Mountaintops and Valleys

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Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:6-7).

For seven years, I lived in Tucker County — one of the most beautiful places in West Virginia. Often I stopped at Centennial Park on the way to or from Davis. I simply walked to the overlook to view the mountains and valleys that stretched for miles. It was peaceful there because all you could see was beauty. This scenario is so similar to our mountaintop experiences in life.

Isn’t it wonderful when everything is going right in life? Everything is beautiful and there is no ugliness to be seen. The mountaintop experience is great, but — just like physical mountains — there is very little growth there. It is so different in the valley.

The valley has its own dangers for sure. In the valley, floods occur. In desert valleys, the heat is formidable and little water can be found. Yet, it is in the valley that most plant and tree growth takes place.

I Peter 1:6-7 is referring to the valley experiences that we face spiritually. These are the times when our commitment to God and our faith in Him is severely tested. If you think about it, life is filled with mountaintop and valley experiences. On the mountaintop, we rejoice at how beautiful life is. In the valley, we learn we can overcome trials so that our faith becomes stronger as life goes on.

So, if you are going through trials right now, take heart. God has not forsaken you. It is not the end of the world for you. Keep praying and stay in His Word. Your faith is growing. Notice that I Peter 1:6 uses the phrase, “though now for a season.” Trials only last for a segment of time. The trial will end and you will be stronger than ever.

Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.

Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children  — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter  — Breanna. 

Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.

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