The valleys of life are dark places. We all experience black clouds of discouragement from time to time on our journey through life. There are times when we feel overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness and the inability to deal with the pressures and problems we face in life or ministry. As Wayne Mack so realistically states: 'It is hardly possible to live in this sin-cursed world without experiencing situations in which we are tempted to be discouraged. It may be poor health (our own or a loved one's), ridicule or abuse by co-workers or family members, personal failure, realization of repeated sin, events in the world around us, problems in the church, or countless other problems. Whether we are experiencing events in our lives right now that could lead to discouragement or not, we may be sure that we will at some point. Jesus warned us: In the world you will have tribulation'' (John 16:33).