In the Valley November 27—December 1
We need to become more aware of God’s presence in all situations—in both life’s hills and valleys. Hills represent the good times when we feel like celebrating and are grateful for God’s blessings. Valleys represent the bad times when we feel troubled, such as relationship conflicts, health crises, failures, financial problems, and grief. Like hills, valleys are temporary as circumstances change. In valley situations, we can remind ourselves of God’s promise to always be with us, and seek His presence and help. Even though we may be discouraged, we never have to despair, because we are not alone. And while we may enjoy God on the mountaintops, we get to know Him intimately in the valleys.
Day 1 Matthew 1:18-23
Reflect: Describe Joseph’s valley and how God met him there. Why wasn’t Mary able to help him? What is significant about the angel of the Lord calling Joseph, “Son of David”?
Apply: Like Joseph, when have you seen a situation from a valley perspective and eventually understood from a heavenly one? Is there someone in a valley whom you can help?
Pray: Father, like Joseph, You remind us of Your closeness when our hopes and dreams for the future don’t turn out as planned. Even amid life’s disappointments, Your ways and Your will are always good.
Day 2 Psalm 84:5-7
Reflect: What is the main point of these verses? What does the “valley of Baca, or Weeping”, represent? What happens to someone who fully trusts and relies on the Lord?
Apply: To what pilgrimage is verse 5 referring? Consider and respond to this statement—“We are more like our Lord Jesus when we suffer than when we prosper.”
Pray: God, with You, the darkest valley can be a place of fresh intimacy where I come to know and trust You more. When I feel overwhelmed, teach me to focus on Your presence, confident that You will provide the strength I need to press on.
Day 3 Psalm 139:7-12
Reflect: From these verses, what do you learn about God? About humans? Does God’s omnipresence encourage or frighten you? Why?
Apply: In what ways has knowing you are never alone changed you? Even though you can’t get away from God, how do you, sometimes, hold Him at a distance?
Pray: Lord, thank You that I can come to You when I’m distressed or when all is well. In both situations, help me not to rely on myself, remembering that You are in charge. Give me a greater desire to know Your will and the wisdom to apply it to my life.
Day 4 Psalm 23:1-6
Reflect: Which part of this famous psalm means the most to you? In what way has God made your “cup overflow”? How does God honor those He loves?
Apply: How has this psalm changed your perspective of the challenges you’ve faced? How has God provided for your needs in the past? Describe God’s comfort and protection.
Pray: Lord, keep me from wandering by listening to Your voice and responding to Your gracious leading. Thank You that You restore me and lead me along life’s path, for the honor of Your name.
Day 5 Colossians 3:1-4
Reflect: What do you understand about verse 3? What does a life hidden with Christ mean to you? How does attachment to this world impact us when we are in a valley?
Apply: How often do you view your circumstances from a heavenly perspective versus a worldly one? What would be different if you did this more often? What prevents you?
Pray: Father, as I die to self and live for Christ, may my life reflect more and more of You. I anticipate the day the Lord Jesus returns and invites me to share in His glory.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 1: In the Valley
Go back and revisit some of your “valley” experiences, focusing on what you learned. Pray for God to give you opportunities to comfort people by sharing your experience with them.