Reason for hope
Reason for hope
Biblical references to valleys generally symbolise a state of hopelessness. The Valley of Achor [judgment] got its name when Achan’s family was stoned to death and Israel’s armies were defeated (see Joshua 7:25-26). Feeling hopeless is part of the human condition, and many of history’s most notable heroes experienced it. William Penn said, ‘There is scarcely anything around us but ruin and despair.’ Lord Shaftesbury announced, ‘Nothing can save the British Empire from shipwreck.’ Benjamin Disraeli declared, ‘In industry, commerce, and agriculture there is no hope.’ And Lord Grey lamented, ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see the light again in our lifetime.’ There are naysayers and prophets of doom everywhere, and if you buy what they’re selling, you’ll end up convinced there’s no hope for your situation. Nothing could be further from the truth! Paul said, ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope…He who promised is faithful’ (Hebrews 10:23 NKJV). God can transform your ‘Valley of Achor [into] a door of hope’. It’s the same promise He made to His people even after they’d turned their backs on Him. He said in Isaiah 65:10, ‘The Achor Valley will be a resting place…for my people who search for me’ (GWT). As Henry Blackaby observes: ‘Optimists don’t ignore the difficulties, but the knowledge of God’s presence prevents them from becoming discouraged…It’s impossible to stand in His presence and be a pessimist. If we focus on our problems they’ll seem gigantic. But as we focus on God we see our situation in perspective and are assured that all things are possible.’
Copyright © Bob and Debby Gass. Used by permission.
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