Uhhhh… Ahhh… Ummm…
What do you do with that “doubt thing” that keeps beating against the thin membrane of hope in your thinking?
We can certainly see today that people have put their hope in so many different things that are offered, looking for a way out of confusion, wanting to know themselves better or to find someone to love or to validate them.
There are Enneagrams, horoscopes, overloads of self-help books/blogs, medications, politicians, gurus and more, and most all of these have failed those hope seekers, or maybe have caused them to flail even further. But honestly, most of them are simply searching for the “real deal”.
They want to see genuine people expressing living and radiant hope. They want an anchor in Achor (troubled times).
They are attracted to that and yet, the soul does love intellectual reasoning more than humility and yielding to God, the Supreme Guide.
It’s what nourishes life.
It’s the motivator to move us into action.
It’s the promise of tomorrow.
What each one of us needs more of is hope.
What our country and world needs is hope.
It’s what siphons the joy right out of you!
Discouragement leads to desperation, which leads to feelings of anxiety, dread and hopelessness, which can move people into depression and suicidal thoughts, and those thoughts lead down a path of complete and utter darkness.
Trouble looms large in every face, every place and every happy space.
So… Define… Hope!
We often use the word hope as a kind of wish. “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” “I hope the Broncos win their next game.”
But friends, hope in the Bible, has quite a different meaning.
Raw and “un-froofrooed” biblical hope is a confidence and expectation that God has provided a way for a good future for you.
God wants to fill every person reading this with hope that He has a wonderful future planned for you!
Ah…. Ummm…… Yes?
Can God REALLY create “good” out of the trouble you are passing through or that you got yourself into?
The word Achor means trouble. So very aptly named, the valley spoken about here (Achor) is the place where a man named Achan, brought trouble on Israel, by willfully going the opposite way and blew off the Lord’s plan.
So, God sees the sin, and brings it to them through Hosea’s warning. The sin of their idolatry, their mixtures of spiritual practices and beliefs and forgetting God and their sincere dedication to him and his ways of doing things. (See Hosea 2: 1-8)
YIKES! These folks were exploring and trusting in things much like many who are probing and immersing themselves into questionable spiritual practices and who distance themselves from the warnings of God today!
God in His grace, in the New Testament freedom of Christ, will put sin to death in your life and my life and also the trouble brought against us from the results of the sin of others.
He prepares the Valley of trouble — Achor, to become a door of hope.
God wants to show you the door… Right there, in the midst of this grief or very hard trouble that your are parched and exhausted by.
A door where you see HOPE written on it…. And you move towards it.
Crawling is absolutely permitted! Just get moving, and get THERE!
Jesus spoke it clearly to us when He said,
“I am the door. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction. A thief has only one thing in mind— he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect life in its fullness until you overflow!” John 10:9-10.
The valley of humiliation, of trouble, and defeat will become the first point of your journey through the door of hope.
You let go of the dragging baggage of woes and stop chewing on the dust.
You admit your secret idolatry of pessimism and stubborn defiance to yield to the probing of your heart, admitting that you account to no one but yourself.
You put down the whip of control and anger and take up the walking stick to lean upon while you humbly limp towards the door of Hope.
That’s a valley of trouble my friend….
But, listen closely!
This door of hope that’s been provided there strategically placed in the mess, does not disappoint.
WHY? Because it’s appointed by God Himself.
It opens up new opportunities for you; even those that were lost will be restored to you. It will cause a new song to rise again in your heart.
So, you weary, red -eyed and cried out ones, prepare to leave the Valley of trouble (Achor) behind, and pass through the door of hope.
We have to wait with hope for God!
“Wait with hope for the LORD.
Be strong, and let your heart be courageous.
Yes, wait with hope for the LORD,” Psalm 27:14.
We have to be courageous and strong in our waiting for that door to be shown to us.
The word “wait” is a very upsetting word for many!
We don’t like waiting!
We want things fixed. NOW! PRONTO!
Waiting can make us feel like we are doing something wrong, hesitating, lagging behind. This isn’t why we have to wait sometimes.
Waiting helps us to mature in Christ.
Waiting burns out impatience and defensiveness and impulsive reactions that decide to not deal with our deeply entrenched ruts!
Waiting is better then rushing into something without God’s wisdom and direction.
This door of Hope when there has been trouble, sin, loss pain, cycles of grief, is a sign of God’s tender mercy towards you.
“I will give back her vineyards to her and transform her Valley of Troubles (Achor) into a Door of Hope.
She will respond to me there, singing with joy as in days long ago in her youth after I had freed her from captivity in Egypt,” Hosea 2:15.
Let this promise bring reassurance to your heart.
Let the past with all its sin and defeat be locked behind you, never to be reopened again.
Leave the Valley of Achor behind.
Let your eyes look ahead. Walk through the door of hope that God has opened for you!
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.