‘I…will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.’Hosea 2:15 NIV
In the Bible, references to valleys usually symbolise hopelessness. Feeling hopeless is something that we all experience, and it’s something that many people in the Bible felt too. David said: ‘My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear’ (Psalm 38:4 NIV). After several victories, Elijah ran away and said to God: ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors’ (1 Kings 19:4 NIV). And Job said: ‘I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes’ (Job 3:26 NLT). These were all men of God, but they still felt immense despair at times. When we feel the same way, we can become convinced that there’s no hope, but Paul said: ‘Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise’ (Hebrews 10:23 NLT). The Valley of Achor (which means ‘trouble’) got its name when Achan’s family was stoned to death and Israel’s armies were defeated (see Joshua 7:25-26). But even after God’s people had turned away from Him, He promised: ‘The Valley of Achor will be a place for herds to rest. They will be for the people who want to follow me’ (Isaiah 65:10 NCV). God can transform our own valleys into places of rest and hope. When we focus on our problems, they can seem massive and overwhelming to us. But when we focus on God and try to see things from His perspective, we’ll realise that He can lift us up to overcome any obstacle we’re facing. Nothing is too big for Him to deal with, and ‘nothing will be impossible with God’ (Luke 1:37 ESV). What Now? Find a photo online of a beautiful valley. Write on it ‘Nothing is impossible for God’. Save the picture, and whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed, use it to remind you that God will make your valley one of hope.