Summary: Life is accompanied with both sunshine and shadows. The Christian's pilgrimage is at times on high, smooth plains of spiritual blessings, at other times it is down rocky gorges and through dark valleys.
FIVE DARK VALLEYS OF LIFE
INTRODUCTION: Life is accompanied with both sunshine and shadows. The Christian's pilgrimage is at times on high, smooth plains of spiritual blessings, at other times it is down rocky gorges and through dark valleys.
THE FIVE VALLEYS ARE:
1. The valley of sickness
2. The valley of trials. I Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
3. The valley of persecutions. II Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
4. The valley of doubts. Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
5. The valley of death.
I. JOB PASSED THRU THE VALLEY OF SICKNESS AND SUFFERING
1. Afflicted from head to foot. Job 2:3-7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
2. It was not because of his wickedness
3. Sickness is not a sign of sinfulness; therefore all are subject to it.
II. THE VALLEY OF TRIALS
I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1. They are necessary to try our faith
2. We are not to think them strange
3. God wants and expects to have a tried people
4. After several trials we can come forth as gold
III. THE VALLEY OF PERSECUTION
1. All the apostles and Christ went through it
2. Paul was once stoned and dragged out of the city for dead.
Acts 14:19-20 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
3. All the apostles except John died in the valley of persecutions
4. We are forced into the valley
IV. THE VALLEY OF DOUBTS
1. John the Baptist got into it. He was in the valley in prison; therefore, he began to doubt Christ. Matt. 11:2-3. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
2. Thomas was often in the valley even after he had seen great things
3. Most every Christian has his doubts
V. THE VALLEY OF DEATH
1. Both righteous and wicked of the past have passed through it
2. God appointed that all should go through it. Hebrews 9:27-28. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
3. Christ passed through it
4. Christ lighted up the valley for those who follow
CONCLUSION It is not all mountain top experiences, the Bible makes that perfectly clear, therefore we all might as well prepare for the valleys.