The Valley of Trouble

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Then I will give her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the days when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Hosea 2:15

The Valley of Achor. A valley where Achan was stoned for his trouble making.

From Easton’s Bible Dictionary…”trouble, a valley near Jericho, so called in consequence of the trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Josh. 7:24,26). The expression “valley of Achor” probably became proverbial for that which caused trouble, and when Isaiah (Isa. 65:10) refers to it he uses it in this sense: “The valley of Achor, a place for herds to lie down in;” i.e., that which had been a source of calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea also (Hos. 2:15) uses the expression in the same sense: “The valley of Achor for a door of hope;” i.e., trouble would be turned into joy, despair into hope. This valley has been identified with the Wady Kelt.”

A valley of trouble can become a door of hope.  It may not appear to be so in the midst of the trouble.  That’s the hardest place to be, when the trouble is fresh and there is no end in sight.  It’s a very hard place to be. 

But God says He will restore hope from despair.  He will turn our troubles into joy.

Given time. 

It’s in the waiting that we can give up on God’s goodness.  Many choose to walk away from what they know to be true in times of despair.  It’s the hardest part of living this life of faith: waiting for His will to be done and continuing to believe in His goodness as the troubles persist. 

But we can hold on to the Word of Life:

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.  ~Romans 8:28

The Lord is good to all, and has compassion on all He has made.  ~Psalms 145:9

Sometimes, it’s all we can do.  Keep holding on. 

Let me remind you of the end of Hebrews 11, the chapter on Faith:

Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, and women received back their dead raised to life. But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. And others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, sawed apart, murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth.  And these all were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. (“Why?” you ask.) For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us.

If you are having a hard time in your valley of trouble, please hold on.

A door of hope will open…in His time.

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24 responses »

  1. Hi Sis – i saw the same Verse on Alece’s blog recently.

    Just as you are doing here we can be a help to others who may be in the place you found yourself for a time.

    Indeed Jesus, Paul and Scripture require that we lift up those who fall, that we visit the ‘Father’less and widowed in their affliction.

    Our eyes may become darkened in times of trouble and strife but we are to always hold in mind that it can be through such times that our Faith is tried and strengthened through the Fire.

    Our doubt and uncertainty in Him can be removed from us as the dross is removed from an impure ore of metal in the blacksmith’s fire that we come out stronger and pure in our Faith.

    God lets ‘bad things’ happen to ‘good people’ in order that they be purified in Him and His ways.

    it is up to each one of us to learn the right over the wrong lesson from each such ‘test’ that life puts in front of us.

    Let those who wish to be IN Him assist those who struggle to see the truth for themselves in their hardship, while remembering that it is His Will that is what is to be followed – never our own over His. He is to be the one who does and is to be allowed to do the actual ‘saving’, not us.

    Hope you are coming through your trials with a purer heart and mind Sis 🙂 You seem to be?

    <B

  2. I love this passage. And it is of specific hope to me right now, as God comforted me with it at the beginning of this season. Such a lovingly moving passage. He is so good.

  3. “God lets ‘bad things’ happen to ‘good people’ in order that they be purified in Him and His ways.”

    Amen, Love. I’m hoping I’ll get through the purging without much more pain. But I think that’s just my flesh wanting the easy way out. Pain isn’t all bad. As long as it leads us to Him, right?

    It is a good passage and was totally new to me, Sparkle. I’m sure someone along the way has preached on it, I just never heard it until recently. I’m clinging to the promise.

  4. You wrote:
    “If you are having a hard time in your valley or trouble, please hold on. A door of hope will open…in His time.”

    That seems to be His Word to me right now too (has been for years, but especially now when ‘hope’ seems so fleeting.

    I’m in the Beth Moore “Esther” study and yesterday’s session (#5) affirmed your thoughts here by these points:

    “Reflect on the importance of knowing:
    1. When it’s time.
    2. When it’s time to wait.
    3. When it’s time to wait for someone else’s time.
    4. When the ‘meantime’ is God-time.”

    It’s a great and relevant study (for me at least), so if you haven’t been through it, you might want to check it out. I’ve heard the videos can be downloaded through her web site http://www.lifeway.com/women

    Thanks for sharing your insights,
    D-

  5. Thanks, Laz! I love Beth Moore studies. All of those points need much reflecting. We tend to only see it from our perspective, don’t we? The third and fourth point made me think of the illustration in Genesis 15 when the cutting of the covenant between Abram and God occurs:

    When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign country. They will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will come out with many possessions. But as for you, you will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.”

    Did you see it? The iniquity of the Amorites had not yet reached its limit, that’s why they weren’t able to have the land for another 400 years. The Amorites time of fulfillment, the Lord’s plan for that nation, had not yet been reached. That amazes me. God’s intricately woven plans for this world and all peoples.

    He’s so far above and beyond my limited understanding! No wonder I spend time stomping my feet and crying, “Why?” If He explained the answer it probably wouldn’t make much sense to me. I’d wonder why He needed to give the other person (or nation) so much time, because, really, isn’t it all about me??? *she said with much sarcasm and a wink*

    Thanks, Laz! Good perspective for me to hear. 😉

  6. Wow, really? Just found it, huh? Well, that’s wonderful! I’m glad you have found it. It’s been one of my favorites for a long time. Specifically for the reasons you wrote about. I’ve always been interested in names, and when I read that passage so many years ago, I thought it was absolutely beautiful. Then I looked up the names in it and made the equations, and it was even more beautiful. Although I read from a bit before to a bit after:

    Therefore I will allure her (woo her);
    Bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her (the real purpose of the wilderness);
    And I will give her her vineyards from there
    And offer to her the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope.
    And she will sing there as in the days of her youth;
    As in the days in which she came up from the land of Egypt. (equates to being saved – the joy of our first love)
    And it will come about in that day, declares the Lord, that you will call me Ishi (my husband) and will no longer call me Baali (my master).

    I hear the love of a bridegroom. And not only love – complete and overwhelming passion. He loves her. And even though God had just described her as a prostitute, deliberately adulterating herself from her first Love – you can hear how much He cares for her; how beautiful she is to Him. He speaks with the glowing delight and yearning heart of a Lover. I can’t get away from that. These are His plans – how He woos the wayward heart. How He still sees her. It is really one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture to me. I love it. I’m so glad you’ve found it, Michelle!

  7. Me too, Sparkle!

    It brings me back to the conversation we had a few months ago which opened my eyes to God’s amazing love for me. I can’t get enough of the picture of His faithfulness even when we are unfaithful. I continue to find Him beyond my imaginings. I think I know what love is, then find I’m way off as I limit Him with my definitions.

    Allowing Him to define Himself confounds me much of the time. Then I get a glimpse of what He has said and I am overwhelmed. And to know, this is only seeing darkly…? Some day we’ll see face to face. Amazing!

    Love you, Sparkle!

  8. don’t have time to read all the comments, but wanted to leave you something.. 🙂

    I love the verse in Hosea, whenever I read that book I am reminded of how unfatifhul we are, and that is the cause for many of the valleys (at least in Hosea), and HIS promise to bring us back to him at any cost.. SWEET!

  9. This is only seeing darkly ….” What a thought! Amen! I LOVE that God is bigger than we are. So much to pursue. So much to know. So much to search out and discover. I love His vastness. And just the little bits that I am capable of comprehending overwhelm me. Wow. Wat an amazing God.

    PS: love your thoughts, Darla – “at any cost.” Amen.

  10. At any cost…what He paid to bring us near to Him. Totally sweet! Love you, Princess!

    “So much to pursue”…”the little bits that I am capable of comprehending”…”What an amazing God.”

    Amen, Sparkle!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  11. I think I’m going to read the 11th chapter of Hebrews.

    And maybe the whole book.

  12. Well Said Sis – i think your comments in #5 above are really finding the true mark.

    ‘All of those points need much reflecting. We tend to only see it from our perspective, don’t we?’

    As much as we fall for the lie of living IN Him we live most of the time wrapped so tightly into our own way of seeing things rather than in His Way. Al of us – SO much. 😦

    ‘No wonder I spend time stomping my feet and crying, “Why?” If He explained the answer it probably wouldn’t make much sense to me. I’d wonder why He needed to give the other person (or nation) so much time, because, really, isn’t it all about me??? *she said with much sarcasm and a wink* ‘

    We are mostly only conscious of ‘me’: my time, my ‘world’, my life and give such little time or thought to the fact we share this world with far more people like us who have the same ‘rights’ as we do or that matters far greater than us are being taken care of by Hm for their benefit as much as for our own.

    I’m glad you can see the Truth for yourself – i hope you continue to spread His Truth out to all others as i hope i try to such that we can all learn how to be MORE in Him and Less in ‘me’.

    That – Like Jesus Did – we remove selfishness from us and increase in the Love of selflessness for ourselves and others as us. 🙂

    <B

  13. It’s a really great book, Nor. I believe it explains the whole of scripture, from beginning to end. The New Covenant we have in Christ is beautifully defined. I think it’s my favorite book of all…possibly. Hope you enjoy it.

    Hey, Love: “As much as we fall for the lie of living IN Him…” Could you explain what you mean?

    I do hope I’m standing for Truth. I’m not sure what else is worth fighting for. As you say, more of Him…less of me. That’s the goal!

  14. I was just thinking how encouraging you are with these posts Michelle 🙂
    It gives such hope to read about passages like this from Scripture, being reminded that in the hard circumstances, the times when we’re tempted to walk away, God is able to bring good out of them. Something we may never have expected or thought possible even. This is such encouragement to keep holding on, and to give Him time as you say.
    B xo

  15. You don’t know how much I needed that word of encouragement, Birgit. Sometimes I wonder if I should keep writing. It seems I don’t have much to say that is “positive,” but then, I wonder if we’re a bit inundated with free-and-easy words…?

    I find life to be quite difficult. If I don’t find a way to hold on, I’ll give up. I don’t want to give up.

    So, again, thank you. I needed your words this morning.

    Love you, Birg! I’m praying all is well for you this day.

  16. Certainly Sis – it is important that we understand one another as well as we can so that we can better understand how He speaks to others and come to know Him in a ‘wider’ perspective’.

    By the ‘lie’ of living in Him i am refering to the HUMAN tendency to want to believe that we are being and doing good (even those who seem only to be full of ‘evil’ have such thoughts – that they are doing ‘good’, the best they can. They want to believe the ‘lie’ so they don’t have to face the facts of their own evil/unworthyness) and ‘go along’ with the mob to a degree who all make only partial attempts to live a NEW life in Him.

    I do not believe there is a single human being today ( that i am aware of) who actually lives FULLY IN Him. – who lives AS Jesus did, who is able to do ONLY their Father in Heaven’s Will 24/7/365.

    I believe a significant number – possibly a large majority, but i don’t have actual reliable numbers – of Christians who have made a ‘change’ in their life that they can attribute in themselves and their own understanding to accepting Christ in themselves, but they are still largely being themselves still and following their own will (freely choosing to try to do only ‘good’ and following ‘Christian’ ideals/standards).

    By living in ourself – even if we choose to ‘do good’ over doing evil’ is what i mean by the lie of living IN Him – we are lying to ourselves that we are fully ‘in Him’ to salve our own pride.

    We still follow only our own will not His. merely by ‘doing good’/being a good Christian’ is not what i believe jesus had in mind when he stated: I am the way.

    Only by fully subjugating our will over to that of the father in EVERYTHING is ‘the way’ – as i see it.

    Anything less is a ‘lie’.

    did that make any sense? 🙂

    <B

  17. I think I see what you’re saying, Love. I’m reminded of the passage in 2 Timothy 2:

    If we died with Him, we will also live with Him.
    If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
    If we deny Him, He will also deny us.
    If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, since He cannot deny Himself.

    Living “in Him” is certainly a biblical term. It’s one of the key phrases in the book of Ephesians. Only in Him do we have any power to overcome our sinful nature. Otherwise, it’s just our flesh trying to “do good” which is completely defeating, since our flesh only wants what it wants…not the things of God.

    Does that make sense? Are we saying the same thing, just different vocabulary?

  18. i love u all…..wonderful comments.it feels so good to know that we have a great &mighty Jehova.pls let’s continue to help and raise up one another.

  19. I’ve read this far (backwards) and I believe we have a lot in common, friend. Thanks for the kind comment. And I am also forwarding one of your posts to my mother. :0)

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog and my knees to the earth.

  20. Apologies Sis – i just saw this post again in my comments list and realised i had not replied to your previous question (#17).

    Everything you said in that i understood very well 🙂
    Being in Christ is most certainly a New Testament term and to me it hold the true Key to each of us being what Jesus wanted for us.

    For us to LIVE in and through ‘Him’ – through the Holy Spirit that was in Him and He promised ot send to us and as Timothy states – if we ( our human will) dies with Him and we live with (in) Him instead while we yet live on earth – not just in the hereafter. The New Jerusalem ( City – place His followers inhabit and give praise) shall come down to earth and we shall ‘move’ into it and leave our ‘old’ habitation ( our will and selfish thoughts first in everything)

    i KNOW we want the same ultimate thing ( to be with Him eternally) and i hope any ‘differences’ are simply a matter of vocabulary or place we are viewing the same thing from and not in understanding. 🙂

    i don’t believe we all have the same obstacles to overcome though and so there can be reasons we might not need quite the same type of understanding in this life.

    With one exception – we all need to learn how to overcome doing OUR will and not His.

    <B

  21. We are SO diverse, Love. So many different ways to think and struggles to “get over”… I’m just thankful for a God who knows all and is able to work it all together for our good and His glory.

    That sounds so cliche’, we say it all the time…but it is the promise I find myself holding onto most these days.

    I need Him to work it all out for His glory, cause I just keep screwing it up! My prayer, please redeem it all, God…please!

  22. Michelle, I never cease to be astounded at God’s kindnesses and generosities in allowing me to read specific verses on various of your posts — selected “at random” (or so that’s *my* thought), but…truly, “in God’s precise timing” (probably more near to HIS thought!). I absolutely LOVE this passage from Hosea 2 ~ and how you’ve “laced” your replies with other favorite treasures from the Mine, including 2 Tim. 2:13, Hebrews 11, Genesis 15, Romans 8… as well as your having referred to God’s goodness — doubting this aspect of God’s Divine character is *always* the No. 1 ‘flaming arrow’ the enemy shoots at me… My comeback? Ps. 119:68.

    Would you believe (probably so): For more years than I remember exactly, on one of my kitchen cupboard doors I have these very words from Hosea 2… about the “valley of trouble” becoming a “door of hope”. A friend wrote these words on a card she gave me, and many days it has been an instant reminder, just seeing it first thing in the morning! THANKS for this post, and thanks to Annie, Darla, and others for their great comments, too!

    Whew! I can lay my head on my pillow at night: Michelle in cyber-land LIKES “R.C.”, “Beth”, and “C.S.”! I do so appreciate that you are “about” Scripture + nothing… and are “real” (oh! and you must know that The Velveteen Rabbit has “lived” on my shelf for a long, long time;-)). THANKS for gracing us ~ even in your pain… or perhaps better said, *especially* in your pain.

    As one of my “favorites”, Spurgeon said (paraphrased), “the stars shine their brightest when viewed from the deepest part of the well.” Indeed. The “stars” of God’s promises seem to increase in magnitude, the blacker our night seasons… “The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away: BLESSED be the Name of the LORD…in all these things, Job neither sinned with his lips, nor charged God foolishly.”

  23. “…in all these things, Job neither sinned with his lips, nor charged God foolishly.”

    Oh Grace, I pray I will be so faithful. I was just telling my son, once we finally get up the courage, as Job did, to ask “why?” He ends up telling us, “why not?” He has a way of keeping us looking to Him for all the answers. And then when we think we have something figured out, He goes and allows something so mysterious we’re confounded once again.

    To fully trust in His goodness when everything around us looks so bad…I pray He will make me faithful.

    I am thankful to know His character from a study on the Names of God, years ago…it’s foundational to understanding the Solid Rock on which we stand.

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