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Ministry of Jesus (8 of 8)

Mike Connell

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Anger is like a debt, similar to unforgiveness. When a person is angry, they believe something was taken from them, something they were entitled to was stolen. “You owe me. You need to apologise. You need to put it right.” So anger and unforgiveness are like a demand – you pay me back. But you may never pay me back, and what you did may be so serious, and so bad, you can’t pay me back.

So, if I remain angry and harbour unforgiveness in my heart, I am trapped in the valley. I’m stuck in the place of sorrow. Trapped in there by my own unforgiveness; and God is saying – “Hey, I want to help you. I want the valley to become a well, but you are holding onto your unforgiveness and anger. You won’t let go, so you’re staying in this difficult place. I want to get you out of there.”

There’s another reason that people may stay in the valley – is they make Inner Vows. They harden their hearts; they speak “I’ll never let any man near me again.” “I’ll never trust a woman.” “I’ll never be in that position again.” So when we make an inward vow, it’s rooted in anger and bitterness – we stay in the valley. “I’ll never be like my father.” “I’ll never be like my mother.” These kinds of statements are rooted in anger and bitterness; and they’ll keep you in the valley.

So there are many reasons that people stay in a valley: Denial; Minimising; Unforgiveness; Anger; Inner vows; Judgements. People just get their lives all messed up. Now, we can choose how we handle difficult situations. So notice what the Bible says – “Blessed is the man whose strength is in the Lord.” Blessed! That means God’s favour rests on them. Notice why the person was stuck in the valley – was because they were trying to control all the pain, and control their own life. They were trying to manage their own world. When we control our own life, we don’t make room for God.

So here are the steps out of this – “Blessed is the man.” In other words, God’s blessing flows on this person. Here’s number 1 – “whose strength is in the Lord”. That word strength means: ability to get victory is found in the Lord. So blessed is the man who comes to the Lord for victory over the situation. Instead of just trying to control it, instead of trying to bury it, they come to the Lord and bring it to the light. It says –that person, makes the valley of sorrows into a well.

How do they make it into a well? They make choices. They make choices that give God room to move; choices that allow the Holy Spirit to come into their life; choices that let God change their heart; choices to open this pain to the Lord to heal.

God doesn’t want you to walk through life suffering alone. This is what it says in 2 Corinthians 1 – “Now today, the God of comfort; God who comforts people, comfort you in all your tribulation.” So God is a God who comforts people. Every difficult, precious situation, God wants to come and comfort you. Now the God of all comfort, comfort you in all your tribulation.

Now listen to this: “...so that you may be able to comfort others, with the comfort you have received.” So if you’ve been through a painful situation, God wants to come and comfort you, and heal you; and if you are a living testimony of the power of God to change people’s lives, you can help others, because you understand them, you’ve experienced the same pain.

So what are some of the steps out of the valley? They’re usually far easier than you think. The difficulty is just doing it, but the steps are easy.