Lately God has been inspiring me to encourage people. Everyone experiences seasons and times when life feels as though it’s going downhill and there’s no sign of improvement. Encouraging people is so important because you are able to inject courage into them. Encouragement doesn’t necessarily take away the fear or worry, rather it gives people the courage that’s required to get to the other side.
God will not take you out of the valley, He will walk with you through it.
When David writes about his experience walking through the valley of the shadow of death in Psalm 23, he provides us with keys to success when we experience similar circumstances. First he says “though I walk through”. David had no plans of stopping there. He saw the other side and kept moving towards that. Also note that valleys have the shadow of death. A shadow of something has no effect unless you allow it to intimidate you. In Christ death has no power over you, He defeated death 2000 years ago. Keep walking to the other side. If you allow fear and intimidation to rule in your life then you will turn around back to Egypt and not enter your promised land.
Encouragement is required. When you are going through difficult times it is so important to be encouraged. You don’t need to be fearless, but you need to be courageous. When you’re in the valley you have the choice to either be intimidated, or encouraged. Both speak of what’s on the inside. The difficulties of life do not bring out someone who we’re not, they only reveal what we carry within us.
Having people of faith around you is highly important. If you stand on a chair it’s much easier for someone to pull you down than for you to lift someone up. When you’re walking through the valleys you need to prioritize spending you’re time with positive, inspiring, encouraging people. Negative people will only bring your down further and you will get stuck with them, at their level. And sometimes we will need to encourage ourselves, you can’t always depend on other people to lift you up. God replaces our heaviness with a garment of praise, but we need to put it on.
You can develop an appreciation for the valleys which you walk through. As you’re walking through them this will be difficult, but as you reach the other side you realize the benefits. While God is not the author of sickness, death, destruction, or loss, He is the one working all things together for good. God uses the valleys and the lowest points of our life to lead us to greenest pastures. God floods the valleys with His rivers of life that carry us to the green pastures, where He makes us lie down.
Keep going, with the right people, and be encouraged that God is always with you.