Summary: God has commissioned pastors to be shepherds over his local flock. God always relates to Christians as sheep.
Psalms 23:4 Monte T. Brown
God has commissioned pastors to be shepherds over his local flock. God always relates to Christians as sheep.
For those that believe that they can be Christians and not belong to a local church or not attend regularly, is the same as a sheep believing that they can be on their own that they don’t need a shepherd and they don’t need to be part of a flock.
This is just not true sheep cannot exist on their own. There is too much danger outside the flock.
You see the shepherd watches his flock, cares for his flock, and protects his flock.
Sometimes the shepherd watches the flock from a distance.
However, when night comes, they walk among the sheep.
They know that darkness brings greater danger to the sheep, and so they walk beside them, guarding them closely from harm.
During both night and day, shepherds need to defend their sheep from predators. Using a rod, they attack the unwelcome animal to keep it from hurting the flock.
If a sheep does wander, the shepherd’s staff is used to gently nudge the animal back to safety.
Passing Through Dark Valleys
How to Deal With Adversity
I have a riddle for you this morning.
What do you get in a land where all you have is sunshine every day and no rain?
Do you know what you get? You get a desert.
In order to have green lush vegetation - you must have rain.
Storms must come. Rain must fall.
In order for lush green valleys, you must have rain.
That is true in nature and it is true in our lives too.
In the Bible there are many valleys that are viewed as problems.
In our lives there are many valley that bring us problems.
Joshua talks of about the Valley of Calamity.
Psalms 84 talks about the Valley of Weeping.
Hosea talks about the Valley of Trouble.
Even in our country, we have a famous valley called Death Valley.
In Israel, there is a real Valley of the Shadow of Death.
It is deep. It is steep. It is a very narrow canyon.
The sun only hits the floor of the valley at high noon.
The rest of the time, the valley is dark.
David probably led his sheep through the valley when he was growing up.
How do you handle the dark valleys in your life?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (KJV)
I want to give you five facts about dark valleys.
1. Dark valleys are UNAVOIDABLE
They are going to happen in life – you can count on it.
You may be coming out of one right now or you may be in the middle of one right now or you’re heading into one right now.
No matter what - dark valleys are unavoidable.
If you are human - there will be dark valleys in your life.
2. Dark valleys are UNPREDICTABLE
You cannot plan them or time them.
Dark valleys are unscheduled.
They usually come at the worst time – when you do not have time for them and are unprepared for them.
Have you ever had a flat tire at a good time?
Usually they come when we have to be somewhere and are running late.
Look at what Jeremiah 4:20 says:
"Disaster after disaster is reported, for the whole land is destroyed. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my tent curtains, in a moment." Jeremiah 4:20 (HCSB)
Missed work for several days because of illness?
In a moment - at an unpredictable time - dark valleys show up.
What can you do Dark valleys are UNPREDICTABLE
You have to trust in the direction of our chief shepherd our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
3. Dark valleys are IMPARTIAL
No one is immune.
No one escapes the problems of life.
Everyone has problems – good people and bad people.
Problems do not care how good or bad you are.
One of the first reactions most of us have is to ask the question, “Why me?”
The real question we should be asking is, “Why not me?”
Do you think you should be exempt from problems? Problems happen to everyone – including you. Matthew 5:45 says this:
"He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:45 (HCSB)
Why do we think we should be exempt from problems?
The good news is:
Dark valleys may be IMPARTIAL but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is not.