Posted on: 11th June 2018
“ ‘…will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ ”
When we’re facing a tough situation, or a hard time in our lives that doesn’t seem to be ending, we can sometimes start to lose hope.
We feel like things will always be this way and that there’s no possibility of anything changing. We may have been praying for years and not seen any change. It can be discouraging.
When we lose our hope, we lose our ability to see beyond our circumstances. We can become consumed by fear, disappointment and resentment that our situation isn’t changing. But God says He ‘will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ (Hosea 2 v 15). Achor means trouble. So here God is saying that He’ll turn trouble into hope. And the Bible says that ‘those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ (Isaiah 40 v 31).
We have spoken about the Israelites before on their journey to the Promised Land. When the Israelites were in exile, there must have been days when many of them doubted whether they would ever be allowed to return to the Promised Land. They may have even thought that God had abandoned and forgotten about them. But Jeremiah the prophet (one who God talks to about the future) says, ‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ The word ‘shall’ is a definite; that was what was going to happen – and it did. And we can have that same expectancy.
When God promises us something, He’ll always come through. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. He has the power to completely change our situations and turn our trouble into hope.
Posted on: 2nd October 2017
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Somethings are outside of our senses, somethings we can explain, something’s we can’t yet, we know they are there.
For example, when a leaf blows through the air we don’t question what it is that is making it move, and though we can see the leaf moving, the effect of the wind, we know it is just the wind.
We can’t touch the wind on our skin either, we can feel it’s effect, maybe something blows into you and taps against your skin, we don’t question it for we know it’s the wind.
We hear the effect of the wind passing through alleyways and between houses, we sometimes say the wind is howling but it is simple the effect of the wind navigating its route over hills, through trees and houses.
We don’t question that the wind has an impact on us yet our five sense might not always be the first receptor of the wind but the things it makes happen.
The same could be said for our faith and God.
We can’t always see, hear, smell, touch or taste God, but we can see the effect of His works.
For some we might see God when we look at creation, for others, the songs of praise and worship may be how they hear God speak. Some people may consider sitting and eating tasty food with friends and constant reminder of God’s blessing around them or maybe the smell of freshly cut grass in the spring may be the sense that reminds them of God. For some, a gentle hug from a friend or a high five is the reminder God is there.
We may not always be able to sense God but our faith is the explanation, the confidence, the assurance that what we believe, in our God that we cannot see will come into fruition.
This week consider what does the idea that our five senses might not explain everything mean to you? Why might there be more ways to understand the world than just our five senses? Can you share a personal experience that is not easily explained by just your five senses?