Life is sometimes anything but easy. So many things have the potential to bring us to our lowest points. Whether it's the monotonous every day grind, anxiety about the future, unfortunate life events, or simply turning on the daily news, it's easy to feel pretty unhappy every now and again. Sometimes, you can be among thousands and feel like the loneliest person in the world. At times, you may find yourself questioning a lot of things about yourself. Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the point of all this? If we rely on our own intuition to answer these questions, we will be forever disappointed. It is only when we fix our eyes and hearts on the Word of God that we will find the clarity and peace that we desire. And boy, are we in luck. The Bible is stuffed with reminders of God's love and goodness and grace toward us. His Word serves to sustain us through the low points in life. So if you're stumbling through a valley, or just in need of some encouragement, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. God has not abandoned you.
When things aren't going your way, it's very easy to believe that God just doesn't care about you. In a world full of billions of people, it may seem rational to you that the God of the Universe wouldn't be interested in your seemingly small troubles. But the gospel truth is that God is 100% completely and totally in love with you. His heart hurts when He sees you hurt. He knows your struggles and your pain and He is with you in the darkness when you feel most alone. Your prayers and pleas do not fall on deaf ears, but instead they are heard by the all-knowing and all-creating One, who has good plans for you and has placed you in this spot for a reason.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
2. Jesus Christ himself is praying for you by name, every second of every single day.
Prayer is one of the most powerful spiritual forces in the world. The prayer of mere human beings has the ability to cause unbelievable change for good through the will of God. How much more powerful and more poignant, then, is the prayer of Jesus, God's only son? The risen Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, and He prays constantly. Your name is on His lips as he petitions endlessly for you. If you ever feel unsupported, or like no one is in your corner, remember that the King of Kings Himself holds your cause dear to His heart and is praying for you even now.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
3. It is okay to be weak sometimes.
Too often, we buy into the idea that the appearance of strength is strength itself. In reality, trying to appear strong in our weakest moments only prevents us from entering into authentic relationships with God. As Donald Miller writes in his Scary Close devotional, "Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can't accept their imperfections can't accept grace either." The truth is, God desires a relationship with each of us that is real. He already knows your heart, and He knows exactly what you want and need. He wants you to trust Him with your darkness, with your fears and your apathy and your disappointment and your worries and your sadness. All things are made new in Him, and He desires the chance to make things new for you as well.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
4. God has good plans for you.
When you're in the deep in a valley of your life, with little to keep you pressing onward, it can seem like "God's plan" for you is pretty grim. It's hard to keep believing in a good God with a good plan when nothing seems to be good or getting better. We tend to stumble when we can't find the light. But the nature of God is that He creates light in the dark places. Even when we can't see the goodness of God's plan, it's still there. He has already gone before you and made your path straight. Every step you take leads you closer to His will and His glorification. He truly is the God from whom all blessings flow, and He loves you and cares for you. His will is good and His plans for you are good. Trust in the valley will be what gets you to the mountaintop of your walk with Christ.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.