What do you do when life gets you down? Many people run for cover. Some hope that the troubles they are facing will simply disappear. Others find themselves fighting against their circumstances in an effort to be free from suffering. However, none of this works apart from the loving plan of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is in the process of "fitting" us for the battles of life. Sorrow, frustration and pain are often the tools He uses to shape and mold our lives so that we become reflections of God's mercy and grace to others. While He is not the author of heartache and tragedy, He certainly knows exactly how to use these for our benefit and His glory.

One of the hardest lessons we will ever learn is how to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. In Psalm 23, King David reminds us that it is all a matter of faith and perspective. He writes, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me" (v.4).

David's words are stepping stones to a great faith. In fact, if we practice the principle that he lived by, God will develop a conquering faith within our lives. David lived with adversity and, from time to time, we will too. No one escapes difficulty. It is a part of life lived in a fallen world, but we do not have to live with feelings of defeat, discouragement, and criticism.

You may be thinking, "But you don't know my circumstances. There is no way for you to understand the pressure I feel or the discouragement that plagues my heart." While we can't truly know or understand the hurt another person may be experiencing, we do know that there is one person who understands perfectly and that is Jesus Christ.

He was rejected, betrayed, criticized, and crucified. If you are looking for someone to identify with the pain that you are feeling, do what David did — look up and realize there is someone who is walking through the valley with you. No matter how dark life becomes, Christ will lead you on to victory.


Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.

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