As the world around us gets darker, the light of His glory shines brighter. As the trials and suffering of this life get bitter, heaven gets sweeter.
John 16:33 KJV encourages us by saying,
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
What better time to know the peace of God than in the midst of a storm? What better time to truly know the joy of the Lord but in the midst of heartache and suffering? What better time to know and experience the strength of Almighty God than in the midst of our weakness and frailty.
In his book, “It Filled the House,” Samuel Vaughn wrote, “Moses recognized that the Promised Land itself was not the true prize, but God’s presence was. God’s presence was the Promise. Without the Promise, Canaan was just land.”
Perhaps life doesn’t go like we hoped or planned, or maybe we have an idea of what God’s promise should look like, and our current lot in life feels so far from it that we are overwhelmed and struggle to see God in it at all.
Where is hope when it seems like all hope is lost? Where is the refreshing when you’ve cried all that you can cry? Where is the promise of rest?
The promise is found when and wherever He is found. He IS the promise. ALL that you thought was lost is found in HIS presence.
"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11
Psalm 84 describes the pleasure, fulfillment, and blessing found in the presence of the Lord even when the ship of life has been torn and tattered.
Psalm 84:4-7 Amplified
4 Blessed and greatly favored are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence;
They will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah.
5 Blessed and greatly favored is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power];
Each of them appears before God in Zion.
As I studied this scripture, I found a beautiful truth that I pray encourages someone:
Blessed, happy, joyful and favored are those who dwell, abide, sit still and remain in the house, in the presence of the Lord. They will STILL be praising you. The storm rages and the tempest roars, yet they are still found singing and praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is found in you. In whose heart are the highways to Zion, highways to His presence.
NKJV study commentary for verse 7 mentions, “those whose heart is set on pilgrimage, those who make their way into the temple not out of obligation, but out of a wellspring of joy.”
These are those who delight in His presence.
Verse 6 mentions the Valley of Baca or the Valley of Weeping.
People whose heart is fixed on His presence will go THROUGH the Valley of Weeping. They will not remain there. The people whose heart is fixed on His presence understand that there is a treasure, refreshment, a spring, and renewal to be found in the Valley of Weeping. There is a lesson to be learned about Him. There is Glory to be revealed in the Valley of Weeping that can’t be revealed any where else. They find nourishment in the Valley of Weeping. And the most beautiful part of all is that they go from strength to strength, victorious, and increasing in power. They keep moving forward becoming stronger and stronger with every tear, with every act of worship and praise, with every song, with every broken cry, with every time they choose to lift up their heads when all hope seems gone.
This is not a valley meant to destroy you, but it’s a highway to His glory, a highway to the presence of God, a highway where your human frailty collides with the strength and power of God Almighty.