UPS AND DOWNS (2)
Updated: Oct 11, 2018
(1 Ki 20:28) . . . 'Because the Syrians have said, "The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys," . . .
Ups and downs. Manic-depressive. Bi-polar. Emotional roller-coaster. Call it what you want but there is an epidemic of this disorder throughout our country. The person can’t seem to stay even. One day they’re high as a kite and the other day they’re as low as you can go. Nothing in-between. They experience a period of depression and then a stage of elation. And then down again in a cycle. It can affect the young and the old and it can be experienced in varying degrees. But bottom line . . . you feel you have no control. It’s a rocket ride that comes with a high price because what goes up must come down. And man, when you come down you leave a crater size hole. Why do so many good people suffer with this malady and what can we do when we feel caught in extremes?
The Syrians came to attack Israel, but the Lord sent a prophet to tell the king that He would deliver the enemy into his hand. And sure enough, that is what happened. The enemy was routed and Israel triumphed. But then the Syrians redeployed themselves against Israel. Their reasoning was this, “ . . . Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain (valley), surely we will be stronger than they. (1 Ki 20:23) Well, their reasoning was wrong because the Lord is the God of the hills and valleys. He is everywhere. He isn’t a local god like the other nation’s gods. He is omnipresent and all present to save. Like the Psalmist said: God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psa 46:1) Whether Israel was high up in the hills or down low in the valley, God was there to deliver them.
Isn’t that good news? Because we all suffer with highs and lows at times. When we’re up God is there. And when we are low God is there. He can make our highs lower and our lows higher. Why? Because He is the Rock and He can keep us steady. Listen to this verse:
(Phil 4:12-13) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Abased means to be low in life and abound means to be high in life. Paul is saying he knows how to be low and high in a right way. We can say then that it’s normal to have rhythms of emotion. But just as long as our highs are not too high, and our lows are not too low. Notice how Paul said it’s something we can learn. And then notice Paul says he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. God always gives us the strength and the ability for what we need.
When you feel an emotional extreme coming on, think about how much the Lord extremely loves you. God’s love is higher than your high and lower then your low (Eph 3:17-19). He is the Rock and He’ll keep you steady!