where the direct result of heaven sent grace to overcome as a result of the prayers of my closest spiritual family.
The Lord also re-confirmed the definition of “a peace that surpasses all understanding” as I was able to function without going totally nuts and slipping into depression.
Finally, the man changed his mind and agreed to my terms. Truly what the devil meant for evil the Lord changed it for good. As a result of this trial many needed blessings came my way which resolved issues dammed up for years.
May the Lord walk with you through yours,