My wife’s mother liked to say that troubles have come to ‘Pass’, not to stay. She used the phrase “This Too Will Pass”. It was her way of propping herself and others up to keep hoping for relief that had not yet come.
Yesterday a similar thought was shared with me about how in our walk with God we go “Through” things, rather than getting stuck in them.
Think about the famous reference to the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” in the Good Shepherd psalm.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
What does the psalm say about our experience of the Valley of the Shadow of Death? It says we go “through” it. “Yea, though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death”.
When we come into difficult and testing times we can feel like we are trapped in the desert or in the valley. We may feel we are in that spot for a very long time. People talk of having a long ‘dry season’, or being in a trial for a long time.
God never leads us into a place of difficulty to destroy us, but to take us ‘through’. However our enemy wants us to think we have arrived at our destination, telling us we’ll never get out and somehow deserve the trouble we have fallen into.
If our enemy can convince us to stop and camp in our desert place, or in the valley, we won’t keep moving through it. We are to keep Going Through.
The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. So he wants to take from you your potential and your hope.
“The thief only comes to steal and to kill and to destroy: I (Jesus) have come so people will have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Your enemy wants to make you lose heart, get bogged down, stop pressing through your issues, and believe that God wants you to suffer and never get breakthrough. But that’s not true. God wants you to keep Going Through things – ‘through’ them.
You do that by finding God’s help, God’s grace, God’s peace, God’s power, God’s love at work in your life, and your authority through God to resist the devil, overcome evil, fight a good fight, be led by the Spirit and be the head and not the tail in each situation.
The man who encouraged me yesterday pointed to a psalm about going through things, in order to become stronger and better prepared for our future. The trials aren’t to defeat us but to build us up in stamina to claim God’s blessings and defeat the enemy.
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in you; whose heart is set on moving forward. Who passing through the valley of Baca turns it into a well; the rain also fills the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appears before God.” Psalm 84:5-7
See in those verses that the person is going “through” the valley, because their heart is set on moving forward. By God’s grace the difficult desert valley becomes a place of supply, a well. And there is a store of good things, filling the pools, as resource for all that is to come. They go from ‘strength to strength’.
This is the picture of those who are Going Through. So, in your various situations, you may feel overwhelmed and even defeated, but God is on your side. If God is on your side, you won’t be getting stuck in the middle of your problems.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
God may well lead you into a difficult time or an unpleasant place, just as the Good Shepherd leads his flock through a dry or dark valley in order to come out on the other side into a place of blessing.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the sight of dry or dark places. They are not your home or the place God is dumping you. They are nothing more than a place to go through to get the better things God has for you.
We see that people become stronger, and their hearts are refined, in the places of trial. We learn important lessons that are good for us. Such as learning to put our trust fully on God.
“God humbled you and caused you to hunger, then fed you with manna, which was new to you, which your ancestors didn’t know, so God could make you realise that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3
“Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver; I tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10
There are abundant testimonies of those who held on in faith, waiting even many years for God to come through, and who saw the breakthrough and blessing come. That only happens when we set ourselves for Going Through, not just sitting and wallowing in our mess.
So let me encourage you to keep heart. Things may be difficult and things may have been difficult for a long time, but God has not doomed you to the valley or the desert. These are places to pass through. The enemy may have convinced you that you belong in your mess, but that’s not true.
Come to God again and affirm your faith in Him. Agree with God that He has better things than you have tasted yet and choose to ask God for, and believe God for breakthrough and blessing. Take a good look at your desert, your valley and all your current difficulties, then tell God you have made up your mind that with His help you are Going Through.