Sunday School Lesson Outlines

The Valley

We often have the mis-conceived notion that once we say yes to God our lives will be great. If that were true, we would be in Heaven now. We have been suffering from sadness, evildoers, and just plain rotten circumstances from the beginning of time until now.

When Cain killed Able it didn't just affect Able, his mother and father suffered much grief as well. Therefore, we must remember the many examples (no way to name them all) that are contained in the Bible, that not only teaches but comforts us as well.

Genesis 31:49 "That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night." NASB

This reminds us that the Lord is keeping watch.

Psalms 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." NASB

This is a favored memory verse from my childhood.

I try to bring to mind some of the most memorable passages when I am struggling, dealing with a tragedy or going through a hardship. Job suffered so many things for no reason. He was doing all the right things but he suffered illness, humiliation, the loss of all his children, the respect of his wife, financially, etc. He was strong in the faith and knew he would be restored. However eventually, even his so called friends had him feeling unworthy of God.

Job 40:4 "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth." NASB

After God reminded Job of all He (God) could accomplish, he restored Job and blessed his life far more than before.

Job 42:12 "And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, and he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels, and 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys." NASB
Psalms 9:9-10 "The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble, and those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Though, O Lord, hast not forsaked those who seek Thee." NASB

I remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were doing all the right things expected of them in God's eyes, and yet the king is going to throw them in the furnace.

Daniel 3:16-18 "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known toyou, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.'" NASB

Awesome! Oh create in me a pure heart!

Psalms 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." NASB

God is able, but that doesn't mean he will. Sometimes the answer is no.

Joseph was doing things right and given the ability to interpret dreams, but his brothers threw him in a pit.

Genesis 37:23-24 "So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him; and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it." NASB

Though he had a lot more desperate situations to go through as documented in the Bible over the course of time – the end is what God had planned all along. That was for Joseph to stand next to Pharaoh and hold control that would save not only his family, but his people.

Genesis 41:44 "Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all of the hand of Egypt." NASB

Wow! What an honor to serve the Almighty in this way. I'm sure he wondered all those years while different horrible things happened to him. But he kept his faith, and God delivered (as He promised to all of us). Joseph held onto his faith. In doing so, he fed two nations with the rations of food he stored up during the years of plenty to be rationed out during the seven years of famine. (See Genesis 41:48 to Genesis 48:21)

Psalms 40:2 "He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm." NASB

I was thinking also of the poor man from Jericho. He was robbed and beaten and left for dead. A priest and a Levite, both crossed the road to pass him by.

Luke 10:30-32 "Jesus replied and said, 'A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance acertain priest was going down on that road, and when hesaw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.'" NASB

Then a Samaritan came by. Did you ever wonder who sent the Samaritan?

Luke 10:33-35 "But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to aninn, and tookcare ofhim. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.'" NASB

Notice the difference in the first two men and the third? The first two where just out doing nothing special, but the Samaritan was a traveler. However, he still took the time to help this poor man. He took a whole day out of his scheduled trip. We know he was on a trip because he left him in the care of the innkeeper till he could return. He was on a mission, a time schedule, something important to attend.

Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, 'For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." NASB

Can't say that doesn't include everything!

You will not be separated from Him or His plan. Have faith, hold on when you don't understand. Give up you worries and troubles (completely), and He will take care of it in His perfect timing. Maybe after years like Joseph, or the same day like the man from Jericho.

Psalms 56:3 "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee." NASB
Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." NASB

We can only do this if we know for sure our name is written in the book of life and we are living a life that will allow us to remember and know that this is true and trustworthy.

Created By Julie Robinson

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