Of course we need to learn how to live victorious lives. But we also need to learn how to rebound well when we have been in the "valley" of life's experience. What is the starting point...the end of the string that we need to find to begin to rebuild our lives to walk up and out of the valley? The book of Ezra deals with this, using the people of Judah as an example. They had been held in captivity for 70 years in Babylon, where God had directed them to be taken as punishment for abandoning Him. As Ezra begins, King Cyrus has conquered Babylon and issued a decree to free the Jewish people to return to their homeland. The starting point for those people is to rebuild the Temple of God that had been totally destroyed when Jerusalem had been conquered. If you were set free from prison after a long sentence, what would your first ambition be? I think it is remarkable that these people set themselves, together, to the task of rebuilding their relationship with God. This was a task that would take total dedication, years of labor, massive expenditure of funds from a people with very little money and it would require a priority placed on God rather than themselves. But this is the healthy work of "walking in paths of righteousness" that brings the inner health people need. And this is the focus, commitment and work that we also need to begin to pull together and rise up out of the valley!
Ezra 3:1 In early autumn, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose. 2 Then Jeshua son of Jehozadak joined his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his family in rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel. They wanted to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as instructed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. 3 Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening.